25 October, 2011 Counting Down
Some of you may have seen a blog post on August 1 titled “Have A Good Time!” Since then, except for the loss of my beloved Max, I have been mostly having a good time. On August 23 I had my fiftieth birthday – and my very own earthquake! Followed shortly by Hurricane Irene, then the adoption of our remarkable new friend Turner. He spent his first night here on August 29; except for being asleep, I don’t think his tail has stopped wagging since. His happiness knows no bounds. And he has no off switch.
But regarding “having a good time,” I’ve been training non-stop for Beach2Battleship 2011 since August 1 and the race begins Saturday morning at 7:00 in Wilmington, NC! I’ve put in a lot of meters in the pool, a lot of miles on the bike, a lot of miles running. We’ll see if my preparations pay off on Saturday. The name of the race organizer is Set Up Events and this year’s race will have “live results” for the first time. I.e. you can follow my progress online! This will be my ninth Iron Distance race (swim 2.4 miles, bike 112, run 26.2) but my first as a fifty year old. In a gesture as unexpected as it is thoughtful, Set Up has graciously honored me by choosing my birth year for my race number – I’m number 61! If you’d care to follow my progress, click on the “Live Results” link and put in my race number. I think – I don’t know this for a fact – but I think it will give my swim time after I’m out of the water and cross the timing mat. Then I change clothes and get on my bike and it probably records my time again when I start out on my bike. After that nothing will happen for many hours – my best 112 mile bike time ever is over six hours. They might show the time at the half way mark or something – I don’t know how it will work. They’ll show it again when I get off the bike, again when I start the run, perhaps a time or two on the run, and at the finish. When I finish it will be quite late at night and you may have to see my time on Sunday morning. I know I kid around a lot, but that’s true – it will probably be around 10:00 Saturday night when I cross the finish line.
Anyway, I haven’t just been having a good time since August 1 – I’ve been having a great time. And I’m looking forward to race day. Here are a few pictures since my last post.
Evelyn and the dogs and I went to Pony Pasture two Sundays ago – on the 16th – when the river was still a little high. This lovely pair of mallards stopped on a rock for a few minutes to enjoy the sun. The female was a little bashful but the male looks very proud of her and of himself:
As training winds down I’m doing shorter rides. My bike has a few bugs on it (mostly mosquitoes and gnats) but it’s riding great. I took this picture while it was on top of my car after I rode last week. My bike is a “seven”. Ben and Andrew and Jesse at 3Sports built it for me a few years back and I adore it. All slow speeds on triathlons are entirely the fault of the rider; those guys build and maintain fantastic bicycles. A few shots of my bike:
As the weeks roll on, sunrise gets later and later. We still get to the river at the same time Thursday mornings but now it’s really, really dark. We get there just before the sun clears the horizon. Look at the hues as the sky lights up:
On Thursdays it’s just the dogs and me and we go very early. On Sundays we pick up Evelyn and go at a much more civilized hour. It’s much lighter!:
We saw this heron Sunday as well:
The Beach2Battleship web site has gorgeous photography. The race starts on the “Beach” and finishes at the “Battleship” – the USS North Carolina. Look at this gorgeous image from the race web site: