Monthly Archives: July 2008

What to do next

I need to decide what I want to for th rest of the year in terms of races. I definetly want to do another half ironman this year but I need to figure out which one.

  1. I can do the Patriots Half on September 7th in Williams burg, VA and still be able to do the Marine Corps Marathon in October.
  2. Or I can do the the Longhorn 70.3 in Austin Texas on October 5th. This mean I would probably not do the Marine Corps Marathon and do an early spring marathon instead. 

I think I would like the Longhorn race better because it’s an Ironman race ad I really enjoyed that big race atmosphere in Rhode Isand. The problem is it will cost more money, and I would need to reschedule my marathon plan, but that’s not a big issue. Adam is also doing this race.

The Patriots Half is a smaller “local” race so it would cost less. The family would probably be able to see the race which is nice.

I need to think about this and try to come up with a choice in the next week or sooner.

 

I’ve been taking it really easy this week. I didn’t do anything on Monday and then Tuesday and Wednesday I went in the pool and did some technique work. I went running for the first time since the race this afternoon and my legs felt like crap. I think I need to take it really easy the rest of the week to make sure I don’t hurt myself, I may even go get a massage this weekend.

 

I also went to a Frederick Keys game today. It brought back a lot of good memories, I went to a lot of these games growing up and use to be one of those kids fighting for a foul ball. In high school one of the leagues I was in had games at the axillary field there and we actually played a few games in the stadium. That was actually a really good team, I was one of only a few guys who didn’t play in college so we really dominated that league. Lots of funny times and stories playing games with that team. 

Earlier in the year former Georgia Tech catcher Matt Weiters was playing with the Keys but he was doing so good the Orioles moved him and his six million dollar signing bonus up to the double A team.

    

 

It has also been brought to my attention that I have yet to actually come up with a name for my blog. I was thinking about when I first started writing and got stumped so I just left it. I was waiting for an “a ha” moment to hit me with the correct name but it hasn’t happened yet. I’ll start thinking about it again and try to come up with something good, but any suggestions would appreciated.

Ironman Rhode Island 70.3 Race Report

PreRace

There were a lot of prerace logistics involved in this race. We went to pick up the race packets on Saturday. The athletes guide said they opened at 8:30 and we got there and found out they did not ope til 10, so we hung out for  a while and started the line. That was a very good decision because if we got there any later in the day it would have been a 2-3 hour wait to pick up the race packet. I picked up some shirts and a hat during the expo.  

The race started at Roger Wheeler State Beach in Narragansett, RI which was about 45 minutes away but finished in downtown Providence. This meant you had to get your bike down to the beach on Saturday for storage overnight. You also had to have a “clean” transition area. That meant everything had to be in one of the provided bags.

The green one is for your morning clothes to be transported to the finish. The black one is for your bike stuff and then your wetsuit after you get out of the water and put your bike stuff. There was a red bag that was used for the run gear and dropped off in downtown Providence. 

We got everything taken care of on Friday and did some swimming to see what the current felt like.

Sunday was an early wake up call. The race started at 6:00 am and the shuttle bus to the race start left at 3:30 so that meant the alarm went off at 2:55. What was interesting about this was seeing all triathletes walking in their spandex with their families to the bus loading area while a good stream of people were coming back after a night out parting.  There was a lot of weird looks exchanged.

We got to the race start fine and I made sure the bike was ok. My wave didn’t go off until 7:05 so I had a lot of time to wait. I was able to see the pros start and do the transition.

Swim (1.2 miles, 35:52, 1:53/100m)

These are some pictures I took from Saturday. It looks like a really long way when you stand on the shore and look out, it’s all the way out to the orange in the first picture. The swim was exactly what I was expecting in terms of time. The course was a counter clockwise loop of a narrow rectangle. I started towards the front and on the outside right. This was first rae with an ocean swim and I enjoyed the start with running into the waves and diving through them.

The out part of the course was uneventful I stayed off towards the right and only had to navigate through two or three people and was able to stay on the feet of someone about as fast as me.  

