Monday, August 29, 2011

Ten Down - Ten Weeks to Go!

Week number ten is the halfway point of my twenty week Ironman training plan.  The week started on Sunday, August 21st and ended on Saturday August, 27th.
I rode the Dog Days 100 on Saturday, August 20th.  During the ride my rear brake cable broke.  That put my tri bike out of commission until the following Thursday.  I tried to stay in shape by riding Susan's backup bike, a Schwinn Mirada, with her through the neighborhood for most of the week.

I took off on Sunday.  From Monday, August 22st, through Saturday, August 27th I rode 10 miles each day morning with Susan.  I picked up my bike on Thursday afternoon from Atlanta Trek in McDonough and rode with their group that evening.  We had a small group but were still able to average 20.0 mph for our 23 mile ride.

One Thursday and Friday I swam a total of 3.4 miles.  My only run was an 8.5 mile jaunt on Wednesday.

The summary of my weeks training tells the tale.  I worked out just under 9.5 hours including riding 76.6 miles, running 8.5 miles and swimming 3.4 miles.  Not an impressive week and nowhere near the 17 hours in my training plan.

Sunday, August 28th is the Wilson 100.  I'm hoping to put myself in the hurt locker for about 5 hours.

Thanks for reading.

2011 SBL Wilson 100 Ride Report

August 28th, 2011 at 8:15am was the mass start of the Southern Bicycle League Wilson 100 from East Coweta Middle School at 6271 Highway 16 in Senoia, Georgia.

Chip, Richard, Chad and I planned to ride the 100 mile route to prepare for Ironman Florida. Susan and our neighbor Eileen would do the 13 mile route twice while we were done.  They wanted to check out downtown Senoia.

Well, the start didn’t go completely as planned.  Chip claimed that he had to work and Richard was allegedly feeling under the weather.  That left Chad and I doing the 100 mile route with about 200 of our closest friends.  Many of the riders I know started well before the mass start in an effort to finish the ride before the temperature got too hot.

Susan, Eileen, and I got our bikes setup and picked up our shirts.  I said hello to a few of my Southern Crescent Cycling club friends that didn’t start the ride early.  I didn’t see Chad until I heard the explosion.  I looked over just in time to see a poof of dust as the air left his front wheel tube with force.  With some help from his Beck team buddies Chad fixed his flat and was ready to go well before the mass start.

Chad and a buddy
I rode with the peloton for the first 49 miles when I made a quick stop in Warm Springs to fill my water bottles.  During the first half of the ride we had a brief incident with a female Meriwether County Sheriff’s Deputy.  She was upset that the peloton was over the yellow line and three vehicles behind us couldn’t pass.  She was probably even more upset after she had words with one of the riders and when about fifteen riders stopped for a natural break.  I thought somebody’s goin’ to jail.  I stopped a few hundred yards up the road to take a few pictures as the riders passed before rejoining the peloton.

As we rode through a pine tree farm I noticed a tick on the rider in front of me.  It was on his shorts and marching from right to left.  He must have gotten picked up on rider’s rear wheel and flung onto his shorts unscathed.  They are tough bugs.  I told the rider and he brushed it off.  Then, of course, another rider had a laugh about me looking at this guys shorts.  He did admit to seeing the tick too.

The peloton
I took a few turns at  the front.  The temperature was still cool in the hollows.  The last I saw of Chad he was huddled amongst his Beck team buddies protected from the elements like a queen bee.  Frankie, a fellow Southern Crescent Cycling rider, stayed with the peloton through to the finish.  My average miles per hour was somewhere around 23.6 at Warm Springs.  My solo ride to the finish dropped my average to 20.8 mph.  I have to point out that I passed at least 30 riders in that last 50 miles and no one passed me.  My total ride time was about 4:50 not including about 9 miles of stops.  I easily beat the 5 hour mark because I’m including the extra minutes my computer added as Susan and Eileen put up my bike.  I think my watch read 1:08pm as I pulled into the middle school parking lot.

After the ride Susan, Eileen, and I sat around until I recovered. Susan got me 2 glasses of water which I gulped down in seconds.  Then we had some lunch at the school cafeteria.  My SCC buds were already in the cafeteria ready to tell me how I got dropped.

