Saturday, April 30, 2011

2011 Race for Riley - Race Summary

Well, the 2011 Race for Riley in Chattahoochee Hill, GA is in the books!  My 2011 Ironman Florida buddies, Chip and Richard, and I ran the 5K and rode the majority of the 65 mile (or 60 mile) bike course.  Susan and a friend rode the 13 mile course.  I heard it was hilly.  We were a bit confused about the long course but it was a beautiful day so we weren't very concerned.  A wrench got thrown into our riding plans after we'd ridden 40+ miles and turned back onto Hutcheson Ferry Road.  This is where our ride started.  As we turned we saw a sign the read "Serenbe 3 miles".  A mile further down the road we saw a course marker that directed us to turn right and away from Serenbe.  Our ride just went from 2 to 20 miles more to go!  Chip, Richard and I rode a few miles on the marked route until hunger got the best of us.  We turned around and headed back for the BBQ.  We got there just in time before they closed up shop.

Water stations on the bike were well stocked with water and bananas.  The second station also had cookies and donut holes.

While we rode the long course, Susan collected my masters plaque for the 5K foot race.  She also happened to acquire a set of glass mushrooms from one of the artsy shops in Serenbe. 

Overall, it was a good race, a good day and benefits a great charity.  You can't beat that!

I'll post pictures as soon as I can.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

RoadID on order

I finally got around to ordering a RoadID wrist ID on Monday morning.  It's something that I've been putting off for no particular reason.  It's also timely considering the accident that occured on Monday's Southern Crescent Cycling club ride.  If you read my previous post you'll know what I'm talking about. 

I decided on the "original" sport version as opposed to the "interactive" version for several reasons. 
  1. The information on the ID will more likely be used by a friend or riding partner without immediate Internet access than emergency medical personnel. 
  2. Should I lose possession of my ID, the access information that I would have entered on-line might be compromised.
  3. Additional annual fee
  4. Just something else on-line to keep up with
So, what did I put on my 6 lines of information?
  1. First name, Middle initial., Last name
  2. City, State Country
  3. Home phone #
  4. Wife's first name and cell #
  5. Work phone #
  6. Blood type
I've seen some who have their driver's license number as opposed to a city and state.  That's a good idea because, in theory, the DMV's information should be accurate and up-to-date.

I ordered the red band because it matches my wetsuit and my bike paint has some red too.

I'm excited to have another item in my arsenal of safety products.  My RoadID will come into play should my mirror, reflective apparel, and lights fail.  With my training for Ironman Florida starting soon I'm sure I can expect some long training sessions, many of which will be at night.

I paid $19.48 in total for my RoadID after using a $2 coupon from the Museum of Aviation Marathon and paying $1.49 for USPS shipping.

Ride Safe! 

Southern Crescent Cycling Club Ride

Monday's Southern Crescent Cycling club ride lead to an event filled evening.  Thirty riders showed up at Epic Bikes for the 6:15pm ride.  We separated into 3 groups; A, B, and newbie.  Carlos, Junior, and Neil C. were groups leaders, respectively.
The pre-ride briefing
Sixteen of us rode with the A group.  At the 8 mile point 2 riders in our group got flat tires.  Fifteen minutes later we were back on the road.  At some point we went from 16 riders down to 10 riders.  Several of the missing were lost when one of our riders had a chain problem!  Our group eventually reconvened at the shop.  Some arriving via pickup.  That's when we learned that one of the B group riders had a fall and an apparent concussion.  With that comes 2 questions; what is a concussion and what is the treatment?

What is a concussion?  Basically, it's a trauma to the brain.  To find out more about the causes and symptoms follow this link.   

What is the treat for a concussion? 

Call 911 if: The person keeps vomiting, has unequal pupils or loss of vision, has weakness or numbness on one side of the body, is very confused or unable to wake up, has a seizure, or has persistent bleeding from a scalp injury after 5-10 minutes of firm pressure.
  1. Prevent Swelling and Further Injury  - Stop activity and rest.  Apply ice.
  2. Treat Symptoms - Take over-the-counter acetaminophen (Tylenol). Aspirin or ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) taken right after an injury may make bruising worse.
  3. Watch Symptoms -Monitor the person for 24 hours. Watch for symptoms.
  4. When to Call a Doctor - Loss of consciousness, changes in vision, headache that lasts or gets worse, any vomiting after a head injury, increased drowsiness or dizziness, lasting memory loss, neck pain or stiffness after a fall.
  5. Follow Up - Symptoms should get better in 7 to 10 days.  Take pain medication as directed.  Talk to your health care provider about when it is safe to return to sports and/or work.  Rest as much as possible as long as any symptoms of the head injury last.
To find out learn about how to treat a concussion follow this link.

