Monday, December 12, 2016

Scottsdale Half Marathon

Formerly the Fiesta Bowl Half Marathon, now the Runner's Den Scottsdale Half Marathon.  I shouldn't have done this, I didn't train much, am still working off a cold, and the day before, drove to Yuma and back for a friend's funeral service, but it was fun to run with the NWLB/Fresh Hair team, and hey, who says no to Christina?  2:05:09, about at the 50th percentile overall, men, and age group (15/30 -- so I made page 1 of the results)  Pretty day, but I'm glad the race ended at 13.1 miles; if it had gone for 13.2, I probably would have had to walk the additional 0.1.  Remarkably even splits, however; my pace varied from 9:27 min/mile to 9:34 min/mile, just not in a reverse split, I gained 7 sec/mi as the day went on, alas.  Good to run with friends.  More photos here.

Was the team shirt ugly enough for you?

Monday, November 14, 2016

Phoenix Summit Challenge 16

My first PSC.  I did the 7, starting at Piestawa at shortly after 5 am (Piestawa Peak, 2.4 mi, 1,162'; Apache Wash, 1.37 mi, 340'; Ridgeback Overlook, 4.52 mi, 350'; Deem Hills Ridgeline Summit, 3.7 mi, 701'; Lookout Mountain, 3.2 mi, 586'; Shaw Butte, 4.8 mi, 796'; and Holbert Trail, South Mountain, 5.0 mi, 999').  Finished at 5:05 pm.  I went with a group (a long-standing running group, but I lobbied for admission and got voted on the island for the day, thanks ladies), so you all get basically the same time because you're waiting for each other at the summits and back at the van.  But it was well worth it, because apart from the hiking, there's 3.5 hours of driving between the hikes, and the conversations, both on the trail and in the van, were equal to the scenery.  According to the Phx Parks results, I hiked the 25 miles with 5K elevation gain (and descent) in 8:21, and took 11:59 for the day, so there are your driving (and waiting) times right there.  Results here.  Great weather, a really nice group, and the food trucks at the end were pretty darn good, too.

Monday, November 07, 2016

AZ Open Water Bartlett Lake

A beautiful day and a pretty good swim at Bartlett Lake.  The water temperature was in the low 70's, so it was wetsuit legal, and my 1:17:46 was 5 minutes faster than my (non-wetsuit) time in Canyon Lake in September.  4/7 division, 10/17 men, but I wound up with a second-place finisher medal, somehow.  Full results here.

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Kate McKinnon Ghostbusters Outtakes

"I was class president.  I was home schooled but I ran against my siblings."

Friday, September 30, 2016

L'Shana Tovah

Now that I have a son-in-law who was a drummer in a Weezer cover band, this video is my New Year's greetings to all:

I just hope it really was a Weezer cover band, and not Wilco.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Life Time Tempe Triathlon

The run wasn't fun, but it was a good race.  Last year, I was worried about a foot injury and took it easy, but had been training pretty hard on swimming and cycling for IM FL.  This year, my feet were fine, but I hadn't been doing much training focused on this race.  How hard could it be?  It was just another Tempe tri around Town Lake.

Well, with the heat, it was pretty hard (probably 90 degrees by 10 am).  The non-wetsuit-legal swim was fine, but the start and first leg of the loop was more exciting than usual.  My start wave (men 50+) had a lot of swimmers, and the width of the course, a tight channel between the boat docks and the bridge arch, meant that swimmers were closer together while sighting into the rising sun -- so I was dodging and swimming around (and over) other swimmers for 500+ yards.  On the bike segment, my tri bike hadn't been reassembled precisely right, so I couldn't use the big ring at all (although most of the time in my age group, the big ring is only for show anyway).  Then on the run, it was a 2-loop course, so the second loop was hotter and harder, and required a lot of effort, until the very end.  I don't know if I've ever been more depleted at the end of an international tri; it felt much harder than usual.

My time was 3:05:43, which put me 4/11 in my division, 269/491 overall.  That's 12 minutes faster than last year, when I was 410/601 overall, but 3/5 in my division (this year, I picked up 2 minutes on the bike, 2 minutes in transitions, and 8 on the run).  Darn that (fellow TriScottsdale member) Billy Dean who decided to have his 60th birthday this year.