Susan and Eileen loved their ride.  Susan said the scenery was really pretty and the route was not too tough.  They also said that all the shops in downtown Senoia were closed.  There was a big floppy eared hound dog on the 13 mile route.  As Susan, Eileen, and two other riders passed by the dog took a big old dump.  We didn't have to drive all the way to Senoia to see that.  I guess he had more important things to do than chase them.

An estimated 800 riders hit the road on Sunday.  The 100 mile course was awesome with little or no traffic and long rolling hills.  In fact, I only came off of my big chainring once.  That was at the 95 mile point.  It was better that the Hospitality Highway 100 course but the support was not quite as well done.

My trash gauge was at zero all day.  There was no trash or debris either in the road or on the roadside anywhere.  I did lose a water bottle thought and it's probably still out there somewhere.  There were also at least three dead armadillos and a dead dog the size of a water buffalo.

The only criticism is that the rest stops could have had a cooler of ice ready to fill water bottles.  The Powerade that was provided just wasn’t cool enough as the temperature rose.  This wouldn’t have been an issue for the peloton since they didn’t stop at all.  In the future I will have to load my jersey pockets with frozen liquid for later in the ride, that is, if I plan to stay with the group for the duration.

2011 Wilson 100

Thanks for reading. 

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Susan's Schwinn Mirada

When I wanted to buy a new bike last year I had to make a decision.  Was I going to get a bike that I wanted or was I going to settle for something less?  I discussed the purchase with my wife and we looked at bikes together.  She would say "isn't that one good enough" and "you're not going to the Olympics".  Those words only bolstered my determination to find and buy the bike I wanted.  My riding partner Chip has a Quintana Roo Lucero Lite.  He raved about how great it is and got me interested in the QR CD0.1.  As the weeks passed I did some traveling for work and Susan and I continued to talk about my future new bike.  During this time I had already registered for the Augusta Ironman 70.3.  When I wasn't running or swimming I was riding my wife's backup bike.  Luckily for me, we didn't venture beyond the roads in our neighborhood.  At the time Susan had a Specialized Sirrus Hybrid bike.  She has since replaced that with a Felt ZW Series 75 road bike. 

Susan's backup bike is a 1987 Schwinn Mirada
Schwinn Mirada
Critique my aero position
There I go again on my CD0.1
I eventually got my QR and have been very happy with it.  The relief Susan must have felt no longer having to ride with her husband sitting atop her pink bike must have been immense.  I had to revert back to Susan's trusty stead again this week while my bike was in the shop.

You might be surprised at the amount of effort it takes to get this behemoth moving.  The attractive color is an added incentive to keep moving.

Thanks for reading.

Monday, August 22, 2011

2011 Grant Park Criterium

Susan and I packed up the car with a cooler with cold bottles of water and two folding chairs.  It was going to be hot and I had to work later in the day.  We were headed to Grant Park in Atlanta to watch the Grant Park Criterium on Sunday, August 21st, 2011.

We arrived at Grant Park and parked the car in the first space we found available.  That was a big mistake.  We parked somewhere off of Cherokee Ave near the Atlanta Zoo entrance.  This just happened to be on the opposite side of the park and a long walk to the race course.  The walk felt especially long since we were hauling heavy chairs and a cooler.  We eventually setup camp near the start/finish line and shortly thereafter met up with our friends at around 11am.

The races started at 10am with the beginner women's race and ends at 7pm with the finish of the men's pro race.  We couldn't stay for all the races but we did get to see two fellow Southern Crescent Cycling club riders compete.  Modesto (Junior) Diaz and Roland Grimm competed in the Cat 4/5 Men's race which started at 1:30pm.  It was a 35 minute race.  Both Junior and Roland put forth very respectable efforts.  A third Southern Crescent Cycling rider, Charles Seward didn't start his Masters race until 2:15pm.  I was already late for work so we didn't get to see him compete.

Race Schedule
10:00 AM - Beginner Women *         1:30 PM - Cat 4/5 Men
10:30 AM - Junior A/B                      2:15 PM - Master 35+/45+
11:00 AM - Cat 3/4 Women              3:15 PM - Cat 3 Men
11:45 AM - Beginner Men *              4:30 PM - Cat 1/2/3 Women
12:15 PM - Kids Race                       6:00 PM - Pro 1/2 Men
12:30 PM - Aarons Employee Race
 * Beginner races do not require a license and are *not* sanctioned by USAC.

