Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Muskoka 70.3

On Friday morning when I headed to work (lucky me) Janda headed up to Canada with Amanda and Matt. After flying to Buffalo and driving to Muskoka, he was there in time to register on Friday and enjoy the welcome dinner. Luckily they had free phone service at the resort, so he could call me a couple of times that night (it was pretty lonely just me and the cats.)

The next morning I caught my flight to Buffalo. I got there around 11am and started the 4 hour drive up to Muskoka. There is tons of construction happening around Toronto, so some parts of the drive were pretty hairy. Once you get north of Toronto, you head out onto some smaller highways and those were some long roads. Finally I arrived in Huntsville around 3:30 or so. A couple of minutes after I pulled into the hotel Janda, Matt and Amanda pulled in from driving the course. We all headed over to the resort where Janda and Amanda set up transition and Janda had the pro meeting. Since I had been stuck traveling all day I went out and did my workout, 12 hills sprints up a short, very steep and somewhat slippery grass hill. After I jogged back I found Janda fixing his bike in transition. Once he got his bike back into top form we headed back to the hotel to shower up and get some dinner.
Transition in front of the fancy resort
Since the race didn’t begin until 8am, we actually got to sleep in a little, until about 5:30. At 6:30ish we headed over to the resort. Matt and I dropped off Janda and Amanda and headed to the airstrip. Driving down that road with a minivan was a little crazy, but we got a spot and immediately jumped on a bus to get to the resort. Janda was out running when I got there, so I hung around the pro transition (I hope that no one thought I was an Alexander groupie!) and waited for my guy. When he got back I was trying to hurry him up so that he could get in a good swim warmup, but anyone who knows Janda knows that it’s impossible to get him to hurry! We ended up running down to the swim start and somehow I made it past the checkpoint and onto the beach with the athletes (off to the side and out of the way obviously). Once on the beach I helped Janda yank on his wetsuit (harder than usual when you’re already wet) and he took off for a short warmup. They called the athletes back, played the anthem and the race began. It actually began before the gun went off, everyone just started swimming. Janda told me post race that Cunningham and Lessing were joking around out there and just started going. At that point everyone started swimming and the guys on the beach hit the horn. It was strange.

Janda getting ready before the race.
Janda heading out on the swim (to the far right with sleeves).
After a short delay (getting lost on the resort!), I made it up to transition to wait for Janda. After the swim, which seemed a little long, the athletes have to run up a pretty steep hill to get back to transition, so it felt like I was waiting forever. The tops swimmers all came out and headed off and 
then about 6 minutes later Janda came through.

Janda in transition after the swim.
The bike is the worst part for me because there is such a long wait and so many things can happen on the bike. I'm edge the whole time. For the first time ever in a race I actually sat down and ate while Janda was on the bike. After we watched Amanda head out, Matt and I went into the resort and had a good but ridiculously overpriced breakfast. (Thanks Matt!) We made it into the restaurant just in time, as we were eating a line developed outside and by the time we left it was all the way back to the lobby, about 60-80 people long.

Janda running his bike in.

We went back outside to wait for the riders to come back to transition. The ride was about 4k long, so it seemed like forever. After heading out on the bike in 18th, Janda made it back to transition in 9th, with the lead pack of 5 and a chase group of 3 in front of him. The first section of the run is 9-10 miles out on the roads of Huntsville and the last 3+ miles are around the golf course. As he was heading out onto the golf course Janda was in 6th place with the 7th place guy hanging on. About a half mile later, Janda had shaken that guy and was rapidly closing in on 5th place, Brent McMahon. Every half mile he was taking back 30ish seconds. Because they were winding around the golf course, I could see how close Janda was getting to that guy and with 3k to go the deficit had dropped to 35 seconds. I could hardly contain myself I was so excited.
Janda at about 9 miles.
Janda solidifying 6th place and moving on 5th place on the golf course.
After he ran by me the last 3k were on the other side of the course, so I went to the finishing chute and waited. In came Alexander with a pretty big lead. Next were Cunningham, then Bretscher and Lessing. Now I was getting nervous, would Janda be 5th or would McMahon hold him off? I didn’t have to wait long; a minute and a half later Janda came storming down the chute. Because of the humid conditions, Janda was having some asthma problems, but a few puffs of his inhaler and some sport drink and he was doing better.tter.t
You know it's a tough course when Janda does a 4:20!
We headed down to the beach so that he could clean off and while we were there it started pouring again. Thank goodness there was a gazebo, so we just hung there until it subsided and then went back up to the finish to see Amanda finish her race. She was second in her age group, so it was a successful day all around.
Janda on the podium with the top 8 pros. For some reason they lined them up all out of order, but the top 5 starts with Janda and goes left. That's Alexander next to him. Not bad company, eh?
We went back to the resort to dry off, eat and wait for the awards. It was pretty cool to see Janda receiving his award (and cash prize) up there with Alexander, Cunningham, etc… After that we got the stuff from transition and headed back to the hotel to survey the damage. Most every was wet and dirty, so there was a lot of cleaning, newspaper stuffing, blow-drying and hanging of our stuff.

