Archive for the ‘video’ Category

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Video: Rev3 Half Iron

June 10, 2009

FYI: This blog has moved to a new address. Catch up on new posts at: http://swimbikerunlive.com/

I handed over my Flip camera to my little sister to shot some video during the race. Check it out peeps.

My family even makes a cameo. My mom shows how much see needlessly worries about me while I race, Allison explains why she will never do a triathlon and Kelsey explains her new crush on Matty Reed. She decided that they can never have kids because they both have chicken legs and their kids wouldn’t be very good looking. But that may have changed when she heard his accent.

And, conveniently, I edited myself coming in to T2 just after Matty Reed. Hey, a guy can dream, right?

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Training Weekend 2009

May 19, 2009

FYI: This blog has moved to a new address. Catch up on new posts at: http://swimbikerunlive.com/

Training weekend totally beat me up this weekend.

After making the road trip up to Franconia, NH on Friday, I woke up bright and early and headed out with the team for a hard 90 mile ride with a belly full of fruit and pancakes.

Last year I stuck to the 60 mile route, but decided to step it up this year and go for the long route. It was definitely a good decision. There were 4 or 5 different groups that started along the same route. I was able to keep up pace with the “A” group for a while, which was a nice fitness test.

Up through the first climb, descending down the other side at around 49 mph (which was pretty slow because of all the wind) and half way through the climb up the Kangamangus, I was able to hang on to the caboose of the”A Train” led by speed freak Toby Wells. I even felt pretty good hanging on the back as we climbed, but once the climb started to get really steep, my HR got dangerously close to my lactate threshold and I had to drop off. Mile 30 is way too early to blow up on a 90 mile ride.

While I love the company of my teammates for the whole weekend, one of my favorite things about training weekend is the views from the road. Surrounded by snow capped mountains, waterfalls an moose crossing signs every few miles, I couldn’t be happier.

While the route was already hard enough, the wind made it pretty brutal. It was gusting around 30 or 40 mph at some points. And when you are heading up the side of a mountain at 12 mph, and a head wind gusting down your throat drops you down to 7 or 8, you just have to do anything you can to stay upright and keep the rubber side down.

Eventually we did get a few headwinds to take us home. We closed it off with just shy of 6 hours in the saddle. I averaged around 15.5 mph, which seems slow, but it sounded like the A group averaged only around 17 mph, so I didn’t feel so bad.

Views from my 90 mile ride:

The next morning me and hardcore climbing machine Andrea headed out to test the waters for a “swim.” Ther wasn’t much actual swimming involved. It was more of just splashing around until the nerve endings in my face died and stopped screaming in pain. Yeah, the water was somewhere between 50 and 52 degrees. And yes, that is snow on the top of the mountain behind us.

Eventually once my face went numb, I was able to keep pretty normal form. It was less for building my swim fitness and more of just getting used to racing in cold water, but it was definitely a success. This was my first time ever breaking out the booties for a swim. They made a HUGE difference. I love ’em, but I can’t wait for the water to warm up and I can leave them in the car.

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The obligatory super hero flexing pose.

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Andrea and I discovered this megaphone on the side of Echo Lake.The sign below it says:

“This megaphone was originally used by guests of the profile house around the turn of the century. Removed after the 1938 hurricane, the only one ever to come inland in N.H., it was discovered and reestablished in 1981. Listen and you shoudl be able to hear two distinct echos.”

Funny how people entertained themselves back in the day, eh? I could actually hear three distinct echos bouncing back from the mountain across from the pond. Fun times.

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And remember that brutal head wind that I mentioned? Unfortunately not all of my Wheelworks team mates weren’t so lucky to keep the rubber side down. On the 60 mile ride, a big gust nocked down Natalie, and Sara went right into, and over, her. She ended up taking most of the impact to her face, but thankfully she ended up a lot better than the damage looked.