The course is in and around Grant Park in Atlanta, Georgia.  Riders start and finish the counter-clockwise course on Park Avenue SE on the eastern border of the park.  Grant Park was established in 1882 and is a 144-acre property which features the Atlanta Zoo and the Cyclorama.  The event benefited the Grant Park Conservancy and the Grant Park Neighborhood Association (GPNA).

I took the opportunity to take a few pictures of the racers and spectators.
2011 Grant Park Criterium

Thanks for reading.

2011 Dog Days 100 - Ride Report

On Saturday August 20th, 2011 Chip, Richard, and I rode the inaugural Dog Days 100 century ride out of Griffin, Georgia.  I lived in Griffin in the late 1980's and early 1990's.  This ride was literally a trip down memory lane for me.  I hadn't ridden these roads in twenty years nor had I seen my riding buddies from Griffin in as long.  When I moved to Decatur in 1993 I put up my bike and only started riding again in July 2010 to train for the 2010 Ironman Augusta 70.3. on September 26th.  I only had a bike for about 3 months before Augusta.  So, now I'm trying to improve my preparation for the 2011 Ironman Florida race.  The Dog Days 100 is part of that preparation.

The course started at the Rehoboth Middle School located at 1500 Rehoboth Road in Griffin, GA.  Riders left the school parking lot at 7:30am.

Riders gather for the start of the ride
The school parking lot
Another image of the riders gathering to start
Chip, Richard, and I took off right from the start with the Sheriff's Deputy's cruisers and motorcycles leading the way through town.  Chip lost a water bottle within the first few miles.  One down!  I wouldn't see Chip again for over 2 hours.  Richard and I continued on.  We were ridin' with the "Big Boys"!  We were a group of about 15 riders.  As we raced down the hill and over the bridge to the entrance to High Falls State Park I took a left into the park.  Oops!  This was a rest stop for the ride but no one else was stopping.  In fact, I hadn't planned to stop either.  I just took a wrong turn.  I quickly recovered and headed back onto the course after the speeding group of riders.  I literally had an up hill climb in front of me and no momentum.  It took me about 15 miles to finally re-join the group.
Shortly after I re-joined the group I lost a full water bottle.  I had 3 water bottles with me and I needed, or wanted, all of them.  After recovering my fallen water bottle I realized that it wouldn't be of much use to me.  The valve was smashed and when squeazed its contents water sprayed all over.
The result of an ejected water bottle
Richard and the rest of the group were long gone by now.  I rode into the rest stop at the turn-around point and there was Richard.  We stood around a few minutes discussing how long we should wait for Chip to catch up with us.  After a few minutes and plenty of stuff to drink we left without Chip.  As we exited the rest stop Chip and 2 others riders came down the hill.  Richard and I continued on with a group of about 8 riders.  Richard and I stopped again.  This time it was at the rest stop where I'd made my wrong turn.  For some unknown reason the paramedics really showed an interest in my welfare.  Do you feel okay?  Do you want to sit down!  How about some water or an orange?  I guess I was looking kinda bad.  I assured them that I was fine.  They didn't know that I always look this bad.  We waited again for Chip to arrive.  We just caught a glimpse of him as he sped by us.  Richard and I hopped on our bike and gave chase.  At that point Richard was spent so, I did what any friend would do, I left him!  I eventually caught and passed Chip.

My broken rear brake cable with Velcro around the calipers
Shortly after passing Chip and with about a quarter mile between us I broke a rear brake cable.  When the cable broke my rear brake locked up.  Chip soon caught up to me and yelled "everything okay?" before as he continued to ride past me.  By the time Richard rode up on me I had my bike upside down on the side of the road trying to figure out what was going on.  Luckily for me Richard had a similar problem a week or two ago and provided me with a temporary solution - Velcro.

We never did re-join Chip.  Richard and I limped on into the school parking lot after just less than 5 hours of riding time to complete the 95.57 mile course. 