Another 4 hour drive the next morning and we stopped at Niagara
to visit the water falls, which were awesome. We walked all along the falls on the Canadian side and went into the underground, under the falls tunnel. After a couple of hours there it was back to the airport and home to see the kitties.
The far side of the Canadian falls.
Janda with the mist rising behind him.
The Canadian side of the falls.
Me getting drenched on the observation deck. All of a sudden the wind blew half of the waterfall onto my head.
Luckily we have no more traveling until Ironman Florida. But then it will be 2 consecutive weekends in FL- 1 for Ironman and the other for Clearwater (just spectating/coaching as 8 or 9 of Janda’s athletes qualified). It’s hard to believe the season’s almost over for Janda, but it’s sure been great so far!
Looking back over the clouds on the plane. Goodbye Canada.

This Week in Training

.5 mile warmup, drills & strides
12x30m 2 min rec

2.5 mile run
6x100m stride

3 mile run
10x30s hard/30s easy

Cat adoption day

3 mile run to my parents

1 mile warmup, drills
12x30m hill sprints
1 mile cooldown

Muskoka 70.3

Sunday, September 7, 2008

This Week in Training

.5 mile warmup
10x40m hill repeats all-out
.25 mile cooldown

.5 mile warmup
10x100m 30 sec rec

.5 mile warmup, drills & strides
12x50m 2 min rec
(6.51, 6.45, 6.42, 6.48, 6.34, 6.49, 6.36, 6.56, 6.17, 6.39, 6.37, 6.39)

Off -Cats' surgery day

3 miles easy

.75 mile warmup
8x150 30s rec
.25 mile cooldown

.75 mile warmup, drills & strides
5x100m 4 min rec
(14.2, 14.8, 14.3, 14.3, 14.0)
.75 mile cooldown

And finished it all off with a whoopie pie from Pumpkinman!

Pumpkinman Sprint

Despite the torrential rain that we drove through to get to the Pumpkinman race, the race itself actually had pretty good weather. The rain cleared up just as we arrived to the race, a little bit later than we had expected. After Janda got registered, we heard an announcement that there was 10 minutes left until transition closed. Since Janda's bike was still in the car, that was a bit of a time crunch. Janda's warmup consisted of running his bike to transition, running back to the car to get his googles, and running to the swim start. Not exactly ideal.

The swim got off to a pretty good start for Janda. He hung onto Dean's heels for a bit and then came out of the water only about 45 seconds back from the top 3 guys, Dean, Nick and Tony Delonge. After he ran up a super-steep hill to transition, he was out on the bike. Not surprisingly, Dean killed everyone on the bike and it was up to the other guys to try to run him down. Janda had to make up over a minute on Tony and over two minutes on Dean, so it all came down to the run. He chased Nick out of transition and had the fastest run of the day, but it wasn't fast enough to catch Dean and Tony so he finished third overall. He was on the podium and got a paycheck, so not bad all things considered.

Running up the killer hill in a wetsuit!

Speeding out of transition.

Coming down the finish chute.

After the race we waited to see how Janda's other athletes were doing. Despite the poor conditions, every did really well. Craig was 8th overall and creamed his age-group and Amanda finished third woman overall and had the fastest female bike split of the day. After everyone finished and cooled down, we hit the food tent. There was a large variety of food: clam chowder, chili, pasta salad, bagels, fruit, muffins and the piece de resistance- two flavors of whoopie pies, chocolate and pumpkin. Everything was really good and there were even some left over mini chocolate whoopie pies to bring home for later!

The award ceremony was nice and after the ceremony the race winner told me and I quote "I like your blog" That might have been the highlight of the day for me, even cool as a cucumber Janda thought that was pretty cool.

Podium shot: Dean, Tony and Janda
(They are all on different height podiums, Dean's just THAT tall!)
After the ceremony ended we headed home, making a quick stop at the Kittery Outlets where I got some running tights and casual shoes at the Nike outlet and Janda found a new pair of racing flats for his last two races of the season. All in all it was a very successful day and we were back home mid-afternoon.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

The Last Official Weekend of Summer

On top of the island at Good Harbor Beach

Looking out to the ocean and Rockport from the island at Good Harbor Beach

Heading back down to the beach from the island

The sun setting on our summer!