Wednesday, August 03, 2011

11 Days Till D-Day

Wednesday, August 03, 2011  at 9:46 PM
I've noticed something about triathlon bloggers...when it gets close to major races and events, the blog posts get shorter and farther apart.  With Steelhead coming up so soon, I've fallen into this category as well.  There have been a couple other distractions, though, including PASSING GREEK!  Heck yeah!  I went into the Final with a 98.6% in the class and only needing a C to pass.  The Final didn't seem too hard, and I ended up with a solid B.  I'll take that any day.  After all, B's get Degrees, right?

I meant to post a blog as soon as I passed to let everyone know that I had still been training hard and was looking forward to the big day, but Jennifer and I went on a little vacation to the Upper Pennisula of Michigan for a long weekend.  We decided to take our teardrop camper and stay at KOA's.  Our first stop was in Mackinaw City for a day at Mackinac Island.  The ferry ride over to the island was pretty awesome.  I had gone before, but it was a first for Jenn.

Did you know that they are stripping the paint off the bridge
because there are too many layers, and it is becoming too heavy?
We knew exactly what we wanted to do, and that was to ride a tandem around the island, all 8 miles of it.  After finding a really good cadence that works for me with all this training I've been doing, it was hard to try and work with someone else's cadence too.  I wouldn't say we were the fastest cyclists out there, but we had a lot of fun!
It's sketchy riding a tandem with one hand and snapping a pic with an SLR camera with the other...

Me trying to be all "artsy"

Lake Huron was COLD!

We took a nap on this bench and then posed for a pic.
Notice the remnants of Jenn's bruise from falling off her bike a couple weeks ago. (Click for a closeup)

Jennifer standing in front of "The Grand Hotel"
The next day, we went to Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore and did a bit of hiking.  It was a little boring, but we still had fun.  We threw on our swimsuits to taking a dip in Lake Superior, but when we got down there, the water was really cold and the flies were TERRIBLE!  We grabbed a quick pic, and then left.

We had plans of grandeur to stay the night and go to Tahquamenon Falls the next day, but 30 minutes after we arrived and set up camp at our KOA, the skies opened up let loose with rain!  We had a nice canopy that we ate some delicious haystacks under, but the teardrop leaked in three places.  We had a little discussion and decided to pack it up and hit the road back to Berrien Springs.  We realized that we were just lengthening our vacation because we HAD to be away from home.  In reality, we wanted to chill at the house and do stuff that we've wanted to get done for the past couple months.  Seven hours later, and 4am, we arrived and went to sleep.  It's nice to be back home!

So, on the training front, I've still been cranking away.  I rode the Steelhead course last week and put in a solid 19.5mph.  I followed it with a little brick run.  Then, after getting home, Jenn wanted to go another 35, so I ended up with 91 miles for that day.  Not bad!  I've been putting in some decent runs like my 9 miler on Monday.  I've found a really great method to run/walk, since I'm expecting that I'll have to do that at Steelhead.  I run as far as I can until it sucks, then I walk ONE tenth of a mile and run the rest of the mile, repeating as necessary.  It's working really well for me, and I'm narrowing down my realistic goal for this 70.3.  I've been swimming quite a bit too including a mile swim this week with another solid swim the next day.  I did an OWS in Lake Michigan a couple weeks ago as a storm was coming in, so it was great practice getting tossed in the waves.  The lake is really warm right not, so Jenn and I might go out without wetsuits this weekend for a swim.

I'm praying for the weather to be amazing on race day as everyone does, but look what the 10 forecast looks like.  If it can stay that way for two more days, than it's gonna be a GREAT race!

I'm not only getting excited about this race, but I'm REALLY excited to meet some awesome bloggers that will be racing with me.  Hopefully Kevin @ Ironman by Thirty, Mary @ Tri Like Mary, and Erika @ This Spartan Will will still be around after they finish, take a shower, read a book, etc., so that they can see me finish too!  I will post about what I expect as far as finishing time in a soon coming post.  I'm not all that nervous, because I know I've spent the last six months training with LOTS of time in the saddle, some new shoes because I ran the old ones out, and many hours swimming laps in the pool.  It's going to be awesome to see it all come together.  Want to see my new kicks?  I'll put them in the next post.  ;)

Thanks for reading!



You are going to do great at Steelhead! Can't wait to see you crush this race!

Matty O

Good stuff man. Major recap in this post.

Don't worry about steelhead at all. Use this race to determine your pacing and what feels good for your body. Like I said in my race report from last year, we blew up. We crushed the bike and suffered on the run. Hold back a touch on the bike so that you can survive the run.

It should be a great experience, I remember every bit of our first 70.3. It was AWESOME!!! Remember, HAVE FUN OUT THERE! That is why we do it.


Great pics - had you guys ridden a tandem before? It seems like it would be tricky!

Sending you awesome vibes as the countdown clock continues!!!


You are going to do great... and that weather looks perfect. I'll keep my fingers crossed that Mother Nature doesn't play a nasty trick on you! :)

Those pictures you took are amazing. Any suggestions on an SLR camera. We're looking into it and just started out hunt.

kessia reyne

Nice job being artsy ;)


way to keep crankin on the training! lol about triathletes posts get fewer and far between approach race day - TOTALLY

Ironman By Thirty

Sounds like a great trip despite having to cut it short!

Looking forward to meeting you next weekend! Are you doing packet pickup on Friday or Saturday? Maybe we can arrange to meetup there.


Looking forward to rallying with you as well!! I'll be there Saturday to do packet pick-up. Not sure what time though, as it depends on when we roll into town. I'm anxious to hear your thoughts on the course too since you're familiar with it! Send me a note if you can - is it hilly??

You are getting in some amazing workouts - SO ready!

And great pics from Mackinac too by the way :) Love it there

Caratunk Girl

YOU ARE SO READY for this weekend!! You freaking GOT THIS!! Good luck. Try to relax and enjoy the day. Say hey to Kevin for me.

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