Overall it was a good day.  The weather was warm but not terrible and the course was easy to follow.  Best of all I got to see and ride with several guys that I hadn't seen in 20 years.  Kudos to the organizers, sponsors, volunteers, and riders!

Thanks for reading.

Nine Down - Eleven Weeks to Go!

Training week number nine is done.  It started on Sunday, August 14th and ended Saturday, August 20th. 

I took off from training on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday. 

On Wednesday I rode with the Southern Crescent Cycling club.  I rode 42 miles.

On Thursday I rode with Susan in the morning and ran 8.5 miles in the afternoon.  Susan is riding one of the shorter legs of the Wilson 100 on August 28th.

On Friday I rode again with Susan a few miles in the morning.  In the afternoon Chip, Richard and I swam the Peachtree City Sprint Triathlon course four times.  My times were 1) 9:02, 2) 9:29, 3) 9:59, 4) 11:00.  Lap four was slower because the course was longer than .3 miles.  As we swam that final lap the wind picked up and moved two of the buoys.  When we were leaving Drake Field athletes were just arriving to pick up their race packets for Saturday.  I compared my 9:02 swim time with the 2010 results and it looked like I'd be in the top 50 or so out of the 1100 participants.  Subsequent reports of a short swim course and results showing faster swim times in 2011 might mean that I wouldn't do as well as I thought.  So, I swam about 1.2 miles in exactly 39:30.

On Saturday chip, Richard and I were at it again.  We rode the Dog Days 100 Century in Griffin.  The century distance was 95.57 miles on my Cateye computer and Richard's Garmin 310XT.  It was an event filled ride for me.  I took a wrong turn at the bottom of a hill which was followed by a long uphill.  It took me about 20 miles to rejoin the pack.  Shortly after I was with the pack I lost a Camelbak Chill water bottle.  At about $15 a pop I just had to turn around and retrieve it.  I rejoined the pack again at the halfway point rest station.  Richard and I waited for Chip who lost a bottle about 5 miles into the ride.  He didn't show up so we took off again just as Chip neared the rest station.  Richard and I waited for Chip again at the High Falls rest station.  He didn't stop.  We could see him in the distance crossing the bridge with two other riders.  We gave chase.  Richard was spent but I was eventually able to catchup and pass Chip.   I was about 1/4 mile ahead of him when my rear brake cable broke and when that happened the brake callipers closed down on the tire.  I was stopped in my tracks with only about 6 miles to go.  Chip passed by unconcerned about my predicament.  Richard rode up about 5 minutes later and let me borrow a strip of Velcro to hold my brake open.  I just happened to have the one Allen wrench that was the correct size to remove my brake pads.  With the Velcro installed and the calipers open I finished my ride in 4:57:22 ride time averaging 19.2 mph. 

In summary I swam 1.2 miles, rode 159 miles, and ran 8.5 miles. 

I know it's boring so thanks for reading anyway.

Friday, August 19, 2011

2011 Peachtree City Sprint Triathlon Setup

I'm not racing tomorrow however, I swam the Peachtree City Sprint Triathlon course at Drake Field today and took a few pictures of the setup while I was there.  The setup crew had already fenced things off and painted tree roots and other hazards orange near the swim start.  The water temperature is cooler than it was a month ago.  That's good!  The turbidity (clarity) of the water is the same.  You'll be able see your feet just so long as you're not actually in the water.  Watch out for stumps!

Time trial swim start area
The swimmers pass over the timing mat at the starts in time trial fashion.  They swim the course clockwise with two right turns at the orange buoys before exiting the swim about 100 feet to the right of the start.

The swim course
Port-a-potties and fencing at what will probably be the bike start/finish.  There are more potties at the swim start.
Port-a-potties on the right
Fencing with packet pickup on the left and the transition area on the right
The transition area is in distance
Packet pickup area
I hope everyone has a good race.

Thanks for reading.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Three More Races

I've registered for three more events and added them to My 2011 Races.  They are two triathlons, a sprint and an Olympic distance, and a 15K foot race.  All three races are scheduled before Ironman Florida.