It started to get congested at the turn and I had to slow down as I caught up to some people in an earlier wave. Heading back toward the beach I got pushed off course a little by the current and had to correct myself a few times.

I tried to catch a wave back in when I got towards the beach but wasn’t able to. I looked at my watch to check my time and was very happy with it.

T1 (4:53)

There was a decent run from the beach to the bike area. My time was on the longer side because I decided to visit the bathroom before the bike instead of taking a break once on the bike.

Bike (56 miles, 3:11:44, 17.52 mph)

 

The course was point to point and covered most of the state. The first half of the bike was fantastic. It went along the coast and we biked under this bridge/castle thing near Narragansett state beach before heading along some gorgeous coast line. The race photographers got some good pictures with the water in the background that I looking forward to seeing.

I was also moving along very fast I avered about 22 mph over the first 24 miles on the course. We drove the course on the way back from the beach Saturday which was good because I knew what to expect and where the hills were at.

At about mile 25 I rode over a fairly large rock in the road and I think that’s how I got my flat. But however it happened I got a flat and stopped to fix it. This was my first flat ever and the first time I had to change a tube with my new race wheels. I took off the tire and removed the tube. Because the wheels have deep rims there is also a valve extender that needs to added so you can still have access to the valve when the tube is on. I put the extender on and put the tube and tire back together. I then went to use the CO2 to re-inflate the tube.

It didn’t work and I figured I used to the CO2 wrong so I took out my other carterige and tried it again. Same thing, no pressure in the tire. I thougth about it for a second and realized I forgot to open the valve on the tube before I put the extender on. I fixed it but I was out of CO2 so I had to wait and hope someone with a pump came by.

I waited for about twenty minutes and luckily someone stopped and had a pump for me to use. It was a guy and his two kids driving the course just helping people out. I thanked them and continued on my way.

I got a half mile down the rode and realized my quick release lever on the front wheel was on three quarters of the way closed so I had to stop and close that.

Afterwards I finished up the bike uneventfully. There was one decent climb but the rest was fast and somewhat flat/downhill. I took it easy on some of the downhills because I was worried about the tire the whole way. The roads heading into downtown got really rough and narrow which cost me some more time but overall it was a nice and fast course.

I stopped my garmin when I went to fix the flat and started it again when I got going. Without the flat I would have gone about 2:45 for about a 20 mph average which was what I was looking for.

T2 ( 2:30)

The transition was on the state capital grounds which was really neat.

 

Run (13.1 miles, 2:16:43, 10:26/mile)

This was the part I was worried about. With the ankle injury a few months ago I missed a lot of run training and knew that I wasn’t where I needed to be at to have a fast run.

I got out of transistion and onto the run with my legs feeling good. The course was two laps so there was a lot of people out on the course, the atmosphere was amazing. After about a 1/2 mile I came to the hill that went up to Brown University. This was like nothing I have run on before, it was used for street luge when the X-games took place in Providence. I ran half way up the hill and walked the rest when I relized I was going so slow it wasn’t worth the extra effort to run. Once you got up to the top of hill it was less hilly but there really wasn’t a flat spot on the course.

I made sure I was stopping at every aid station to get water, gatorade, and an orange every other mile. This seemed to be just the right amount of food for me. They also had sponges that were soaked in ice cold water which where fantastic since it was starting to get hotter out.

You also had to go back down the hill which was interesting to be doing on tired legs. I got to the turn around in about 1:02 which I felt was a good time.

I saw Adam coming down towards the finish on his second lap as I was going out again, he came in at just over five hours because of an awesome 2:30 bike split. He set a PR by about 20 minutes.

The second time around I stopped at the aid station at the bottom of the big hill and walked up the entire way. When I got to the top of hill I was exhausted. The rest of the way was a jog/walk between aid stations and gutting it out to the finish.

I came back down the hill and the last aid station. The volunteers asked if I wanted to be drenched in water and I said yes, they all emptied their cups they had on me and felt great. All of the volunteers and spectators on the course had a great attitude and were so helpful.

I ran the last mile and half to the finish which was in a great spot right on the steps of the capital building. It was such a rush to come down the finish chute and complete the race.