This Garmin 310XT didn't fair so well in the fall 
This helmet is missing a chunk of foam 
After the ride, Junior, Carlos, Greg and I ran a few miles around the shop.  At that point the it was dark so the parking lot lights were put to good use.

Wishes for a speedy recovery to my injured fellow cyclist!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

2011 Race for Riley

I'm looking forward to the 2011 Race for Riley being held on April 30th in Palmetto, Georgia at the Serenbe community.  This is more of an event than just a race and includes a 5K run, bike rides of varying distances, BBQ, etc.  Last year's race and ride were hampered by rain so I'm hoping for better weather this year.  The 10-day forecast calls for partly cloudy skies with a low temperature of 58 and a high of 80 degrees.

The race benefits the Joseph Sams School for special needs children.

The 5K course starts and ends at the Serenbe community.  This is a different 5K course from the previous year.  I believe Gary Jenkins will be the race director again this year.  Gary always does a good job.

In addition to competing in the 5K race, I plan to ride the 65 mile bike ride which also starts at the farmhouse.  The course winds through the Palmetto and Chattahoochee Hill countryside.  Many of the roads are part of the popular "silk sheets" rides known for their smooth pavement.  This will be a good last hurrah before the Gulf Coast Triathlon at Panama City Beach, Florida on May 7th.  Susan will bike the 32 mile course.  There is also a 13 mile bike ride.

I hope to see, and compete against, some of my Federal Aviation Administration and National Weather Service buddies on Saturday.

Update: 4/27 - I changed the 5K map to reflect a new course.

Take A Look Mirror

I've finally found a mirror that I like!  Years ago I used a Velcro attached helmet mounted plastic mirror.  I grew to like that mirror.  When Susan and I started cycling again last year I bought her a Third Eye foam helmet mirror.  She didn't care for it.  I liked it but thought there might be something better.  On the advice of a fellow rider I bought a Zefal Spy mirror.  The Zefal Spy didn't work for me.  I reviewed it here.  After reading some online reviews I decided to try the Bike Peddler Bike Products original Take A Look mirror.  Apparently, there is also a compact version.  After using the Take A Look mirror I can see why other riders like it.  The mirror attaches to my sunglasses securely.  I thought the wire frame would be flimsy, but it isn't.  The wire is rigid.  It adjusts easily and holds alignment well.  The mirror itself is good quality and large enough to provide a good field of view.  It's slightly heavier than the plastic Third Eye mirror but not so much that it's uncomfortable or pulls down my sunglasses.

Susan's Third Eye foam helmet mounted mirror uses a hi-tech Duel-Lock material with an adhesive backing to attach the mirror to the helmet.  The Duel-Lock material does seem to provide better adhesion compared to the previously used Velcro.
Third Eye foam helmet mirror
Another view of the Third Eye mirror
Zefal Spy mirror
The Take A Look mirror, Original
Take A Look mirror attached to a pair of sunglasses
The excellent quality and superior field of view of the Take A Look mirror make it hard to beat.  The Third Eye mirror would be my second choice. 

The Take A Look mirror cost $14.99 +tax at my local bike shop.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

April 17-23 Training Highlights

I rode with the Southern Crescent Cycling club folks from the Epic Bikes shop on Monday and Wednesday evenings.  Both rides started at 6:15pm.  Monday's meet up resulted in 35 cyclists gathering in the shop parking lot.  We split into 3 groups by expected speed and varying distances.  I rode with the "A" group which averages 20-21 mph on Monday and Wednesday.  We rode the same 27 mile route on both evenings.  The route heads south toward Griffin but cuts short around the Atlanta Motor Speedway in Hampton to head back to the shop.

I believe the "B" group riders shorten the route between miles 6 and 12.  The "A" group caught the "B" group riders on both evenings at about the 15 mile point near the speedway.

Friday was a swim, bike, run training day.  Chip, Richard and I met The Cube, one of my fellow BeginnerTriathlete forum posters, at Drake Field behind the Peachtree City library on Willow Bend Road.  This is also the site of the Peachtree City Triathlon transition area.  We found that The Cube is a better swimmer than the rest of us.  His coaching by Endurance Concepts must account for that.  The PTC lake is a popular swim spot for EC athletes because several others showed up to swim and bike during the afternoon.  I found the temperature of the water was perfect for my full wetsuit.  The others all wore sleeveless wetsuits.  The turbidity or cloudiness of the water was poor.  It was very murky.  The swim was a good opportunity to practice our sighting. 