The first race is the 2011 Tri the Parks (John Tanner #2) Sprint Triathlon on Saturday, September 10, 2011 which starts at 8:00am at John Tanner State Park in Carrolton, Georgia.  The park is 80 miles from my house.  I plan to drive there on race day.  I'll have to leave the house at 4:15am.  The park opens at 6:00am.  I should be able to get there in plenty of time to check-in, get marked, setup my transition area, and get to the beach by 7:30am for the start at 8:00am.  There may be a $5 fee for parking at the park.

The Tri the Parks Sprint Triathlon course includes a 600 meter swim, 14.3 mile bike, and 5K run.

The second race is the 2011 Tugaloo Olympic Triathlon on Saturday, September 24, 2011 which starts at 8:00am at Tugaloo State Park on Lake Hartwell near Lavonia, Georgia.  The park is 120 miles from my house.  Again, I plan to drive there on race day.  I'll leave the house at 3:45am.  Like John Tanner State Park in Carrolton, Tugaloo State Park opens at 6:00am.  Like the Tri the Parks triathlon, I want to get there in plenty of time to check-in, get marked, setup my transition area, and get to the beach by 7:30am for the time trial start at 8:00am.  There is a $5 parking fee at the park.

The Tugaloo Olympic Triathlon course includes a 1.5K swim, 42K bike, and 10K run.

The third race is the 2011 Peachtree City Classic 15K on Saturday, October 15, 2011 which starts at 8:50am at the Frederick Brown Amphitheater in Peachtree City, Georgia.  The Fred, as it is commonly called, is only 22 miles from my house.  Like the two previous races, I'll drive there on race day leaving the house at 6:15am.  Race day packet pickup is from 7:00am to 8:00am.  That will give me plenty of time to check-in and warm-up.  This will be my third year running this race.  Susan has registered to run the 5K which starts at 8:40am.

See ya at the race(s)!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

A Tribute to My Team

As I was running on Monday morning I thought that this would be a good time to acknowledge those folks that I call my team.  I’m not talking about my team of fellow racers that make up the Atlanta Center Triathlon Team.  I’m talking about my team of friends, neighbors, and family.  No matter what one might think, Ironman is not a solo competition.  At least the long training portion of the Ironman experience isn’t.

My team includes my friend Jim Macie who got me started running foot races again after a 6 year hiatus.  Jim and I met when we worked on the 2008 Lake Spivey Road race together.  I wasn't running much back then while Jim was running a race every weekend.  He encouraged me to enter my first post-hiatus race; the 2009 Run For the Kids 5K in Vinings, Georgia and my first marathon; the 2011 Museum of Aviation Marathon in Warner-Robins, Georgia.  I finished 4th in my age group in the 5K and 6th in my age group in the marathon.  Then there's my friend Neil Coleman who got me riding a bike again after about a 10 year hiatus.  Neil and I met when I working in the front yard and I flagged him down as he rode by my house in 2004 or 2005. Like a little kid I asked him a slew of questions.  Who are you?  Where are you going?  How far are you riding?  How often do you ride?  My old Trek 1500 was still in the basement at that time.  Then there are my friends Dave Rehm and Chip West.  Dave ran with me during that first and only marathon in January.  Dave had just completed the Goofy Challenge the week before.  If you're not familiar with the Goofy Challenge it's a half-marathon followed by a full-marathon at Disney World in Orlando, Florida.  Not surprisingly Dave was scheduled for knee surgery the following Monday.  Chip got me started doing triathlons again after about a 20 year hiatus.  Chip’s talk about the thrill of competing in triathlons and especially his recounting of the 2010 Ironman Louisville motivated me to train and register for 2011 Ironman Florida.

My neighbors, though they don’t know it, are also part of my team.  They’ll see me walking down the street cooling off after a run and give me a few words of encouragement like you're not goin' fast enough or come on, step it up.  That always feels good.  I’ve noticed lately that they also leave me alone and don’t ask me to do neighborhood stuff.  I guess something has got to give!

My family is the most important part of my team.  That includes my dog Max. Max doesn’t get as much attention as he deserves since I started my training plan.  I suspect this will get worse before it gets better.  My wife Susan is the leader of my team.  Her duties as leader mostly include making sure I eat right and eat enough, washing the heaps of dirty/sweaty clothes I generate every week and being there to take pictures and cheer me on.  More than Max, Susan has had to spend more time alone than she did before I registered for IMFL.  I guess I'll have to make it up to her and finish remodeling the basement.