Photo credits: Pat Chang

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Canyon Lake Open Water Swim

4000 meter open water swim at Canyon Lake.  Beautiful day, and what was a pretty good swim for me (1:22:52 without a wetsuit) -- but which put me last among Masters men, 33/36 overall.  Those other people were fast.  Results here.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

NYC Triathlon 2016


I had a very nice day.  Luckily, the older guys got to start early, so I was finished before 9:30 am, when it was still only in the low 80’s.  I had a great swim (I was 157 out of 3377 in the swim—love that tide going out in the Hudson), and a pretty good (for me) run, but had bike mechanical issues and took a long time in each transition, so overall it was a good day, which could have been very good, but for the bike issues, and I finished at about the midpoint of my age group; when I did it 7 years ago, I was in the 33rd percentile.  It was the ultimate SGC triathlon: out front in the swim, then spend the rest of the day watching people pass me on the bike and run.  Full results here.  However, know that they cut the run course short, it was an 8K and not a 10K to get people out of the heat -- and around 10:30 or 11:00 am, well after I finished, they started sending runners up 72nd Street directly to the finish (1.5 miles) so they wouldn't be out in the heat.

I had a blast.  It’s a great party and they do a nice job running the event, but the logistics are amazingly difficult.  It’s the athletic version of the typical NYC story – “It’s impossible to live here/I couldn’t live anywhere else.”

The top right picture is from the finish line festival after the race.  I look a lot more dubious about the experience than I actually felt.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Bicycles and 60's Pop

Two of my things, together: The Zombies (the Zombies!) perform This Will Be Our Year at Mellow Johnny's Bike Shop in Austin, TX in 2013:

So the voices aren't what they used to be? So what.

Tuesday, June 07, 2016

Tahoe Century 2016


The 2016 edition of America's Most Beautiful Bike Ride had wonderful weather (start at 50 degrees, finish at 75 degrees) and no flats or mechanicals.  98.8 miles on my Garmin, but Andy Gordon had 99.5 mi on Strava, so we'll go with that.  4,400 feet of climbing, 6:06 riding time, average speed 16.2 mi, finished by 1 pm which is my fastest ever.  And I felt it that night and all the next day.

Just a great day.  And it's much, much better to be riding with Andy than to be riding for Andy.

Monday, May 23, 2016

Tempe International Triathlon

I don't know how you celebrated your 61st birthday, but I did the Tempe International Triathlon, the international (and not sprint) distance, after flying home from New Jersey Saturday evening.  I was going to be very happy with anything under 3 hours, and did -- 2:52:16.  That pace might have been good enough to podium in some tris in my age group, but we had 7 men age 60-64 who did the race in 2:35 or less, and I've never been under 2:45 even in my younger days.  So I was 8/13 in my division, while 243/331 overall.  I was part of the TriScottsdale mob that took first place in the AZ Club Championships.  I also made a couple of mistakes (I had cleat covers on my bicycle shoes, so I wasted 1-2 minutes trying fruitlessly to clip in until I realized what was happening; lost my only water bottle at the beginning of the second loop of the bicycle course, so I was dehydrated for the start of the run; and cut my leg awkwardly dismounting my bicycle) but still managed to run the entire 10K (except for walking through water stops).  I'm told there will be pictures later, but they're not up yet.

A very nice day, even if it started at 3:30 am.  The best part?  At packet pickup, the volunteer who got me my number and swim cap asked if I was under or over 40.  When she learned it was my 61st birthday, she said I looked pretty good.  How can you not have a good day after that?

Monday, May 16, 2016

Canyon Lake Open Water Swim 4500m

This swim was the third swim for the AZ Open Water spring series, and after a lackluster field showed up for Race #2 at Bartlett Lake, I was in third place overall and thought I needed to swim to protect my position.  As it turned out, a much deeper field came out to swim on Saturday.  Canyon Lake is the prettiest of the venues, and I think the same speed as 2 weeks before yielded 11th place, not third.  So I slipped to fourth for the series, which would have been my ranking even if I had skipped this swim.  But it was fun!  4500m in 1:27:20 (wetsuit), 11/14 masters men, 24/30 overall men, 50/58 everybody.  My usual 16 minutes behind David Loeffler and 7 minutes ahead of Bill Straw.  Series results here.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Non semper est rectus, sed nunquam in dubium

I’ve been a bit preoccupied this spring with my Life Restructuring ProcessTM so I’m very late in getting out my fundraising email for this year’s Leukemia & Lymphoma Society event.  Once again, a number of our Phoenix bicycle group are participating in the AMBBR century ride (100 miles) around Lake Tahoe to raise funds to fight blood cancers in honor of our friend Andy Gordon.  This year, Andy is riding, with his one-year-old immune system.  (It’s like a second marriage.  We like this immune system so much better than the last one.)  I have 8 days left to raise $1,800, so I’d appreciate you going to my Team in Training page, and giving what you can.

