Sunday, February 01, 2009

I've moved

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Kind of off my usual post subect matter - good viewing

Great video from TED. If you don't know TED you should. Great thoughts and ideas from brilliant people.

Friday, November 28, 2008

B2B Photos, Austin Photos, Polar Bear Photos

In a nutshell...a mish mash of recent photos including today's rediculous swim in 48 degree Falls Lake here in Raleigh.
1) Some photos of Beach to Battleship Ironman distance triathlon on 11/2/08. Notice my misery from freezing on the bike (42 degree air temp) and how fun it was to cross the finish with Travis and Olivia.
2) Dreams of Austin, TX. Visited friends there. Still miss that place after having left almost 9 years ago. Too many condos on the skyline but still the great place we remember it to be. Notice the awesome, year round 68 degree, Barton Springs Pool. Great training venue. Also included are some of the 19 friends who came out to say hello for dinner - great friends to do that after our having left so long ago.
3) Top photo is the first ever Raleigh (wetsuit enabled) Polar Bear Club swim. 48 degree water, 45 degree air. Too cold to swim more than 150 yards. My feet hurt and we all ran out of air after only about 25 yards. Weird, mildly alarming, but fun.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

B2B Reflections...Five Days of Letting it Set In

Its always interesting to me letting a few days pass after an Ironman, Marathon or any other endurance event that requires months of physical training and mental focus. Inevitably, for me, comes what I believe to be a significant chemical reaction in the body. It usually means I'll be irritable and confused in a way hard to describe. This post-Ironman is especially confusing because, after completing three Ironmans in 15 months (two in the last 100 days) I have committed not to do an Ironman distance race in 2009. There are definately three marathons on my schedule in 2009 which will allow me to keep some focus on training and staying fit. But it really is different to me.

Thankfully, post-Ironman week also brings some brief freedom. Freedom from having to figure out where to fit 90-120 minutes of workout in almost every day. Freedom to embrace the "eat whatever you crave" concept. Today I ate beef chili for lunch. Yesterday it was a chocolate milkshake in the airport. I've eaten ice cream every day this week. Maybe not crazy to you. But to me its a bit of a stretch. But nice.

I also have had a few days to reflect back on what I learned at this event. I learned a lot and will certainly not capture enough here.

1) Being cold and/or in pain, as long as you know it will come to an end, is not so bad. The mind quickly forgets pain when triumph results afterwards. Perhaps this is a mini version of what mountain climbers feel after summiting then returning to safety at base camp. I hope my mild Ironman cold and pain helps me grow and be stronger.
2) Sometimes its the small things that leave the biggest impression. I will never forget changing into dry clothes at the end of my endurance events. Taking off those shoes is such a pleasure.
3) Body Glide, vaseline, or whatever lube you have should not be used sparingly, regardless of the weather.
4) The people who surround you (family, friends, other competitors) are the biggest part of what makes an event (or life for that matter) great.
5) Eat everything you can get your hands on and can keep down in the run. I'll always swear by this one.
6) Someone else out there is having a harder day than you are. In some cases many others are.
7) Talking and smiling makes for a much more manageable event.
8) Stop to say hello to your family if possible. This is the first race where I've really done that and I don't regret the minutes I gave up. I'll always remember my son offering me a sip of his bottle of water and my wife frantically trying to take my picture as I kissed my daughters.
9) Stay in the moment. The past is gone and the future does not exist. Focus only on the moment right now because that is all there is.
10) Finish with a smile.

I hope to do another Ironman. I hope to do things that are bigger than Ironman. With some real focus I think I can trancend my own definition of success. Success is here defined as raising my kids, being a good husband, and pursuing activities that enable me to grow physically, mentally, and spiritually.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Beach to Battleship (B2B) Iron Distance Triathlon Race Report

First Draft - I'll probably edit as I remember more and have some time

Wow. Another successful and life changing endurance day yesterday. And a beautiful day to be alive in North Carolina! November 1st and 500 participants were competing in the Beach to Battleship "full", an Iron Distance triathlon starting in the ocean on the coast of North Carolina. Weather like this is another reason I love living here. The day started at 39 degrees, a bit chilly, but it warmed up to 70 by mid day making for great racing and spectating conditions. Family, friends, and a good crowd watching the athletes compete in a very well supported and organized event. This is the story of my second Ironman distance event 100 days.

