Friday, September 30, 2011

Augusta 70.3 Part 3 The Run

Augusta 70.3 Part 3 The Run       
The Augusta run consists of two loops though the “main” street of Augusta.  It is all paved route and the road conditions are good. 
Me day dreaming about a beer.

The race support was great.  The typical ice, water, Poweraid, gels, etc were handed out (although they were being pretty stingy on the ice).  The really nice item being handed out was the cold sponges.  They were great to shove down your shirt and keep you cool.
The weather during the run was probably in the low 90s.  It was overcast almost the entire run which kept the heat down.  When the sun did pop out if got hot quick.
Me with a dumb look on my face.

It did start to rain later in the race after I finished.  I made the mistake of keeping my phone in my race bag without being in a ziplock bag.  So after I was finished I quickly ran 1.2 miles back to transistion to put our cycling computers and my phone in a zip lock bag.  As soon as I did this it stopped raining (go figure).  I than ran another 1.2 miles back to watch Bonnie finish her first 70.3.  It then started raining again so my adventure paid off.
With the above 2.4 mile phone saving adventure, the 1.2 mile walk to the swim start and a 1 mile bike ride to the car my 70.3 really was a 74.9 :-).  Would that qualify as a HIM Ultra?

Bonnie's Tri With Sway coach having fun.

There was a great deal of the Augusta residences that came out to watch and support the runners.  It was nice to do a HIM that had people cheering you on during the entire run.  It is really hard running to a silent or non-existing crowd.  That’s when you really have to dig deep if you dislike running. 

Several Orlando based tri groups were in the area cheering people on.  Bonnie’s group stayed the ENTIRE race cheering for everyone.  
Triston dress up as Buzz Tri-Year.

Mr Buzz Tri-Year

Another strange Augusta-ism (other than the showgirls, church and bar) was a 24 hour barber shop you pass during the run.  If you think Walmart is strange at 3am, I wonder what types of characters show up at a barber shop at that time.  I found a story about the barbershop on the internet here.  It sounds like a man working hard to make an honest buck in a tough economy.  I respect that…but I still think it is a little strange.

Mr YMCA chearing us on.

The weather did turn for the worst near the very end of the race (near cut off time).  There was a tornado warning in the area that forced the race officials to close the race early and pull runners off the course.  One of my friends was one of the runners pulled off the course with only 1 mile left.  She did get her medal but was really upset she did not truly finish the race. 

I look like I am flipping off the cameraman with my left hand.

The run started off with my legs dead.  They were very heavy and it took about 1 mile to get them back into running condition.  I tried to stay in the sub 10 min/mile pace.  My PR on a plan 13.1 is 1:56 so I was hoping to get around a 2:10 finish.  I walked just enough to get the feeling back into my legs.  I pushed through the pain and monotony of running and finished the run in 2:18:01 10.32/mi. It also helped that one of Bonnies team member's husbands had two cold Fat Tire beers waiting for me at the finish line.
Overall Augusta was a great 70.3 and I would gladly do this race in the years to come.  Everything about the race was great.  I really have nothing I could say negative about it.  I would highly recommend this 70.3 to others.  It is a speed course with very little challenges.  It is a great first 70.3 for anyone. 
I finished the entire race in 5:57:18 (a sub 6 hour 70.3).  That was my goal.

Looking good and feeling strong

Bonnie and some team members showing off the bling.

The hard earned bling

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Augusta 70.3 Part 3 The Bike

Augusta 70.3 Part 3 The Bike
After getting out of the water and removing all the “seaweed” I ran to the wetsuit strippers.  The wetsuit strippers were two young girls who got quite a kick out of pulling me around and removing my wetsuit.  Honestly, I think they thought I as hot.  ;-)

Breaking the seal in the morning leads to issues.
This is how I felt.
(All the water fountains in Augusta where purple for the race)

Out of the wetsuit and into the bathroom!  As any triathlete knows, once you break the seal in the morning it’s all downhill from there.  I spent most of the prerace morning in the bathroom.  Normally, I never have to go back to the bathroom after the race starts.  That’s what the swim is for (oh like you don’t do it also) but I do not care how much I tried I could not mentally break the seal in the wetsuit.  So I had to make a pit stop after being stripped.

Speaking of being stripped, this is something you only see in Augusta,
a strip-joint next to church next to a bar. 
How convenient!

I took my time in transition.  I put on sunscreen because my German/Dutch ancestry makes me a vampire and I burn by merely walking into the sunlight.  Put on sock, shoes, etc.  This race I was proud of myself because I remembered to take off my cleat covers before getting on the bike.

!Off I go!

Off I go on the bike.  The GA road conditions suck. There are lots of potholes and uneven terrain but the minute you cross into SC the roads are great.  Apparently GA does not put the money into keeping their roads very nice.