Thanks to my team for getting me started and keeping me going!

Thanks for reading!

Eight Down - Twelve Weeks to Go!

I've got to step up my training during week eight.  I posted my goal for August, on the Beginner Triathlete online forum, I was to swim 14 miles, bike 500 miles, and run 100 miles.  I just might be able to meet my goal, if I'm lucky.

On Sunday and Monday I ran 8.5 miles each day.  I had to go to work in the afternoon so I thought running would give me the most condensed workout for the time I could allow.

On Tuesday I did nothing.  On Wednesday I made up for my lazy Tuesday.  Susan and I rode our bikes 9.5 miles in the neighborhood in the morning.  Then we went to lunch at a new restaurant in Locust Grove.  On the drive back home I tried to find an inch/lbs torque wrench to properly remount my XLab carbon wing.  I removed my wing for the time trial I rode last Saturday.  Unsuccessful in my search for the correct torque wrench I decided to use my ft/lbs torque wrench.  Thirty inch/lbs is about 2.5 ft/lbs.  After we returned home I swam 1.9 miles in the lake.  Shortly after my swim I was on my bike and headed for the Epic Bikes shop for a club ride.  I rode another 38.5 miles with, and without the group.  Without the group was getting to and from the shop and my subtle way of saying that I got dropped.

Thursday was another kick it day.  I rode with Susan in the morning, swam 2 miles before noon and ran 8 miles in the afternoon.  I was beat!

On Friday I did a 42 mile solo ride on many of the same roads that I ride each week with Southern Crescent Cycling.  The difference in this ride was that I rode the course backwards.  That gave me a whole different view of the area.  There were several times when I questioned whether I had taken a wrong turn.

I was too tired to swim or run on Saturday.

To summarize my training for the week; I swam 3.9 miles, rode 100 miles and ran 25 miles for a total of just over 12 hours of exercise.  As usually, I'm a bit shy of my goal.  I missed my mark by 3 hours and 30 minutes.  There's just not enough time in the day!

Thanks for reading.

Medical Tent Visits

When I ran the Atlanta Half-Marathon back in 1994, I did so with too little prior training.  I've always considered myself a runner so, what harm could a little race do?  I ran with Ben, my wife's girlfriend's boyfriend.  Since I hadn't registered for the race and my wife's girlfriend had registered but was she was unable to run, I ran as Nancy.  I wore her numbered race bib.  Ben and I ran together for the first 7 or 8 miles before I was overcome with the urge to quicken my pace.  If I recall correctly I finished the race in 1:55:54.  My only other previous half-marathon race was 10 years earlier at Ft. Bliss in El Paso, Texas in 1984.  I finished 5th overall in that race with a time of 1:29:32.  It was a very small race.

After the 1994 Atlanta half-marathon was over I was stiff.  Of course, I did all the wrong things to treat my stiffness.  I should have taken some sort of anti-inflammatory medication and iced down my knees.  Instead, I took a warm bath to get ready for Thanksgiving dinner and I took no medication.  Later that day my knees basically seized up.  I could hardly bend them.  For the next 15 years, until 2009 I always had some degree of knee pain.  Stretching was my only relief.  I religiously stretched my knees, calves, and quad-muscles before and sometimes after each run.

In 2009 I started running again with more conviction.  As I ran more I stretched less.  Since I'm doing triathlons I added cycling and swimming to my training in 2010.

So, now I find myself in the summer of 2011 with almost no knee pain.  I do have some soreness but that's probably due to muscle overuse.  I've gotten to where I stretch very little now.  However, if you've seen my pictures from the 2010 Ironman Augusta 70.3 and the 2011 Gulf Coast Triathlon you'll see that after both races I went straight to the medical tent to ice my knees.  I leave the ice packs on my knees for about 45 minutes and they're as good as new.  You can bet that I'll be in the medical tent after Ironman Florida too.

2010 Ironman Augusta 70.3 Medical Tent
2011 Gulf Coast Triathlon Medical Tent
Take care of your knees!

Thanks for reading.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Another Incident!