Ironman Lake Placid (July 25th, 2008) was my self proclaimed "A race" event for 2008. My dream goal in that race was to qualify for Ironman Hawaii in Kona. Qualification would have required about ten hour race. I chose to train a bit less than I would have likely needed to -- instead dividing my time with family and career obligations. I didn't qualify. Not even close. But I had a great day finishing in 10:44 which was in the top 8% overall. Now the rest of my tri season would be designed to be a bit less intimidating. Or so I thought.

Fast forward about three months and I found myself looking back on my training regimen since that race in July. I found that, despite the prescription of my coach, I had only done one bike ride over 100 miles, four runs over 10 miles (one at 18 was the longest), and only about 3500-5000 yards per week in the pool. All this (plus some short weights workouts) took an average of 10 hours a week of training. Most would agree that is far from adequate Ironman training. But Beach to Battleship was only days away. So it was too late to worry about that.

For me, Beach to Battleship was supposed to be my "fun" Ironman event if there is such a thing. I had planned to train less and with less intensity. Just not such a big dropoff from where I should have been training. I also had a couple of training friends who would be doing their first Ironman distance event at B2B so the race was going to be fun as a result of that.


Race day began chilly but not unbearable at about 39 or 40 degrees. As a result of this race being a two transition area (and point to point swim) race we were bussed from the hotel to the first transition area (where the bikes are) then from there to the swim start about 3 miles away. During this time my friends and I did the prerequisite bike and equipment checking. At no time were we really cold while we awaited the sunlight so the race could begin shortly after 7AM. We joked and took pictures while we awaited the call to move down to the beach from the waiting area in a nearby parking lot. 500 nervous athletes spent the last few minutes putting on wetsuits and checking goggles.

At about 6:40AM we were asked to move to the beach where the swim would begin. It was about a 250 yard walk towards a single spotlight that sat glowing about 50 yards from the water. We could see the lights of boats coming in and out of the inlet as we approached the water. It was time to get anxious.

After mulling around on the beach and joking around some more the organizers asked us to cross the timing mat and get near the start. The sun was just getting to the point of providing a few crepuscular rays from beneath the horizon.

Today's swim would be a point to point swim with the incoming tide heading into a long 2 mile swim down the intercoastal waterway. Then we'd take a hard left and swim the last .4 miles to the exit ladders near the park where our bikes were located. The start had us heading out about 50 yards then taking a hard right into the channel. A few last high fives and the swim would begin.

For me the swim is usually a very anxious event. However, I've found my confidence is much higher over the last 12 months due to my comfort in the water. I do not swim fast, but I swim very comfortable saving my energy for later in the day. That would be my plan here too. If I was within 5 or 10 minutes of my friends I would call that a good swim.


After the playing of the National Anthem it was time to begin the swim in the 65 degree water. Goggles on and the horn went off. 500 athletes ran the 5 yards into the ocean then high-stepped until they were thigh deep. Then it would be no less than 2.4 miles of swim. Fast swim with the incoming tide. I found myself right in the chaos of the crowd but I think everyone did at that point. Contrary to the other Iron distance swims I've done this one had a pretty narrow approach to the turn buoy only 50 yards away. Thankfully 500 athletes spread out pretty quickly once we rounded the buoy. A few kicks in the arms and one in the head later and I found myself swimming down the right side, near some docks, with plenty of space. I was worried that my line would not be wise due to the main pack being about 50 yards to my left. But I had remembered what the aerial map had looked like plus the advice that my friend John was given - sight on the water tower far down the beach on the right. I was sticking with the swim plan of staying close to the docks and sighting on the tower.

Upon swimming about a mile and a half down the channel the turn boat became visible. I immediately began moving away from the docks to make a straight line to the turn boat. About that time I noticed the sun rising and peeking at me between some of the fancy multi-million dollar homes to my right. As I moved away from my sunrise sanctuary the chaos began again as I merged back into the mass of swimmers who had swam straight down the middle of the channel instead of down my line to the right. At this point I had no idea how fast I was swimming but I was very comfortable except for the nagging rub on the back of my neck from my wetsuit. I had forgotten to use lube on that spot. Bad idea -- but nothing more than a nuisance pain. Nuisance pain was easy to overcome since I knew the real pain later in the day would eclipse pretty much anything that would occur in the swim (except maybe a shark or jellyfish I guess).