Postrace

I was exhausted. I stood for the finish line and then stumbled around to get some food and sit down. I watched some more people finish and then grabbed all my gear and went back to the hotel, showered and went out to get some food. We wound up at the cheesecake factory which was right across the street from the finish line and had an enormous amount of food and watched some the last people finish up. I went back to the hotel room and took a four and half hour “nap”, woke up for about two hours and then went to sleep for the night.  

The overall time wasn’t what I was looking for but considering all the things that I had to go through with the ankle injury and the bike incident the fact I was able to finish was great. I would have exceed my goal by a wide margin if I had taken care of the flat correctly which also feels good.

This was a fantastic experience and I am ready to sign up for the next one and set a new PR. I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of the race. I am also thinking there may be a full Ironman in my future but I’ll wait and see on that one.

 

Determination 

What I found extremely motivating was the disabled athletes division, particularly a wheelchair racer. If I recall correctly from the local paper he was injured in a boating accident and lost both legs. I saw him getting into the water right after the pro start and get beat around by the waves as he was heading out.

I saw him again on the run course when I was going the down big hill and he was coming up it. He was in a wheelchair like the one below. 

How he got himself up that hill I have no idea but that was absolutely amazing. He had one hand on the crank up front and the other on the back wheel acting as a brake to stop him from rolling back down the hill. I came back up for my second loop and saw him just over the top of the hill. It probably took him about twenty minutes to make it up that hill and he had to do it a second time. When I saw him at the top of the hill I noticed he had bandages on his shoulder and arm, it turned out he had a crash earlier in the race but got cleaned up and kept going.

Ironman Rhode Island 70.3 Quick Race Summary

Swim (1.2 miles): 35:52 (1:53 per 100m)

T1: 4:53

Bike (56 miles): 3:11:44 (17.52 MPH avg)

T2: 2:23

Run(13.1 miles): 2:16:43 (10:26/mile)

Total: 6:11:35

Rank: 811/~1600, AG 43/77

 

The swim went just I had hoped for probably better. It was my race in the Ocean and got a little of course with the waves and current.

T1 was long because I visited the bathroom.

The bike was great for the first 25 miles. Then I got a flat tire and had to stop. I wound up messing up the CO2 containers used to re inflate the tires so I had to wait for an official with a pump. I stopped my garmin when I got out to fix it, and that ordeal cost me about 20-25 minutes. Without the stop I did a 2:48:xx which is about a 20.0 mph average which was what I was shooting for. The course was beatufil with the first third mostly along the ocean.

T2 was uneventful. When I was running with my cycling shoes on it felt I was going to have a blister but was fortunate I did not.

The run was hard. It had an absurd hill on it and was two loops so you got to do it twice. It was from downtown Providence up to Brown University. I heard they used if for street luge races when they had the X-Games there. The second loop was really difficult, there was a lot of walking on that second loop.

Overall I was happy with the result. My main goal from the start of the year was to break 6 hours. That would have easily happened without the flat, but that’s part of racing so I have to deal with it.

I’ll write up a lot more about this tomorrow when I get home, and put some pictures and GPS up as well.

Trip to Boston

We took a trip to Boston for the day. We used the Amtrak to go up there. It was the first time I used a train for city to city transportation and it worked out really well. I got to read the paper and there was only two stops before ours.

Boston was an interesting town it is a very gritty and historic town.

First stop was to the capital

House of Representatives

At least they won’t get confused when it’s time to vote

We went and saw a lot of churches and other things along the historic walk. Some of the places cost money so we didn’t go into those.

I thought the graveyards were interesting to see the how old they were.

They also had a mini Washington monument obelisk which resulted in some good pictures.

 

After that we went over to the Sam Adams brewery

They gave you a label to designate which tour you were in. It made me feel like Charlie and Chocolate Factory with the golden ticket.

Unfortunately there weren’t any of these guys:

The tour guide did a great job, he was really funny. He went over the entire process and what makes Sam Adams unique.