She had the best attitude throughout the whole thing. All smiles (or as much as she could muster up through the swelling) and jokes. And the whole team rallied around to help her out like a huge family. I love my team. 🙂

For the whole story, check out Sara’s blog post here. She is Bad Ass! She even had Natalie shoot some video of her on the backboard ad the hospital.

http://ironwoman.wordpress.com/2009/05/18/i-fought-franconia-notch-and-the-notch-won/

Crash Damage

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Rev3 Triathlon Course Preview

May 12, 2009

FYI: This blog has moved to a new address. Catch up on new posts at: http://swimbikerunlive.com/

 

Last weekend I made a little road trip down to Connecticut to scope out the bike and run courses for the Rev3 half ironman next month.

Once I got there, I realized I wasn’t the only one with that idea. There was an lonesome Rev3 tent in the parking lot and a bunch of cars with empty bike racks. I felt like I was late to a party that I wasn’t even invited to, until I remembered getting an email about an official re-ride of the course that left that morning. DOH!

Rev 3 Tent

But actually worked out pretty well because the one thing I forgot, the damn cue sheet, I was able to bum off of a friendly rider who was just finishing up the course. Sure it was sopping wet (hopefully more from the rain than sweat) but I was thankful to have it either way. I love making new friends with stranger triathletes.

I got a few requests to scope out specific parts of the course from some of my other tri friends who are racing with me, so here is my recap of the bike and run courses.

Bike:
Total ascent: 2395 ft

Rev3 run elevation

  • Right out of T1 you are on a slight downhill. This is nice if you don’t get your feet in your shoes right away. You can just coast for a mile or so until you get clipped in.
  • There is a quick left and immediate right on to Cat Swamp Road at mile 3 on a slight down hill. Nothing huge, but worth mentioning so you don’t freak out if you come flying down the hill and see the T intersection ahead of you.
  • Mile 10 has a sweet cheering section. The brown one was pretty rude though. He kept trying to mount the black one, but she wasn’t having it. Ladies, expect some rude comments and cat calls.

Cows - Mile 10

  • Mile 17 is a really fun long descent. I got up to about 40 or 45 mph without any problem. It slowly winds through Black Rock State Park and along a reservoir. The bottom of the hill is a sweeping right turn. I went through it at about 30 mph, so no worries about hitting a stop sign or any other obstacles on this section.
  • Once you take the left on to Rout 254 at about 25, be prepared for some hurtin’. Take in some water or a gel. You’ll need it. The climb does level off a few times, but just keeps getting steer and longer. I was hoping to stay out of the granny gear (I have a triple chain ring) but that just wasn’t happening. I’m glad I had it. You can slow down and take it easy, but that just means the pain lasts longer. It will definitely be a challenge to not kill my legs too hard here.
  • After the top of 254, you take two quick lefts and head downhill on Camp Dutton Road. This is a short downhill, but it ends at a T intersection after about a mile or so. Nothing crazy, it is good to expect it ahead of time. You take a left at the bottom and head through some vinyards and really nice roads after that.
  • From then on out it is all smaller (but still hard) hills and a nice gentle descent from about mile 45-50. The only stop is where you cross Rt 6, but I’m guessing that it will be blocked off from traffic, so there shouldn’t be any wories and you can fly through.
  • When you come up a hill with rock walls along both sides, you are at about mile 56 and have a nice mile downhill back into T2. I’m going to ease up and take my feet out of my shoes at that point to get ready to run.

Overall: The bike is a killer. I was expecting it to be hard, but it completely blew past my expectations. There aren’t really any rolling hills (by my definition of rollers). Lots of steep climbs, but two really fun and fast descents. I met two guys who had also just finished the course and they both agreed, it is stupidly hard. All of the roads are beautful and have great scenery along state parks, wildlife reserves, farm land and vinyards, but some of the hills may make you cry a little.