Once rounding the corner the mass of bodies stayed with me for the rest of the way. I remembered the plan of cutting the corner towards the takeout and I think I executed it perfectly. Many swimmers were far off to my right indicating that they were taking the longer route. Its not cheating in a point to point swim but it can help slow swimmers like me. About 300 yards from the ladder I began to consider that the water might be about 64 degrees. While I wasn't cold I noticed that my feet felt kind of like they weren't there. But I thought little of that at the time. Suddenly I was at the ladder.

As I reached up to grab the ladder I noticed my arms didn't move quite as quickly as my mind did. Then, as I put my feet on the ladder they too moved in slow motion. So I just moved myself slowly out of the water not taking a moment to think why I was slow. Then I tried to run and found that I could only walk the first 10 steps or so as I pulled my earplugs out and took my goggles off. I then found a wetsuit stripper and had her help me get out of my suit. That worked as planned.

Transition 1

From that point there is about a 300 yard run to the transition area where the bikes are. The run on a sidewalk and would be done barefooted. Generally no problem. However, in 42 degrees and soaking wet it presents a different issue. Immediately upon starting the 300 yard run I noticed a swimmer being wrapped in a space blanket indicating he was very cold or even perhaps hypothermic. I thought little of that since I was not cold during the swim. I began, however, to notice that my feet were stinging and my feet were very unusually sore running on the sidewalk. Before I could become alarmed I was distracted by the sight of my friend John right in front of me running towards transition. I expected his swim to be several minutes faster than mine so this I believed was a good sign!

My run speed was definately slower than usual out of the water but I concentrated on keeping up with John. We both grabbed our bags (or so John thought) and used the trick of avoiding the crowded changing tent to grab our helmet, shoes, and other items from out transition bag. Suddenly I head John say "this ain't my bag". He had grabbed the wrong bag and had to run the 20 yards back to the rack to put this bag back and grab his correct bag. Before I could even get my gear on he was back and re-focused. I was having trouble getting my things out because my hands were not working proplerly. I thought it was just a bit cold and that would quickly end. As I ran towards my bike I continued to find myself stragely slowed. Once I got to my bike I had trouble putting my arm warmers, socks and shoes on. But I got it all done and headed out of transition to the mount line.

This is probably a good point in the story to talk about the most discussed topic amongst me and my friends in the days leading up to the race. "What will you wear on the bike". We knew in advance that we'd likely be cycling in the 40-50 degree range for an hour or two. But the temperature was forecast to climb to 70 by mid afternoon -- about the time we'd be getting off our bikes. The dilemma was 1) under dress and be chilly for a while at the beginning of the bike or 2) overdress and be hot or have to stop and dump clothes at special needs. I usually like being hot much more than cold. So, like a fool, I chose not to pack warm clothes and ride with just my wet shorts, wet shirt, and dry arm warmers and gloves. Somehow I also thought two pair of socks might offset all of the cold. My friends, being smarter, both chose more clothing -- and they are generally much tougher than I am.

On to the bike.


As I mounted up I realized one of my gloves was still not all the way on my hand. I finally got it on just in time to notice that I could not really feel my feet at all. Then things began to get tricky. I was freezing cold immediately.

The first thing I really noticed was that my jaw, rather than chattering from cold, seemed to be wired shut. As I tried to pry it open I would shiver a few times but clearly my jaw wanted to stay shut tight. So I generally went with it so as not to waste too much energy on a debate with myself over whether this was a problem. Next I noticed my feet were so cold that I could barely feel my feet. I could, however, feel that my toes existed. I thought that was a good sign. My new focus became riding from sunny spot to sunny spot as the sun slowly rose on the horizon. About this time I saw my buddy John just in front of me. I rode up to him and we had a short conversation about swim times. While my speech was a challenge I did not tell him I was miserably freezing cold. Slowly I rode ahead of him since my legs seemed to be working and I thought maybe a slight increase in effort might warm me up.

Being a fairly inexperienced Ironman distance racer I did not know what effect the cold might have on me immediately or over the course of the day. I knew it was going to warm up enough within the next three hours to make me feel much better. But I did not know if I could safely remain this cold for that long or if the energy I used to stay warm would deplete energy needed later in the day. The one thing I did know is that I needed to hydrate on plan and increase my calorie intake in response to the cold. As a result I turned up my nutrition plan and ended up eating all 5 of my gels in the first hour and a half on the bike. For nutrition I still had two bars and concentrated Gatorade Endurance and Perpetuem in the back bottles. Under normal circumstances I would not use more than 4-5 gels, one bar, and a couple bottles of gatorade on the bike (plus water, water, water and some electrolytes). Today would have to be different.