I think that triathletes are people of action.  I know that in my case I'd much rather get something done than sit around and talk about it.  Except when it comes to refinishing my basement!  That's been a five year project that I'm not even close to finishing.  Sorry Honey!  Anyway, if we're not people of action by nature, all the training and competition seems to turn us into that type of person.  Maybe it's all the extra testosterone coursing through our bodies.  Maybe it's the lack of sleep that makes us grumpy and it just seems like we want to act when what we really want to do is nothing.  Either way it makes me feel like I get stuff done whether or not that is truly the case. 

So, here's my story.  Just after noon on Sunday while driving to work I saw a person litter.  After running miles and miles along the roadside seeing all the trash and wondering where it all came from I finally had my answer.  The trash comes from people driving down the road oblivious to their surroundings and uncaring about their community.  Lazy and selfish are two adjectives that come to mind to describe most litterers.  The litterer I saw this day was not from your standard one piece of trash hooligan.  This was a mob boss.  Not one who threw down a gum wrapper with the precision of a trained sniper but one with the audacity to shoot randomly and indiscriminately across the landscape like Al Capone and the perpetrators of the Valentine's Day Massacre.  Instead of guns, this mob boss used old shoes, paper, plastic and Styrofoam as his weapons of choice to perpetrate his crime.

As I drove passed the driving range on Thornton Blvd in Jonesboro and made a right turn onto Noah's Ark Road I saw a small truck with a bed precariously filled with trash.  As we both drove west a huge bunch of trash exited the truck bed.  I knew this would happen the second I saw the truck.  What kind of idiot loads a vehicle like that?  Maybe The Grinch that Stole Christmas as he packed up that sleigh full of stolen presents from Whoville.  As I passed over the trash I hit my horn like the engineer on a train trying to warn a school bus full of first graders stuck on a railroad track.  The driver pulled to the side of the road, got out, walked around to the back of his truck and checked his remaining unsecured load.  I stopped a few hundred yards down the road at an intersection before the red light sensor and waited watching in my rear view mirror.  With nothing happening I whipped my truck around at the intersection like Bo driving the General Lee in The Dukes of Hazard.  I called 911 and told the operator what I had seen and gave her the vehicle tag number.  With me looking on from the distance, the driver got back into his truck and continued on his way aware but unrepentant for his littering.  As he drove by me I yelled to his about the trash he had just left in the road.  The driver looked toward me before he continued driving and turning south onto Hwy 54 and then west onto Betty Talmadge Avenue.  He was probably destined for some secluded gravel road in the wood to dump his load.  The county dump is closed on Sunday. 

After giving the 911 operator a description of the vehicle and the tag number she said that they would look out for the vehicle.  She didn't ask what direction he was traveling.  I ended the call unsatisfied that anything would get done. 

It's a good thing my wife wasn't in my truck at the time.  She would have been yelling at me to stop the whole time.  I continued my drive to work allowing my blood pressure to slowly return to normal.  At work I recounted my adventure to my co-workers.  My blood was boiling with each telling.

Later that night I drove home the same way.  I paid special attention to the area where the trash was laid.  I couldn't believe it.  The trash was gone.  I don't know if the driver returned later to pick it up or if the county had done something but it was gone.  I was not expecting that.  However, I do know this, had I done nothing then nothing would have been done.

Thanks for reading.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Seven Down - Thirteen Weeks to Go!

I took Sunday off.  It was supposed to be my recovery day anyway but since I missed Friday and Saturday I thought I might go ahead and do something.  I had to work a lot on all three days so I stuck with my gut, did nothing and got ready for Monday.

On Monday Susan and I rode 10 miles in the morning in our neighborhood.  Later in the day I rode with the Southern Crescent Cycling folks.  I finished the day with 57 miles on the books.

Southern Crescent Cycling riders
Jose, Avery and Jason (l-r)
The group getting ready to turn right onto Hill View Road
On Tuesday Susan and I went to the neighborhood pool to cool off after riding 10 more miles though the neighborhood.  I took my first underwater pictures with my new Olympus camera.  My Camera Equipment

Underwater picture with my Olympus Stylus Tough 6000
Later in the day I swam 1.9 miles in the lake then I ran 1 mile.  I guess it was a brick.  I had intended to run more but Susan was at home making dinner so I cut it short, way short.  As I walked to the water's edge I had to watch out for poison ivy.  I get a rash every year and 2011 is no different.  I just got rid of a rash on my leg and I don't want to get another one.

Poison Ivy
Leaves of Three - Let it Be!
On Wednesday I rode with my Southern Crescent Cycling buds again.  The ride started at 6:15pm.  Like Monday, I rode the 8.5 miles to Epic Bikes to meet the group.  I brought with me 3 full Camelbak Chill insulated bottles.  Each bottle holds 22 ounces of fluid which I had filled hours earlier and placed in the freezer.  When I left on my ride they were almost frozen solid.  I also brought a frozen 16.9 ounce bottle of Gatorade.  I rode 42 miles in the blistering heat and drank all 82.9 ounces of fluid before I got back home 2 1/2 hours later.  When I got home I drank some more!

Thursday was an off day.  This is a recovery week after all!  Instead of working out I spent the evening setting up my bike for the Southern Crescent Cycling Time Trial on Saturday.  It started with a cleaning followed by a bit of oil.  I removed my training wheels and replaced them with my Flashpoint FP60's.  I also removed my bento box and XLab carbon wing with the bottle cages and spare tube and tools.  I won't need any of this stuff for my TT.  I also taped over the vent holes in my Giro Advantage 2 aero helmet. 

On Friday Susan, Eileen and I rode through the neighborhood.  We rode 10.5 miles in 1 hour.  Needless to say, we were not kickin' it but it was a nice ride.

Saturday was my big time trial day and the last day for this week's training.  It's not necessarily a big time trial, only 12 (11.73) miles, but it was big to me.  I was anxiously waiting for Saturday to arrive since I heard about the TT a few weeks ago.  With the miles for the TT and the ride to and from the course I'd ridden 40 miles in about 2 hours.  Not a bad finish to my recovery week!

A summary of my week is 11 hours of training.  My plan called for 13 hours.  I was a bit short.  I did no running, had only one long swim session, but I biked 160 miles in 9 1/2 hours.

Next week is a long week with almost 16 hours of training planned.  Time to kick it up a notch!

Thanks for reading.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Southern Crescent Cycling Time Trial - Race Report

The inaugural Southern Crescent Cycling Time Trial is in the books.  What fun!  I woke up at 6am on Saturday morning, drank a smoothie and some coffee, took a shower, got dressed, loaded up my truck, and was on the road by 6:30am.  We met at Epic Bikes to select starting slots and start our warm up ride to the Atlanta Motor Speedway area in Hampton, GA.  The course start/finish and turn-around had been swapped around.  The change was probably good because it put the turn-around, which we had to navigate twice, at the wider and more visible GA20 end of the course on Richard Petty Blvd.  Two 6 mile loops complete the 12 mile course.

The course was not on closed roads so we had to be cognizant of any traffic.  The race started early on a Saturday morning so traffic was probably lighter than usual.

I drew #10 in the starting lineup.  Riders left the start in 1 minute intervals.  My wife Susan and our neighbor Eileen came to watch and take pictures.  They kept David company while all the riders were on the course.

My TT ready 2010 Quintana Roo CD0.1 - all unnecessary equipment has been removed
My TT ready Giro Advantage 2 aero helmet - tape over vent holes
Me at the start of the TT
Race Results
PlaceNameTimeAvg. Speed
1Kimberly Mayben38:0418.49
PlaceNameTimeAvg. Speed
1Neil Farmer30:5522.76
2Ken Barbret32:2521.71
3Carlos Talbott32:2921.67
4John Nolan33:0521.27
5Steve Church33:2621.05
6Roland Grimm34:2820.42
7Derek Smith34:5920.12
8Marriner Smith35:2319.89
9Terry Shave35:3719.76
10Ben Hart37:0718.96
11Phillip Vowell37:2318.83
12Greg Ferrie37:4418.65
13Alan Hudson37:5118.59
14Neil Coleman38:1718.38

Thanks to David Mills for organizing this event and handling all the logistics including, but not limited to, prepping the course, timing, calculating and posting the results.  Thanks to Epic Bikes for always letting the us use the shop as a base of operations and for the free socks.
Southern Crescent Cycling Time Trial

Thanks for reading.