Run:
Total ascent: 400 ft

Rev3 run elevation

  • You head out on the run in the same direction as the the bike. A nice gentle downhill to help get your run legs back under you.
  • At mile 3 you take a right onto a quiet dirt road. There is lots of tree cover and the shade will be nice. The elevation map has a steep climb at about mile 4. It looks pretty bad on the map, but isn’t so tough in person. It is steep, but really short.
  • Immediately after the hill, you head back on to paved roads. The dirt road section is short, but packed and not very rocky. If you would normally run in racing flats, go for it.
  • At mile 7.5 you come up through the same hill along the rocks walls as the bike course. From there you see the lake off on the right and know that you are are more than half way there.
  • From there it is a nice easy downhill up until mile 10, where there is a mile long slow climb. Nothing crazy, but that late in the run, it is good to expect it.
  • Once you crest the hill at mile 11, you do a short fast downhill and loop back around to the finish. You are home free!

Overall: The run course is just as scenic as the bike course, but not nearly as brutal. It is definitely going to be a nice change of pace. As long as I still am able to run off of the bike, the run should be a blast.
Only three weeks to go and I’m heading up to New Hampshire this weekend for some long mountain climbing to do some last minute prep for Rev3. It is my triathlon team’s training weekend, which involves swimming/biking/running until all you can do is drop your butt in the hot for the rest of the night and suck down a few beers and call it a night.

Mountains baby. MOUNTAINS!

Just over three weeks to go. Get ready people!

I’m PUMPED.

UPDATE:

It turns out they changed the run course between when I ran it and race day. So for anyone that read this, and is subsequently pissed at me for making you think the run course was going to be somewhat easy (in comparison to the bike), let it be known. My Bad.

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St. Patrick’s Day Trail Run

March 18, 2009

Yesterday I went out to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in style with a nice 2 hour trail run. Rather than sit around at home and wait for non-existent jobs to be posted online, or enjoy some adult beverages in my apartment by myself, I went out to explore some new (to me) trails just north of Boston.

I felt like I had to bring a whole bunch of extra crap with me compared to when I just ran around the block. Between my HR monitor, map, Road ID bracelet (in case I fall and break my leg off and the EMT needs to know where to send my body), four fuel belt water bottles, two Clif Shots and my cell phone, I felt like I was camping more than running. Since I hadn’t been there before, and no one would have missed me for hours if something happened, I figured it was better to play it safe.

I definitely want to make this a regular occurance. Except for some short speed work on the track, all of my runs have been on sidewalk and asphalt. NOT good for the knees. That is probably the reason that I’ve had issues with my IT band the last two years. Trail running is great for ankle and hip strength and is much easier on the joints. Plus, it is just nice to get out and enjoy some nature and not have to battle with traffic.

I even scoped out a pretty nice (although pretty rocky and muddy) bike trail. With my cyclocross tires, I think I can totally take it on! But that is for another day…

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Snowboarding and muscle memory

February 8, 2009

Because Seasonal Affective Disorder is just for people that are afraid to go out and have fun in the cold, I decided to break my +8 year hiatus from snowboarding and take a trip up to New Hampshire to hit the slopes. A guy can only take so many swim/bike/run workouts before he needs to break it up and try something different.

It had been at least eight years since the last time I went snowboarding, some time when back in high school, so I was just a little nervous about actually remembering now to snowboard and not go flying off into the woods. Scratch that. I really didn’t have much faith in my ability to remember how  to snowboard at all.

After heading up the lift to the top of the mountain and a sketchy dismount from the chair lift, I sucked it up, took a deep breath and pointed my board down hill and hoped for the best. The first half of the run was a little rough, but I was surprised how quickly I remembered how to turn and especially how to stop! By the second run I was back in the game, a WHOLE lot more comfortable, and was actually really impressed about how quickly I got back into a nice carving rhythm. Muscle memory is an amazing thing and I was completely surprised about how quickly my confidence on the slopes came back. I was still a little cautious around other skiiers so that I didn’t take anyone out, but I was actually able to relax and have fun with it.