At one point about mile 20, while still freezing, I stopped to get rid of some trash, try to warm up for 30 seconds or so, and load up a new water. I never stop at aid stations but was afraid my coordination would not allow me to grab a bottle on the fly. As I was stopped John passed me again and said "he who bikes hard has a hard run". That was a quote I had given him the day before. Not knowing my pace was largely unregulated due to my freezing cold (all I could do was keep pedaling consistently to try to keep warm) I think he was referring to the fact that I had pulled away from him early with a 20mph+ pace. Little did he know I was stuggling. So, like the fool I am, after reloading I immediately focused on catching him back.

About 5 miles later I caught him and we did a bit more chatting. At the end of the race he told me that my legs were bright red from cold at this point. I'm kind of glad I did not know that at the time. The other thing I noticed is that I could hear myself breathing shallow. Not until today did I read that that could be an early sign of hypothermia. Sometimes its good to NOT know stuff like that. Anyway, after our chat I again pulled slowly ahead of John. He was doing a good job of sticking to his plan. I wasn't so sure what my plan was at this point due to the cold problem.

During all of this time I was passing about two bikes for every one that passed me. Most of the others I encountered had on long pants or at least long sleeved shirts. Some had jackets too. Few were as underdressed as me. I tried not to think about that and again kept telling myself it was going to be warmer shortly and by mid afternoon I'd be toasty and happy. But I still thought it was good to pass and wasn't too concerned with those who passed me.

Finally, after at least two hours of freezing and riding from sunny spot to sunny spot, shortly before the half way point, I noticed my jaw stopped clenching shut. I stretched my jaw with a yawn-like excercise a few times to celebrate. My feet, however, still felt like stumps at the ends of my legs. But overall things were improving.

About this time I came upon what might as well have been a warm tropical island. The half way point, where I expected nothing more than an aid station and the special needs stuff, was packed friends! I had already decided not to stop for special needs so as I sped by I got to hear my name screamed out and even see a sign with my name on it! I'd normally think "very cool" but today I thought "sunshine". I was instantly warmed and renewed for the second half.

About this time I also decided to do a quick self-analysis. I still felt like I was using minimal energy and I was warming up so things were looking good. I was a bit worried that my calorie use was high due to the cold but I'd keep eating and taking on liquid calories to offset that as best I could. My legs felt fresh. So I rode closer to what I'd call a plan. That plan became a focus on keeping my speed close to 20mph. That is neither fast nor slow for me in the flats.

The next notable event came about mile 75. I was weakening a bit. My legs still felt pretty good but I just began to lose the flow. This was not totally unexpected since I had completed only one 100 mile bike ride since July. For this event I was counting on general leftover fitness and some short fast rides to get me through a steady 112 mile output. From miles 80-112 I began to progressively suffer. Nothing major, just enough to concern me in light of the upcoming marathon which I wanted to be strong. 5 or 6 more fit riders passed me in these last 25 miles which were fairly lonely overall. I did manage to keep a decent pace up and catch 2 or 3 riders in the final 15 miles. And, to keep me fired up I had noticed that my average mph for the first half had been 19.6 and now my mph average still showed 19.6 putting me on pace for an even split on the bike. I began to think about the run as I rolled into the final 10 miles. Then I kept watch on my computer. 9 to go, 8 to go, 7 to go...then about mile 109 I saw the bridges and I knew I would soon be in sight of the battleship.

Transition 2

I rolled into T2 glad to be getting off the bike. T2 was a breeze compared to T1. I gave my bike to the volunteer, grabbed my bag, was dressed and out the door in less than two minutes. Yahoo! A marathon in front of me.


I wasn't even fifty yards into lap one of the two loop run course when I spotted them -- the Luckinbill family! I hadn't seen them since Thursday since they stayed home in Raleigh the previous night to trick or treat. They had arrived at the race sometime around noon as planned. They were all there cheering along side the Wilkins family (John's gang). All yelling for me. This time, as opposed to my previous IM events, I was going to get a quality (a whopping 30 second) visit. Everyone got a kiss and we exchanged a few words about how I was feeling. They were all smiling and thrilled for me. I could hear all the "ooohs" and "aaaahs" from the surrounding crowd indicating their approval of my obvious stoppage to pay some attention to my family. It was great.