Some images of Drake Field and Lake Peachtree.
The PTC lake parking lot with the lake in the distance
Lake Peachtree
The beach area
The PTC triathlon transition area with the parking lot in the distance
After our swim, Chip, Richard and I rode 23 miles, then Chip and I ran 10K.  Peachtree City is not a great place to ride at 4:00pm on a Friday afternoon.  There were too many cars and the huge 4-way stops were a hassle.  Running on the cart paths was nice because it was shaded.  It was refreshing to see so many people out cycling and running.

Note:  When I came home from my Wednesday evening ride Susan was getting ready to feed Max.  On the menu was Fillet Mignon and chicken strips.  His dinner smelled so good that I had to eat some, to Max's dismay.  Susan said that the meat had been in the freezer a while and we needed to get rid of it.  Max said he would take care of it!
Max's Dinner
A happy dog
Happy Easter!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

2011 Atlanta Dogwood Festival

With Saturday's Sweetwater 420 Fest 5K race sold-out and no other races of interest for us this weekend, Susan and I decided to go to the Dogwood Festival at Piedmont Park in Atlanta today.  We drove from home to the College Park MARTA station in lieu of attempting the drive all the way and deal with the hassle of finding a place to park.

The weather was perfect when we left the Midtown MARTA station for the short walk to the park.  There was plenty of great artwork and stuff to eat and drink. 

We heard two bands play.  The first was okay instrumentally but seriously lacking vocally.  The second, Jackson County Line, I liked.
The crowd
The crowd
The disc dog competition
A disc dog and his trainer just before the dog jumped onto and then stood on the trainer's feet
The crowd around the Dog Disc Competition field
Jackson County Line on stage
Artwork of the Port-a-Potty variety
Susan with the Atlanta skyline over her shoulder
I hope you had a fun filled weekend and enjoyed the weather.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

2011 Georgia Cup Cycling Race

The 2011 Georgia Cup cycling circuit race in Senoia, Georgia took place today and I took a few pictures.  Senoia is a neat little town south of Fayetteville.  Susan, Max and I arrived in Senoia just before 3PM. 
Downtown Senoia
In Senoia we met up with Junior, a cycling buddy that rides out of Epic Bikes in McDonough. 
Junior and friends waiting for the riders to pass
Susan and Max
The race started just outside of town near a local cemetery. 
Spectators await the riders to pass
The circuit races started at 3:30PM with the Cat 5 riders.  About 5 minutes later the Cat 4 riders started.  Each group of riders had a motorcycle and police escort.  We missed the time trial race which took place earlier in the day.  The road race is scheduled for Sunday.
Riders before the start
Cat 4 and Cat 5 riders rode 3 loops in the circuit and Cat 3 riders rode 4.

Riders near the finish (or the end of a lap)
A Snoop Dog look-alike drove by during the race in a real-time low-rider.
The Senoia Police Dept. did a great job providing escort for the riders. 
To see all 79 pictures go to my Picasa web album.
Georgia Cup Cycling Races - Apr 16, 2011

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Pay it Forward

In my 2011 Atlanta Track Club Resolution Run race report I neglected to point out that when I was passed by another runner he was kind enough to offer a few encouraging words. If you don't know, ATC Resolution Run takes place on January 1st. There is a 5K and 10K race. I ran the 10K. Less than a mile from the finish line I was starting to fade. The runner that passed me called out "run with me". I tried to keep up but I just didn't have it in me and he pulled away.

On Saturday I ran the ATC Spring has Sprung 15K. It was a tough race with an awesome hill that we had to climb twice. At the 5.5 mile point a volunteer called out that I was the 18th male. As I continued to run I was passed once, and than again. I was now in 20th place with a mile to go. Just then a female runner ran up along side me. Knowing the finish line was less than a mile away and seeing that she was feeling the effects of her effort, I called out to her in essence, run with me. This was my pay it forward moment! We pushed each other through to the end. In doing so I'm sure the results for both of us were improved. Shortly after my new running partner and I crossed the finish line she came back to give me a hug. I don't think she realized how much she had helped push me. We both won awards in our age groups.