I took a short video from the hill. It is a little sketchy in some parts, but I figured you might enjoying my fall on my butt about half way through. 🙂 In my defense, it was only my second run, and this other guy came flying dangerously close behind me while on a patch of ice. I decided bailing and landing on my butt was the best option.


The only real fall that I managed all day was while I was passing Sam on a flat section, rubbing it in her face, then immediately biting it hard. Thankfully I hopped up pretty quickly and I managed not to get injured, so it was a pretty sweet day.

Here is the view of Lake Winnipesaukee from the top of the mountain. This is where I’ll be racing my “A” race. The Timberman  70.3 in August. Thankfully this scene should be a lot more green and blue by then instead of gray and white.


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Playing with HD Video

January 6, 2009

Disclaimer: This post has nothing to do with triathlon. I’m not even going to attempt to draw some connection. It does have fun HD videos of my dog. So if you don’t like dogs or cool new tech toys, come back in a few days. I’ll have some triathlon related posts then. 🙂

For Christmas, Santa brought me a sick new toy. A super tiny HD camera. The thing is awesome and I’ve been playing around with it the last few days and I love it. It is smaller than my regular digital still camera, and takes amazing videos. I may have to pack it along in my jersey pocket once I’m able to do long rides outside this spring to share random stuff that I find on the road.

Flip mino-hd

While the videos look amazing on my desktop, the files are huge and get a little clumsy when trying to move them online or export them to smaller files without losing all the quality.

When I was at home in Connecticut for Chrismas, I was playing around in the yard with my (parent’s) golden retriever, Tucker. Since a few different online video sites now allow you to upload HD videos (YouTube and Vimeo) I decided to play around and see what looks best so I know what makes the most sense for posting little video snapshots while training this year.

In the past, I’ve almost always used Blip.tv because they make it really easy to turn my videos into a podcast, but I’m curious to see how the other players stack up and if it makes sense using a different one, or maybe mix and match.

YouTube:

Click through and hit “Watch in HD” for full quality.

Vimeo:

Click through for full HD

Blip.TV

Click through for Quicktime HD version in Blip.

Click through for larger (non HD) flash version in Blip.

If for whatever reason you can’t see any of the three videos above, let me know. I’m also curious how this post looks in people’s RSS readers, since it doesn’t always look the same as it does on WordPress, but I’m still trying to work out some kinks.

Let me know what you think.

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Snowy River Run

December 20, 2008

Despite almost a foot of fresh snow on the ground this morning, I kept up with the training plan and actually pulled off a decent run this afternoon down the Charles River. Most of the sidewalks weren’t even shoveled yet, but a good couple inches of packed snow are just nature’s form of resistance training. All in total it ended up being about 12.5 miles in about 2:20. Really slow pace, but my ankles, calves and gluts definitely got a workout jumping over and through tons of snow drifts and making sure I didn’t land on my ass.

I assumed not many people would be out along the river but was hoping the city might look nice all covered in a fresh layer of white snow so I brought my camera along to snap some pics. Unfortunately everything was still pretty gray, and the snow and wind picked up a lot around mile 10 of the run, so there weren’t any nice chrismas scenes but you can at least enjoy me running and talking into the camera while I almost bite it hard on a patch of ice.

Higher-res version of the video here.

The one good thing about cold weather running is every time you do  your coldest run ever, everything else gets easier from there. Last week, 30 degrees and windy was a stretch. This week, it doesn’t seem so bad after doing a 20 degree run in the wind and snow.

While the run was actually a really good time, until my energy level and body temp started to drop quickly around mile 10, it is good to know that I can hunker down and pump out a decent performance when the conditions suck. That isn’t to say that I’m hoping for conditions like today for the hyannis marathon, but it is at least a little confidence booster.

I hope wherever the hell you are reading this right now, it is warmer than it is here.