Saturday, December 23, 2017

The Updated Annual Holiday Post

The Current just played David Bowie and Bing Crosby performing Little Drummer Boy/Peace on Earth, but I prefer the late Kirsty McColl singing with the Pogues:

But credit The Current for reminding me of Christmas Wrapping by the Waitresses:

So let us all devoutly hope that 2018 is better than 2017, for ourselves and for the country.

Sunday, December 17, 2017

Scottsdale Half Marathon 2017

I was due for a bad race, and not only was this a bad race, but unlike my last bad race (Tempe Triathlon in 2015, when I couldn't run with plantar fasciitis, and dropped out at the halfway point), there was no good way to pull out, and I stupidly ran 10 miles until I couldn't, then walked to the finish. Walking also hurt, and I guess I injured myself. Results, and a video of me limping across the line, here.

I had a great 5K (8:40 average), a pretty good 10K (56 minutes), and I made it to 10 miles, even with a number of stops and walking breaks, at close to a 2:00 pace (the goal), but then walked the last 3 for a pretty woeful (and painful) 2:25:28.

The grimace above is for real. A week later, I'm still limping, with a weirdly swollen left ankle. What bothered me during the race was my Achilles, so I iced that down, then 12 hours later it was fine and my ankle is shot. It could be a long recovery, but I have nothing on the race calendar until February. I'm just glad this event followed the Phoenix Summit Challenge and wasn't before it. And thus ends 2017. On to dim sum for Christmas.

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Phoenix Summit Challenge 2017

The just-created official Will Summit For Food team photo. Results here, but remember, it's not a race, it's a party. (It's part of the deal to wait for the rest of your group, so you can hold up the number of fingers for the summits you've just climbed.)

See you next year.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Arizona Road Racers South Mountain Classic 10K

No pictures, and for some reason my office firewall thinks the results site is located in the UK, so if your firewall thinks the same thing, you'll just have to take my word that I did 57:08, 1/4 a.g., 18/33 men, 22/55 overall. (Yes, that's an age group 1st place, not my usual, at best, 3rd spot on the podium.) First time under an hour in 5 years (although most of those were Olympic-distance triathlons, and my pace at the last half marathon was equal or better), on a tough course (main road in South Mountain Park, uphill both directions) while not at 100%. I will take it.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Life Time Tempe Triathlon 2017

The fall (and now only -- they cancelled the Marquee event in April) Life Time Olympic/international triathlon in Tempe has been an odd event for me. In 2015, I raced very cautiously because of foot issues, but while finishing in a not-very-impressive 3:17, I placed third in my 60-64 age group and was on the podium. Last year, despite greater heat I did the same course in 12 minutes faster, but finished 4/11 in my division because fellow TriScottsdale dude Billy Dean (curse you, Billy Dean!) had turned 60 and was now racing in the same division.

This year, I seemed to be running better, and I took the radical step of having my tri bike checked so the derailleur actually worked. In the end, I took 5 minutes off of the 2016 time. It was a bit cooler, so that helped, but what really made the day was Billy Dean not having been able to train consistently. I caught him with less than a mile to go on the run and grabbed third place. I almost got under 3 hours, but missed it by seconds, at 3:00:27. I'd stopped to use a port-o-john and to tie my shoe on the run, but if I hadn't, I'd probably have been slower. Results were 3/9 division, 190/355 men, 246/497 overall. Averaged 18.98 mph on the bike, and 10:01 min/mi on the run. The podium finish means automatic entry to the NYC Triathlon next July, but I will probably pass, having just done it in 2016. A very satisfactory day.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

> 90% of Life (in my age group) Is Just Showing Up

The AZ Open Water event at Saguaro Lake on June 24 was the Arizona Local Masters Swimming Committee open water state championship. The heat the past 2 weeks meant that the swim was all non-wetsuit, and the AZLMSC involvement meant that the start time was pushed earlier by an hour; suit couldn't have zippers or ties; no watches; and they even checked fingernail length.