So, the next time you're in a race and you pass someone (or get passed) give a word of encouragement.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Water Bottle Test

Susan and I rode together on Sunday for 20 miles.  We used our insulated water bottles for the first time.  We each used one 21oz. Camelback Podium Chill bottle and one 24oz. regular water bottle.  We rode for almost 2 hours through our neighborhood in the heat of the day and quickly noticed that the insulated bottles really did the trick.  The water was much cooler in the insulated bottles, but how much?  After we finished out ride I thought I'd do a test.  I took the same water bottles, ice cubes, cold tap water, a wrist watch, fan, and Bonjour laser thermometer.
Ice, water bottles, thermometer, and water
I put 16 ice cubes in each water bottle then topped off each to the rim with cold water.  The Camelback bottle actually holds 22oz of fluid and the regular bottle actually holds 25oz to the rim.  I placed both bottles outside in the shade on the deck in front of a fan.  I turned the fan on low. 

Fan, watch, thermometer, and water bottles
The temperature of the deck was 89 degrees when I started my test.  After 30 minutes I shook the contents of each bottle and measured the temperature of the water.  All the ice cubes in the uninsulated bottle had melted and the water temperature was 59 degrees.  The insulated bottle still has ice present and the water temperature was 42 degrees.  I went for a run.  When I came back 1 hour and 52 minutes had passed.  The deck temperature was now 83 degrees.  The water in the uninsulated bottle was 84 degrees.  I don't know how it measured higher than the deck.  The water in the insulated bottle measured 62 degrees. 

There you have it, after almost 2 hours the water in the insulated bottle was still 20 degrees cooler than the air temperature.  These results would probably vary if the bottles were placed in the sun and if they were subject to constant shaking as they would when placed on a bike.

We'll be buying a few more insulated bottles soon.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

2011 ATC Spring has Sprung 15K - Race Report

The Atlanta Track Club had the inaugural Spring has Sprung 8K and 15K races on April 9th in Inman Park, an historic community near downtown Atlanta.  I ran the 15K and Susan ran the 8K.  Inman Park is 23 miles (35 minute drive time) from our home so we left the house at around 6:00AM.  I had one cup of coffee and a PB&J sandwich for breakfast before we left.  Susan had coffee and a piece of wheat bread and cheese. We both ate light. 

After we arrived at the Stove Works at about 6:40AM we hit the facilities and then hurried to registration.

Susan and I
The Stove Works
The Entrance to the Stove Works
Runners waiting for the race to start
My 15K race bib
The 15K course is basically two clockwise loops on the roads around the Carter Center.  In addition to Inman Park; the Old Fourth Ward, Poncey Highlands, Candler Park, Little Five Points, and Reynoldstown communities are also included in the race.  The 8K course is only one loop on the same roads as the first loop of the 15K.  One detail that needs stating is that the hill on North Avenue, which the 15K'ers run up twice, is a pretty tough climb.  It's located at the 1.5 and 6.5 mile points.

This is a low key ATC race with no t-shirt.  As with all the ATC races, it was well organized, well supported, and like all their races that I've run, had D-Tag chip based timing with start and finish line mats.

Waiting for the 15K results
The finish line
The last turn
A volunteer waiting for runners to pass
I left the race thinking I had finished first in my age-group.  I reviewed the results on the ATC website later in the evening only to find that I had actually finished second.  My time was 1:06:52.  I've still got a first place finisher's mug though!

Picking up my award (or someone elses)
After the race we met my daughter Lana and her sons, Cody and Josh.  We spent some time at Candler Park.  The warm weather brought out the parents and the young ones.

Cody, Josh, Lana and Susan
The playground
Frisbee on the lawn
Josh needs some help with the screw top on the water bottle
Josh on his scooter
Lots of bees under a park bench
A view of the street along the golf course
Some golfers
Bumps from Josh's allergic reaction
Josh is very allergic to dogs and somehow a big dog got into the back seat of our car.

Max during a previous car ride
After the park we went to La Fonda Latina restaurant to eat.

La Fonda Latina restaurant on Ponce
La Fonda Latina Restaurant
Cody and Josh
Cody, Josh and Lana
After dropping off the kids, Susan and I stopped by the Dekalb Farmers Market to get a few things.

The Dekalb Farmers Market sign
The parking lot was packed!
I don't get many weekends off from work so we try to take advantage of the opportunity. 

Congrats to my training partners Chip and Richard for completing the Tony Serrano Century bike ride today.