I had that lift to start my run. I was then immediately passed by two fast young runners but I was able to pass dozens of others. Suddenly, before mile 2 even began, arose the biggest bridge on the run course. Today I would make a conscious effort to shuffle up the bridge and start the run extra slow. Short steps, save energy, and ignore the desire to move into my natural marathon stride. The bridge helped this dialing down of my effort. The downhill side of the bridge brought a nice time to think more about run strategy. I decided that slow was best for now. I guessed I was on pace for a 4 hour marathon. It felt great to be running.

As we approached mile 3 we were steered into downtown Wilmington onto a cobblestone street with bars, restaurants and hotels surrounding us. And lots of spectators! As I passed easily through the crowd and down the street there was all kinds of yelling. It was about to end when I again came across my friends who had been out on the run course. They had their signs again and were telling me how strong I looked. I had just begun to increase my speed and now, with their energy, I would be moving into my marathon pace.

As I made my way through the streets of Wilmington just outside of downtown I began to pass greater amounts of runners. Many were runners from the half Iron distance race. Most of them were walking. This was the back of their pack. As I got further along I hit a stretch where incoming 1/2 IM runners are on their final miles running back to the finish where I just began. I was lucky enough to pass some of my friends completing their event. I saw very few runners who had the numbers indicating they were in the full Ironman distance event. I was happy with that becuase that would put them over an hour ahead of me.

Next I headed into the park. This section of the run was on trails that wound around a lake in a City Park. It was one of the nicest stretches of Ironman marathon runs I've ever been on. Passing over wood bridges and turning corners through the trees was a healthy distraction. At this point I also began to pass some of the really strong Ironman distance cyclists who had been reduced to walking. Miles 5-10 had me feeling great and I even picked up the pace with longer strides at a few points. But I made sure to keep it under great control because I knew this feeling could not last.

Up to this point I took in nutrition from EVERY aid station. I had used cola, pretzels, snack mix, cookies, water, HEED, and oranges. My stomach was in great shape and the volunteers made sure to get me what I needed. I took most of it on the fly or slowed down for 5 or 10 steps. This pattern would continue until about mile 16.

After passing over another bridge the battleship (half way for the run and finish of the run) came into view. I felt great heading to the turn around and no full Ironman athletes were finishing yet. I was also on pace for a 3:30 marathon. I knew that today that was not possible but I had banked some time so that a slowdown would still have me ending this day with a very solid run.

At the turnaround I had another opportunity to "kiss babies" and the rest of the family. I stopped completely to say hello and my son Travis even offered me his bottle of water. I thanked him for that offer but explained that I would be refueling at the aid station in less than one mile. I asked John's wife how he was doing and she was very encouraged by his race so far. I headed away from them and grabbed my special needs bag. I wanted my Tylenol as insurance to take the edge off the upcoming pain I was sure would be coming.

I headed away from the battleship, across the bridge again and back into downtown. This time as I passed my friends they ran with me. "Are you OK?" "Do you need anything?" They were asking all the right questions. I let them know I was going to have to slow down as I was starting to get tired. They asked why and I wisecracked that I was doing an Ironman after all. Again it gave me great lift that they ran with me and were totally focused on me as I passed.

Back through the homes of Wilmington and into the park again. This time, as I was entering the park, another set of my friends pulled up next to me on bikes. We had a great talk about how the event was going, what they were doing, my predicted finish time, etc. This too was a great and positive mood alteration at about mile 16. Still surviving and even feeling good.

It was about mile 17 or 18 that the mind began to wander towards the end. I caught myself thinking about wanting the race to be over. Time to get Zen. I took a deep breath and remembered to stay focused and only in the current moment. No thoughts of past or future. There is no sense in expressing concern for a future I can not control or a past that can't be changed. What I can control is now. I then visualized myself watching myself from a distance away. Both of these techniques seem to help me ground my mind to keep the perceived pain at bay. Then came another aid station just before I went fully insane.

This continued right up until the end. Perceived pain, a desire to slow down, and thoughts of finish that had to be managed. I slowed only marginally right up until the last 100 yards.