 The brewery in Boston is actually an R&D and quality facility. They are having a contest to figure out what the new beer flavor should be so I got try them both and vote. Lots of fun, hopefully mine wins it was a blackberry flavor vs a coffee flavor. I voted blackberry.

Then we got to go the tasting room.

 

After Sam Adams we took the train over to MIT, got a late lunch and wandered around a bit.

MIT was kinda weird, it didn’t have a ‘campus’ feel to it, I didn’t like it that much.

After that we went back into downtown and did some people watching at the Boston Commons park. The population of Boston is much better looking then I thought it would be. It was an interesting park, it had a little pond you could go in and lots of people hanging out and walking around. They actually had a little league game going on in the park as well that I watched for a little bit.

We tried to find some decently priced seafood down by the waterfront but that wasn’t going to happen so we into an small dive bar to grab a couple drinks, and then got some Asian/noodles food for dinner. Hopped on the train back to Providence and that was it.

 

I love the Boston accent, it makes laugh when I overhear people’s conversations and certain words being said.

Oh, and everyone was wearing Red Sox gear. I wonder if everyone was this in love with the team when they weren’t winning? If they have always raised kids like this here then that provides the answer to my question.

In Providence [Edit Updated Race time]

 

I am safely in Providence, RI for the race on the Sunday. In case your are interested you can track my progress on line Sunday morning at ironman.com they will put up the splits for the swim,bike, and run as they happen. I will post my race number when I get it but you can also search by name. My swim starts at about 7:00 I think it might be 7:30 I’ll know more later 7:04. But rough guess on times swim 35-40 minutes, bike 2 hour 40 min to 3 hours, run about 2 hours.

The hotel is really nice, it’s the first hotel I’ve stayed in that has an HD tv. I wanted to go to Newport today bu didn’t get the opportunity because the ride up here took so long, driving through New York sucked.

Adam had his bike shipped here from CA so he needed to take it out for a ride today to make sure everything was ok. We are staying in downtown Providence and decided we would try to bike around downtown. We talked to valet parker and he told us about a big path near the canal. We headed down that way but it looked like we were getting ready to head onto I-95 so we gave up on that.

Heading back towards the hotel we saw another triathlete so we biked over and asked him if he knew where he was going. He said no, he was just doing laps from the capital to Brown and around downtown to follow the run course.

We did a lap with him, and what an F***ing nut job this guy was. He had no regard for the fact that he was biking through the downtown of a city. He was all over the place on the rode and assumed it was every cars resposibility to stop for him. We made it one lap with him and that was it.

Going over the run course it is a lot hillier then I thought it would be. It’s going to be tough.

I’m heading over to Boston for the day tomorrow. I’ve never been there before so it should be fun and I should have lots of pictures.

Peachtree 10k Pics

I finally was able to get the pictures off of my phone. I looked through them and realized I didn’t take any of me, Joe, or Sara actually running during the race.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I also found this one on my phone. I was surprised I still had if after I lost my phone, maybe since AT&T let me keep my number I also kept my old photos.

 

Tiger Woods Newsletter

 

NEWSLETTER

Tiger
 
 
 

 

July 8, 2008

By Tiger Woods

First, I want to congratulate Anthony Kim for winning the AT&T National. He played a nearly flawless final round Sunday at Congressional Country Club, shooting a bogey-free 65 on a difficult golf course. Any time you can do that on such a great venue, it’s no fluke. I called Anthony to congratulate him. I told him to keep working hard and that the sky is the limit. No reason to stop now.

I thought the event went very well. We had a diverse field, the course was in wonderful condition, and everyone had a good time. I think there were 14 players within five strokes of the lead starting play Sunday, so it was an exciting championship.

My thanks to AT&T, all the staff and members at Congressional Country Club, the military, the volunteers, the fans and the players for their hard work and support. Special thanks to Fred Couples for standing in for me during the opening ceremonies.

One thing I’m really proud of is that the money we raise at the AT&T National goes back into the local community. I’m excited about expanding my Foundation to the East Coast and making a real difference for the kids there. We’re taking our time researching how to best help the local kids and hope to have something to announce soon.

As for me, it was tough watching the AT&T National on television. It’s my tournament and I felt disappointed I couldn’t be there. I’m sure I drove our staff crazy with all my calls and text messages, but I wanted to stay as involved as possible. They all did a great job!

Winning the U.S. Open for my 14th major title was an amazing accomplishment. I’d have to say it was the biggest win of my pro career. Some people have mentioned the 1997 Masters, but for me as a player, the U.S. Open was more difficult. I still don’t know how I did it. Why did I do it? Am I that stubborn?

The three reasons I played were: 1) It was Torrey Pines, a place where I grew up playing and have had a lot of success; 2) I was comfortable on the course and knew the greens; 3) I knew it was going to be my last event of the year.

When I had arthroscopic surgery on my left knee after the Masters, I knew my ACL was basically shot. I was just trying to get through the season, then planned to have reconstructive surgery. Unfortunately for me, I developed two stress fractures during my rehabilitation and that set me back.

I wanted to play in the Memorial Tournament, but couldn’t walk. I just figured if I took it easy for a couple weeks, I would be able to play in the U.S. Open.

I was hitting the ball well enough. I wasn’t hitting a lot of balls, but worked hard on my putting. It’s amazing what happens when you practice your putting.

Once the pain subsided, I could hit four or five balls at a time and then I would have to sit down in the cart because the stress fractures hurt so much. Then I would hit a few more balls and go home for the day. That’s how I got ready for the U.S. Open.

When I walked, my knee throbbed, but it wasn’t a shooting pain. Most of the pain came when I swung the club. Certain shots I couldn’t lean forward – that was the frustrating part.

I didn’t really have a go-to shot because I wasn’t sure where the pain was coming from. I hit a 40-yard pitch shot and felt I was going to fall over. Saturday was pretty bad, but Sunday was worse.

Honestly, I never thought about quitting. I was going to make it. I might have been slow, but I wasn’t going to stop playing.

Would I do it again? Probably. I knew I could win; it was just a matter of dealing with the pain and executing. The day after the tournament, my knee was done. I couldn’t stop limping. It’s amazing what adrenaline does to a system.

As everyone knows, I’m a pretty active person and don’t like sitting around. Unfortunately, I don’t have much choice right now. Initially, it wasn’t much fun. But I’m on the good side now and starting to get more sleep.

I have spent most of my mornings watching Wimbledon, the afternoon watching AT&T and the evenings watching the U.S. Olympic Trials. I also read and play video games. Anything to get me through the day.

Looking ahead to 2009, I have no idea when I’ll return to competition. I haven’t set a date, because I just don’t know when I’ll be ready. That’s the frustrating part; I don’t know what to look forward to.

The good news is that my stress fractures are healing. If I hadn’t played in the U.S. Open, they would be almost fully healed by now. So, the surgery was a blessing in disguise. By the time I come back, they should be fine.

The thing I’ll miss most about sitting out the rest of the season is not being in the fight. Everybody knows how much I love to compete. I was really looking forward to playing in the British Open at Royal Birkdale, where I finished third in 1998, and trying to defend my title in the PGA Championship at Oakland Hills.

I have been asked if I would consider being an assistant coach for the U.S. Ryder Cup Team in September. I wouldn’t do it for a couple reasons: 1) I’m not on the team. 2) The event should be about the competitors and the competition. The guys will have plenty on their minds and I wish them the best. I’ll be cheering loudly.

I’ll be checking in when I can…

 

That is a newsletter that I receive from the Tiger Woods webpage as part of a mailing list. This sums up my previous post about Tiger’s mental toughness better then I ever could.

Most of the newsletters are usually good but in this one there’s a couple of things that really stick out to me that are part of why he is as great as he is.

  • Goal setting: He doesn’t know when he’s going to be healthy so he can’t set realistic goals to shoot for and keep him motivated, and that makes him upset.
  • Burning desire to win: Tiger says he knew he could win at that was the only reason he played. If he didn’t think he could win he wouldn’t play. From previous quotes that is the way he treats everything he does, if he doesn’t think he is prepared to succeed he won’t do it.
  • Complete Confidence (borderline arrogance?) in his abilities: I think this is probably the most important aspect. He says he couldn’t even hit more than 4 or 5 balls in row without having to sit down but in his mind he still knew he was going to win. That’s some serious mental toughness and confidence. He knew it was going to hurt and it was going to suck but there was no doubt in his mind he could handle it and that would still be good enough to beat everyone else even if they played at their best.     