At a snails pace

The ride was mostly rolling hills.  No really steep hills.  It was nothing an average cyclist could not handle.  Almost all of the race was pretty, country roads and was well policed by volunteers and police officers.
There were four aid stations, each about 18 miles apart.  Water, Poweraid, bananas, PowerBars, etc were handed out.
What was annoying were all the people cheating.  It looked like the Tour de France with all the pelotons that were passing me.  I could tell who the “best” age groups where because each wave of pelotons where by age group.   There was not an official to be seen.  During the entire race I only saw a judge 3 times.  Most of these cyclists believe it is not cheating if they do not get caught.  WTC really has to fix this issue. 
Man I look old! I'm only in my lower 30s.
I need to double check in I am the right age group.

One peloton nearly took me out by clipping my front wheel.  I yelled some “kind” words to the cyclist.  When he turned around I have him a “salute”.

Throwing the Ronnie James Dio horns!

Later in the race I found out one of my friends hits some sand/gravel and crashed.  The cyclist behind her was so close that she ran over my friend when she went down.  Luckily she suffered only a cracked helmet and minor scrapes and was able to continue on with the race and finish.
One interesting sign during the race was “Get off my roads and go home!”  Apparently, this guy did not like the race going on on “his roads.”  Sorry buddy WTC just signed a agreement with Augusta till 2014. 
The ride went good.  I average 18.85mph (with the hills) and finished at 2:58:16.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Augusta 70.3 Part 2 The Swim

Augusta 70.3 Part 2 The Swim

The swim in Augusta is unique.  You must walk or be bused 1.25 miles upstream from you transition area.  You then swim downstream the entire swim.  There are also no turns during the swim.  It is straight downstream with an exit up a boat ramp at the end.  Needless to say it is a FAST swim.  Someone said you could float a paper bag to the finish line in 45 minutes.  I believe it because there was enough trash in the river to test the theory.   

The dock you had to walk down

People getting perpared for the swim start.
We visited the swim start the day before to get the lay of the land.  The swim start is on a boat dock.  There is a walkway the extended about 25% of the way across the river.  To start the race you have to walk to the end of the dock and jump off.   It is a “in the water” swim start.  You float or sink till the cannon to go off.  Then you swim like a mad man downstream with everyone kicking, slapping, touching, poking, etc. you (a typical Ironman swim start). 
"Seaweed" aka hydrilla

The river water is slightly dark and is full of “seaweed.”  (It kills me to say that as a former freshwater biologist but it is a term everyone will understand.  The “seaweed” was a mixture of hydrilla, eelgrass and human trash).  As you swam in the river it would get stuck on your goggles or smack you on the face.  It was kind of strange but not all that bad.  I wish I had the picture of my friend whose swim finish photo has hydrilla hanging from her swim goggles on the swim exit.

Swim start with everyone crowded behind it.

My swim wave was #6 and it started at around 7:45.  This meant I had to hall butt to swim start and had little time to enjoy the experience.  Bonnie was one of the last waves and looks like she had a ton of fun (see photos) waiting around (regardless of the amount of complaining she did about having to go last). 
I wish I had a photo to prove this but someone in my wave was wearing nothing but Ironman (the movie) underwear briefs.  I do not know how he got away with it.  It was really strange.

Sample Ironman briefs

Another strange moment was right before the swim start we all had our dark green swim caps on and was starting down the start ramp when some 20 something asks “is this the green start wave?”.  That kid gets the “here’s your sign award of the day.”  Everyone around had a good laugh about it.  The only person who responded said “no this is the pink cap wave start.”

Somewhere in the picture is Bonnie swimming.
It's like a "Where's Waldo"

The swim was great for me.  It was fast and I set a new PR.  I completed the swim in 28:01 (1:28/100m).  It was all downstream and in a wetsuit so I had a great advantage over my other 70.3 swims but I will take it as a PR.  :-) 
To be continued…

"Getting ready" for the swim

Bonnie ready to go

Bonnie and T before the swim

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Augusta 70.3 Pre-Race Preparations

Augusta 70.3 Pre-Race Preparations
I’m going to break this race recap into several “bite size” chucks. Over the years I have determined if you write anything more than about 5 paragraphs people will not read it. :-) I am also hoping to find the plug for our camera so I can get all the really good pictures posts.

I think I will paint "I love you Bonnie" in John Deer Green
 Bonnie, Triston and I drove up on Friday morning to Augusta. From our home, the ride to Augusta should take about 7 hours. I normally drive the speed limit and that drives Bonnie nuts. So Bonnie (Indian name “IronFoor”) drove so we could arrive in Augusta sooner. I believe she lapped Mario Andretti and our potty breaks looked like Nascar pit stops.
Bonnie pulled us into the finish line (registration) and she received the checkered flag. Triston and I were white knuckled, scared out of our minds and very eager to get out of the race car. Okay, so I am taking some creative liberty (but just a little).

Time for me to check in!
This was Bonnie’s first 70.3 so she was a ball of nerves. Shopping at the expo soon calmed her down. Why does shopping do that to women? We picked up our packets and posed for our LAVA pictures. People gathered around us thinking we were famous.

Stand back Andrew Potts
Look at those guns

She looks like a tennis player for some reason

We also checked out the swim start which is local boat dock. The water was pretty dirty and there was a ton of trash that was pushed up against the dock. Water weeds floated everywhere (more on that later). It was not a place I normally would pick to swim.
The Savannah River
It looks nice from a distance.

