Saturday, March 5, 2011


My wife keeps a blog, and she's got loads of followers. She writes in it regularly, and she includes all sorts of pictures and videos. It's great; in fact, it is one reason that she was recently added to Team Trakkers. We have already received at our house all sorts of great stuff, including compression boots, TriSwim products, Avia running shoes, First Endurance products, and a few other things. Most excitingly, there are currently two Kestrel bikes on their way to our house--one of each of us. They were by no means free, but we got them at a substantial discount as a result of her being sponsored. Sweet. Perhaps I should endeavor to make my blog more like hers.

I ran the Disney Half Marathon last month and did well. My "reach goal" was to break 1:18:00, and I wanted to finish in the top twenty. In fact, I ran 1:16:20, and I finished thirteenth. I was second in my age group in a race that had 21,000 starters. Pretty good. Here's a pic:

It was a fun race; I passed about fifty people along the way because I ran even splits. The highlight was walking into the gear tent at the end and having all of the volunteers break into applause. I also liked it when I ran past an elf about eleven miles into the race, and he said, "Hurry, human! The sun is coming up!" I made it to the finish right at first light.) Only at Disney.

Of course, also in the "Only at Disney" category: having to pay for water, massage therapy, and even a place to sit down at the finish line. To be honest, while I had fun in the race, and it came at the perfect time of year, I'm not keen to go down there again and be a party to all of their nickel-and-diming. I would like it if there was an alternative.

As it turns out, we were stuck at Disney for the next several days while snow and ice socked Atlanta. We stayed until Thursday (after having planned to leave on Monday), and racked up a bit more time in the parks. It was fun--Florida was the only state in the U.S. that week not to get snow--but it was also a bit stressful to go well beyond budget for the trip. When we got back to Atlanta, two days after the peak of the winter weather, it looked like things used to look when I lived in DC, Michigan, and New Hampshire. Crazy.

So then on to the cycling season. I did my first races last weekend in Greenville. Another pic:

(I'm the guy on second wheel on the right wearing my State Champion's jersey.)

While it was great to get the cycling season underway, the weekend didn't quite turn out as I had hoped. I had some good efforts, but I got no results. On the first day, I couldn't get away from the pack. (My efforts, though, helped to launch two other guys, and they ended up first and second in the race.) On the second day, I worked so hard to get a break formed that I couldn't stay on the wheels of my fellow escapees. And then one of them won.

Bike racing: so much boils down to how the race unfolds. I know that, but I still haven't really accepted it. In running, you prepare and you race, and unless you have a bad race, you'll do well. In cycling, you can have a really good day and still not finish where you want. Like I said, I know this, but it's nonetheless hard to take.

The upside is that last weekend's races also marked the start of the cycling season for me. I hardly go for more than a couple of weeks over the next few months without an event. This weekend--right now, in fact--I had planned to be in Greenville for a couple more races (one of which I won two years ago). Unfortunately, though, it's raining today, and it's against family rules for me to race in the rain ever since I had a serious crash during a race in the rain almost exactly two years ago. I have to look forward to my next race in two weeks, and I have to keep my fingers crossed that it won't rain that day.

So, I'm now racing in earnest. That's exciting! Rather than looking months down the road for a single event, I now have opportunities to compete and win quite regularly. This is the start of the time of year that I enjoy. 2010 was very successful; we'll have to see what 2011 holds.

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