This time, unlike Ironman's in the past, I would be running across the finish line with my kids. It wasn't planned but I slowed so I could have one on each side holding my hands -- and put a big smile on my face. I noticed the photographer and tried to ham it up when the shots were fired. Then I crossed the mat!

I felt pretty good. It was difficult for sure but I was proud of my second Ironman distance race in 100 days. I really didn't train well for this event so I learned a lot about having a solid base of fitness. Without injury or illness fitness can be carried a long way. Time for pizza and cokes and to wait for my friends Diesel, John, and PDiddy -- all who finished shorly thereafter and exceeded their own first time Ironman expectations. Congrats to them and to all the finishers!!!

My official results:

21st out of 500 registered entrants
3rd in 35-39 age group
10:27 overall finish time
59:07 swim
5:39 bike
3:41 run

Nutrition recap:

Pre race @ 3:30AM:
bagel w/peanut butter
1 Lara Bar
1 cup coffee

Pre swim:
1 caffeine gel

5 gels (3 with caffeine)
1 Optima Bar
5 bottles water
1 bottle perpetuem
2 electrolyte tabs

Run (estimated):
15 half cups water
10 half cups HEED
6 sips cola
8 orange slices
1 handful animal crackers
5 handfuls of pretzels
2 handfuls of chex mix
3 oreo cookies
6 electrolyte tabs

Peed on swim 1x
Peed on bike 8x
Peed on run 2x

Special Thanks:
To my wife Heather for putting up with (and sometimes genuinely encouraging) the training required for me to become fit enough to place in the top 5-10% of each of three Ironman events over only 15 months.
To my kids who now know more about Ironman triathlon than they do about basketball, baseball and football combined.
To my friends who came to support me at B2B: Rosemary, Dawn, Missy, Jon, Melina, Kerry, and any I missed.
To my other family, friends and co-workers who know me as the guy who trains almost every day and often has to go to bed at 9PM to fit in all the next day's events.

To my buddy John, a newly minted Ironman.
To all those who have trained with me in the past.
To my coach who always has something positive to say about my training and how it fits into my life.

Next up for me.......not sure yet. Certainly being a Husband and Dad and staying dedicated to my career will stay high on the list.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

(Dis?)respecting 140.6

9 Days from now will be my third 140.6 Ironman distance triathlon. This one, the inaugural Beach to Battleship, will be held right here in NC with only about 500 participants. A protected salt water swim going with the incoming tide, a flat bike course, and a mostly flat run course theoretically make it an easier course than previous courses I've experienced. However, my training has been very different from either of my other two Ironman distance events. In summary, since my last IM in July:

- I've only swam an average of 1.5 times a week averaging 2500 yards per swim
- I've only biked over 100 miles once, plus one 90 miler with a 15 minute rest in the middle and one 80 miler
- I've only run 18 miles once, 15 miles three times

This amounts to about 1/3 of the volume of big workouts I completed to prepare for either of my other two Ironman events. I told myself long ago I'd compete in this event for fun (if there is such a thing in Ironman distance competition). Most of all it will be great to see a few of my friends complete their first Ironman distance event. I look forward to that most of all. For me, this is essentially an experiment to see if my fitness from the past 18 months can carry me through...along with what I hope is a big hearted effort! I must remember...

- live only in the current moment
- pedal with light legs
- experience flow

And, practically speaking...

- slow swim start
- pace smart on bike with big savings for 2nd half
- eat well and often
- run loose and easy

There, I've disclaimed my performance at the event and pitched my excuses. All future posts and discussions will be about how I will approach the event and what I expect to do to execute well.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Club Wars and the passage of September

My first month of serious "re-ramping" is now done. Can't say I've bounced back to IM fitness but luckily I have one more month. 50 mile rides feel decent and 15 mile runs don't kill me. And, best of all, my swim feels easy and is (I think) getting a tiny bit faster at medium effort. October will quickly tell if the Ironman distance event on 11/1 will be fast and painful, slow and mildly painful, or slow and really painful. Fast, of course, is relative.

Along with a lot more training September had me racing again. Just once in a hybrid medium distance tri. I got spanked by the Diesel. I won't say whether he had a great day or I had a tough one...I'll just leave it as he beat me on this particular day. Next challenge is B2B where Diesel adn the rest of us will have to call upon many, many Zen teachings in order to manage the day.