If you want more background, it’ll be worth the time to click on a couple of links.  First, Andy’s LLS video.  They took it down when his cancer came back, but he and the video are back, baby.  You also can review last year’s explanation of the ride and the cause; no need to repeat everything here.  And this year, we’re the Gordon Unlimited Invitational at Lake Tahoe, or GUILT.  (Seemed appropriate for our Jewish-Catholic bicycle group.)  What hasn’t changed is our motto: Non semper est rectus, sed nunquam in dubium.  And so should you.

Thanks for your help.

It's such a good video, I'm going to embed it again:

 Thanks again.

Sunday, May 01, 2016

Bartlett Lake Open Water Swim (list 4000m, actual 5000m+)

4000 meter open water swim at Bartlett Lake, 3rd in men's masters category, 1:42:27.  That seemed slow for the distance, and an email from the organizers acknowledged the course was long.  Another swimmer with GPS said the actual distance was over 5K, closer to 5500.  But she may not have managed straight lines in the open water.  (UPDATE: The organizers emailed that because the water level changed since the course was mapped out, the starting buoy was misplaced, adding "about 250" meters to each of the 4 laps.  So 5K, which makes sense based on my time.)

Regardless, good enough for a virtual podium! This wasn't an age group competition, but rather all swimmers 45+.  So I was racing against 40-somethings, whom I'm not going to beat in this lifetime.  Masters 3/9, men 8/16, overall 18/30.  Full results here. Picture of the start here.  Water temp was 68 degrees, so this was a wetsuit swim.

I did like last year's "state championships" where the previous organizers of the Open Water Swim series did both age group and wetsuit/non-wetsuit categories, and pretty much everybody who swam won something.  And there were only 9 men in the distance masters.  But I will take it, yes, I will.

This is actually a picture of the start of the previous race at Lake Pleasant, but I think I can see me stumbling into the water fourth from the right, in the bright pink cap:

Sunday, April 03, 2016

Lake Pleasant Open Water Swim 3000m

Lake Pleasant on April 2, 1:01:35.  Water was cold, but not too cold; wetsuit legal.  The weather was good, but not great; windy with some chop, but my time was perfectly acceptable.  Finished 8/11 men's masters, 11/18 all men (with 4 DNF, 11/22).  Would have been first in my age group if the swim had age group awards.  In the photo on the left, I'm told I"m the swimmer in front.  On the right, that's me struggling out of the water after the finish, less than gracefully.  Nice day, good swim, pretty happy with my time, and finished 20 seconds ahead of the considerably younger guy in the Speedo.

Monday, February 29, 2016

Desert Classic Duathlon 2016

While I didn't do as well at DCD2016 as last year -- Murray Macpherson decided to race, so that meant I would definitely finish behind him (by 37 minutes!) and CJ Ketterer and whomever showed up to claim second, and thus no podium this year -- and my overall time was 2 minutes slower, it felt like a much harder and better race.  I was pretty similar to last year through Run 1 and both transitions, and while my Bike was 3 minutes slower, Run 2 was a full minute faster.  I managed to keep running for the full second run, and only was passed once and managed to pass some people ahead of me, which never happens.  (Usually in triathlons, I get out of the water then spend the rest of the morning watching people pass me on the bike and the run.)  I was in fifth place in my division (out of 7) through T2, but then managed to make up 4 minutes in Run 2 on the fourth place guy and finish fourth by almost 2 minutes.  Beautiful weather, challenging and appealing course, nice company, and a very satisfactory day.

Overall 2:41:40,  46/63 men, 4/7 age group; full results (road) here.
Run1 35:39
T1: 1:46
Bike 1:25:35
T2: 1:52
Run2 36:49

No photos yet, check back later.