 

It seems like those three attributes are found in the majority of people that are successful in whatever it is they are doing.

Travel on the 4th of July

Yesterday was a long day.

I got to the airport 2 hours early for my 6:30 flight which is what I like to do. I do the whole check in thing and my flight is delayed until 8:30, oh well I’ll deal with it. I’ll just hang out and read some magazines and do some people watching.

The airport was a zoo, obviously everyone was coming back from the holiday weekend and a lot of flights were delayed.

 (Not Atlanta, just random pic)

What I don’t understand is the way that people react to the news sometimes. I understand if you have a connection and that gets all messed up and requires some headache. What I don’t get is the people that decide to make a scene out of it or start yelling at the ticket counter attendant.

The way I see it, it’s not the ticket attendants fault you got delayed. Yelling at them just removed the slight chance that they would be able to be able to help you out. Sucks for you.  

 

Getting on the flight two hours late we boarded and headed down the runway and got in line we got to the turn around and the pilot comes on to tell everyone that they don’t have our flight path finalized and we need to wait for that (i.e. storms at/near Dulles that we need to wait for). We kept the engine on for the twenty minute wait. It could have just been me but it kinda smelt like jet fuel in the cabin. Whatever I was smelling went away after we got in the air.

Probably about a half hour out from Dulles I think we caught up to the storm we had to wait on earlier. Durning part of the decesent from cruise altitude we hit some turbulence that was one of those “bump, drop, bump” types. The flight attendants were still serving drinks at the time and person in front of me got a lap full of giner ale.

Coming in for the landing I think we were a little lower then the pilot would have liked so the engine got throttled up a little bit more then usual. This resulted in a long roll out and listening to those thrust reversers work extra hard.

I got to ride one of these guys back to the main terminal. For the first time I didn’t zone out the welecome message. Did you know these are “modile lounges” and that they allow you “unfiltered views of the flightline and the interworkings of Dulles International Airport” ?

I pay my parking ticket and head out to the Blue lot on the shuttle. We stop at one of the first drop offs and some guy is waiting there and tells the drive he can’t find his car and was waiting for help for over a half hour. I think to myself, what a jackass why didn’t you write down where you parked.

Well isn’t karama a bitch. I hop out at my stop and look around, huh my car isn’t here. This is where I usually park at. I know I’ll just look on the back of my ticket where I wrote down where I parked at just in case I forgot. 

Yeah, it turns out I left it on the plane on the way down to Atlanta. No problem I’m probably somewhere around here. I’ll just walk around and find it. No such luck. Oh here comes the start of that thunderstorm we were trying to avoid on the flight. So I call the parking office and get someone to help drive me and find my car.

This guy swings by in the pickup and drives me around to find my car. The guy was driving like a bat outta hell. He would go like 45-50 down the parking ailses and stop signs were strickly optional. I think we almost got hit three or four times. We drove around for a while and eventually found my car.

I usually try to park in the back left corner of the lot. On Friday I came in a different entrance and parked in what I though was the back left corner. Well it turns out I parked in the back left corned of the first part of the blue lot, not the second part where I am normally at.

Then I got to drive home in a very bad thunderstorm with what I would call terrential downpours.

At the airport about 4:30 back home about 1:00 am.

At least I didn’t have to work Monday.

Blog traffic

I was looking at my blog stats today for the first time in a while. It looked like the regular reading crowd for the last couple of weeks with a couple of little spikes, and then Monday was an explosion of views.

It turns out if you google general smallwood triathlon or some form of that my blog is the 4th link, it use to be the 3rd but someone else posted a blog about the race and I got bumped down. A lot of people are probably googling that pharse to check for the race results today.

It looks like a big crowd is seeing my race report and that awesome chair I won.