Swim Start (ignore the trash and weeds)
Bonnie’s mom and dad went to Augusta to watch her do her first race. On Friday we went to a local restaurant called RhineHarts Oyster Bar and ate dinner. I was pretty busy but there was no wait. It looked like a biker bar but the food was cheap and darn good. Bonnie team went to an Italian chain and the wait was over 1.5 hours. We had no wait so we were very happy.
Yummy food!

One big happy family
(Bonnie's parents)

While driving through downtown Bonnie noticed the town had her favorite beer, “Fat Tire”. She looked like a kick who just received a “Tickle Me Elmo” for Christmas. She was very excited but pissed because she had to wait till after the race to drink one.
The race packet was less than stellar. It contained a normal boring race shirt, a box of cereal, hand sanitizer and foot powder. Wow, Ironman went out of their way on this race swag!
Wow impressive (NOT)!!
At least my feet will not stink (much)

Bonnie with her cheezy smile

Bonnie striking a pose
(like she was not a ball of nerves)
Pre-Race Carbs

I wished they carried this brewer in Florida.
Good Stuff
Post race carbs

Kevin's post race carbs

Friday, September 23, 2011

Augusta 70.3 Tracking

I'm using a remote blogging tool so I apologize for any strangeness.

You can use the link below to track your favorite, famous and handsome triathlete on Sunday (you can also use it to track me by using my race number 620).

On The Cover of Lava

Check us out on next months Augusta 70.3 edition.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011


Yep, that's me!!
Last night I was doing a short 40 minute run on the gym treadmill when an advertisement for the CNBC "Coffee Addiction" came on the TV.  Now that is just not right.  That is not even nice.  The advertisement says "The medical consensus regards caffeine as less of an addiction and more of a physical dependence."  Whatever!! Your really cutting hairs at that point!  All I want after the race is a nice Cigar City Cubano-style ESPRESSO Brown Ale.  It's the best of worlds, beer and Cuban espresso.  Both I crave after a long 70.3 day.

Great FL Brewer from my old stomping grounds of Tampa.
Running on the treadmill you notice many things.  I found it strange last night that my tapering week contains more exercising than most people do in a normal week.  I think I was the only one on the treadmill for more than 15 minutes last night.  One 20 something guy got on the treadmill yesterday and walked for 5 minutes than went to lift weights.  Why?  He certainly did not get in any cardio or raise his heart rate.  I guess looking buff is more important than being healthy.
Since this is taper week I have laid off all weight training.  I am starting to miss it.  I love weight training and take it serious.  I believe it really help with triathlon training and injury avoidance.  My normal week routine looks like this.
Monday - 1hr Chest & 1hr Swim
Tuesday -  1hr Back/Core and 1hr Treadmill Run
Wednesday –1hr Swim & 1hr Randomness (either weights or a run if I missed it on Tuesday)
Thursday- 1hr Weights & 1hr Treadmill Run
Friday - OFF
Saturday - 2-3K Open Water Swim & a Long Run (8 – 14 miles)
Sunday – Long Bike Ride (50-70 miles)
Raise, leather and repeat…

Tuesday, September 20, 2011



Hello my name is Kevin and I have a problem.  I’m addicted to coffee.  I blame it on my profession.  I am a software developer and it is a requirement (almost a rite of passage) to be addicted.  That stereotype of software geeks staying up 24 hours in front of a computer to fix your “simple issue” is completely true.  I have pulled many all-nighters in my youth.  Add on top of that I went to college and worked full time so there were many nights I pull out way to many Mountain Dews.  This was a long before they had energy drinks.  “Back in my day” our energy drinks were coffee, espresso, Mountain Dew and Jolt (if you had a really big problem).  Well I kicked the soda addiction by I have not kicked the coffee addiction. 
This week is taper week so I am staying off the caffeine so I will be well hydrated for the race.  Bonnie tried to stay off the coffee but didn’t make it past the first day.  She only made it to 3:00 pm Monday. HeHe!!  She is more addicted than me (but not by much).
Oh what I wouldn’t do for a double espresso right now…..

Monday, September 19, 2011

One Week Before Augusta 70.3

One Week Before Augusta 70.3

So we have only one week left before Augusta 70.3.  This will be Bonnies first 70.3 so she is a just “a little” excited and jittery.  She will do fine.  This race will be harder for me because I will get very little sleep as she tosses and turns in nervous anxiety.  So after this weekend’s training I decided to take a nap but Chewie did not want me to take a nap.  After about 20 minutes of throwing this squeaky toy he finally settled down a bit.  But then he wanted to kiss me and get pet for another 20 minutes.  So my 1 hour nap turned into 20 minutes.  He’s like having a small kid in the house.  Finally he gave up and took a nap with me.  He placed his head on my shoulder and he slept more comfortably than me.

As you can see my dog hates me.

Finally some sleep!!

Chewie has no face in pictures. 
He's just a black blop of fur and ears.

This weekend’s training was 2K open-water swim, 10 miles on the treadmill and 63 miles on the bike.  It’s time to start tapering this week and hydrating.  No coffee or beer for me this week.  That will suck. Not sure how I will survive without my coffee.