I stuck it out for the 5000 meter event, so I can tell people I swam a 5K. I wasn't as fast as I've gone in the past, but conditions weren't perfect. The swim required a 400m swim from the entry point to the start, and worse, a 400m swim past the finish line to the exit. Also, the start was delayed, as is now customary, which meant during the second 2.5K loop, motorboats were causing swells and leaving exhaust. But I had a pretty steady pace, and my rate for 5000m was faster than my fellow carpoolers' rate for 2500m. (Of course, they can smoke me on any run.)

Still, in my age group, just showing up and finishing is often all it takes. I finished in 1:53:17 (results here), and by the time I finished, they had finished giving out all the awards. I then asked to see the results sheet, and my age group (men 60-64) wasn't listed. A few minutes later, a volunteer came over and handed me a first place medal, saying that she didn't know what my time was, but she knew that I took 1st place in my group, as the only swimmer. 1/1 AG, 33/36 overall at the 5K distance. State champ!

Monday, April 24, 2017

AZ Open Water Swim, 3000m Lake Pleasant

It was the first open water swim of the unified 2017 season (no more separate spring and winter results) at Lake Pleasant, where the water temperature was 68 degrees and actually very pleasant -- once we got started. AZ Open Water was working out kinks in the new timing system (with timing chips on your wrist, you hit a timing pad while going through the gate each lap) that started all the races at least 30 minutes late. That's a lot of standing around in the sun in a wetsuit, so it was a relief to start swimming.  It took less time to swim than the delayed start and the incredibly long awards ceremony took, or so I'm told; I had to leave right after I finished to get to an aufruf at the New Shul.

1:01:06, which is 29 seconds faster than last year. They initially had my results in the open category, but in the correct wetsuit category, I was 7/12 men's masters, 7/12 all men (we were all 45+), and 8/20 all swimmers.  I finished only seconds behind someone else who passed me when I had to stop to reset my falling-off swim caps and goggles on the third lap (you beat me fair and square, David Hicks!).

Monday, April 17, 2017

Mt. Lemmon 2017

This was my second Brew Brothers ride up Mt. Lemmon, but this year, Milton and I talked each other into riding beyond Summerhaven, past the Ski Valley to the recreation area at the summit, an additional 1,000 feet of climbing. According to my Garmin (more generous than Milton's, so we're going with mine), that meant over 9.000 feet of elevation and 8,000 feet of climbing on the day.  A glorious ride. And thanks to John B.for organizing and Joe C. for driving and waiting patiently for Milton and me to return.

Milton has Passover water bottles. He's doing it right.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Desert Classic Duathlon

Pictures: Before the deluge (and mud); first run (both feet off the ground!); bike (in the rain)

Somewhat sub-optimal conditions for the 2017 Desert Classic Duathlon, with fairly heavy rain and wind, but not nearly as bad as the initial forecast. The weather generally held before the start, but shortly after the road bike duathlon left on Run 1 (the last wave, about 25 minutes after the mountain bike wave left; they wanted the mountain bikers to clear a road crossing before sending the road bikers out), it started raining. A lot of rain on the bike segment, and throughout the second run, which was very muddy. Then, after I finished cold, wet, and tired, it turned out my timing chip didn't work -- so they didn't have me at all. Luckily, the guy I finished behind vouched for me, and I got a semi-official time. 2:41:03, 58/84 overall, 40/55 men, 5/10 division (first page when you go to M 60-69). Not bad for the weather.

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Tour de Palm Springs

The past two weeks have been pretty lousy for various reasons, but I did have fun doing the 50 at the Tour de Palm Springs last Saturday.  Pictures here.  The weather generally cooperated for the ride (except for the wind, but that's to be expected), then resumed heavy rains on Sunday and Monday, so I suppose that was a bit of luck amid 2 weeks' worth of crap.