Tuesday, August 31, 2010

TRI'ing something new!

This past weekend was one of Morgantown's most popular events, the 7th annual Sprint, Splash and Spin triathlon present by Mon County Habitat for Humanity. For the past four or five years I have been the iPlayOutside.com photographer for the event and more than once I said to myself I should have signed up and took part in the race. Well this year I did just that.

Most folks know that I am pretty good on a bike but swimming and running?! I didn’t even own a pair of running shoes and would I make a fool out of myself trying to swim in the pool for all to see? These were the questions I was faced with days before the event. I was still going to be the iPlay photographer for the race so first I needed to find someone to step in for me while I was out on the course. Luckily Julie Black (owner of iPlay) was more than happy to get up at 6:30 am and come down and take photos for a bit. Thanks again Julz! Problem solved.

At 8:30pm the night before the race I found myself in a shoe store trying to find something to wear on my feet for the next day. Probably not the best idea waiting till the last minute to find some shoe but free time was at a minimum the weeks leading up to the race. After searching for a whole five minutes I picked a pair of shoes and headed out of the store wearing my new shoes like I was 5 years old again (thought maybe they would break in a bit, lol!). My wife said that the shoes looked funny on me because I never wear running shoes. :/

After my last minute shopping for shoes, Gina and I headed over to Jay’s Getaway for a congratulations party for Laura Kelley who defended her dissertation that morning. GREAT JOB Dr. KELLEY!! I looked at my wife before we stepped into the bar and said, “Two beer maximum for me, got to race at 7:30am”. Well we all know how that goes, let’s just say more than two beers were had. We left the bar at around 11pm and there was still enough time to go home get some sleep and then get up around 6am to prepare to race.

I was nervous about the swimming and running. I was not sure I could complete the swim in 10 minutes and run 5k because I had never done a race like this before. At 4am I found myself lying in bed wide awake. I didn’t fight it, I just got up made some coffee and breakfast and started my day (for those who know me, I never get out of bed before 9am). As much as I hate getting up early it was nice to not be running around trying to get ready an hour before the race started.

Photos by Julie Black/iPlayOutside.com

Fast forward to 7:15. I found myself standing in the pool area at Marilla wondering what the hell I had gotten myself into. Racing bicycles was pretty normal for me but this was going to be totally different! 7:29! I was in the pool making nervous talk with the lifeguard who was in charge. Then before I knew it he blew the start whistle! ACK!! My swim was not a thing of beauty and was a little slow but I finished it in 8 minutes and 4 seconds. I was so happy to finish it before the maximum limit of 10 minutes and headed to the transition area feeling pretty happy. Goal one, complete!

The bike leg was where I had hoped to make up some time. Heading into the race I was shooting for a top 40 time on the bike. I had a slight disadvantage because I was not using aero bars but hoped I could overcome that. In the first mile I started passing folks who exited the pool before me and I was riding well. Even though I was putting in a good effort, I still was able to appreciate what a nice morning it was for a ride. I enjoyed it so much! In the end I finished the bike leg with the 29th fastest ride of the day. Goal two complete.

Photos by Julie Black/iPlayOutside.com

During the ride I was thinking about the upcoming run. It had been at least 10 to 15 years sense the last time I ran, plus I just bought my shoes the night before. “This could be a disaster”, I thought to myself. As I dropped off my bike and headed out for the run I had no clue how my body was going to react. I started out with a very easy pace and tried not to blow myself up. Further and further down the trail I was going and I was still able to run. I was kinda surprised. I got to the halfway point and was still able to run! Hmm I thought. This is new. I was able to finish up the run without walking at all and I was pretty happy with that. Goal three complete! In the end I could/should have going a bit faster on the run but I didn’t know what to expect.

Photos by Julie Black/iPlayOutside.com

I finished the race in 1 hour and 12 minutes. That was good enough for 85th place out of 265 racers. I was extremely happy with that! After a quick change of clothes it was off to take over for Julz and finish up the event photos for iPlay!
I had so much fun doing the race and I hope to do it again next year! Now I just got to get the TRI folks to do my Time Trail race on Sept. 18th!

Thanks to Dynamic Physical Therapy, Cannondale, Kenda Tires, Camelbak, Swiftwick, Ergon, I9, Mike Miller DDS, Edward Jones, Performance Coaching Services, Pro Gold Lube and Pathfinder for letting us race on the best equipment in the business.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Life on the road!

Here is a photo of the inside of Team Member Chris McGill's van from this past week as he traveled the east coast. For this expert packing job Chris earned his packing 101 merit badge! Moving, need help packing the U-Haul? I would call Chris and ask for his help! lol!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Shogrens score two podiums at Nationals and more!

Congratulation to both Gunnar and Betsy Shogren for their efforts at last weeks USA Cycling Master's National Championships in Louisville, KY.

The Dynamic duo (Get it!?! lol!) scored the team first podium of the week with a fifth place finish in the Mixed Tandem division. However that was not enough for the pair as both competed in multiple event during the week. Gunnar took part in a fast and stacked Men's road race and crit, while Betsy took part in crit. Both did very well and Betsy was also able to grab her second podium of the week despite coming down with the flu!

YOu want more?! Well just two days ago the pair entered into the West Virginia State Championship Road Race and BOTH came away as 2010 State Champions. Not only did they win state titles but the race was also the final event in the 2010 ABRA Road Race Series in which they both also claimed the tops spots!


Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Late season update: Kenda Cup Bear Creek

Welp fan, it is August and people are already talking cross. I am not, as I am still struggling to find my mountain and road form but it is a sign that things are already winding down as I am hoping to finally wind it up for the remainder of this MTB season. During those important months of spring when big miles lead to big results in the 100s I found my training cut down by close to 50% of normal because of my non-bike responsibilities as a do-gooder-mind-molder which has resulted 50% less race readiness and that has been compounded by that knee injury from last years 24hrs race that has left me limping many days out of this season. I have had a few podiums though and most importantly I am still having fun so life is good.

Last weekend was the Wilderness 101 and about six days before I pulled the plug. The knee and a strained quad made me easily decide that riding 8+ hours on a SS would not be much fun or smart. So instead I headed to Amish country for the Kenda Cup at Bear Creek. Holy smokes was this a tough event. Bear Creek is a ski resort so I was expecting your typical dumb USAC ski resort course, where you climb up the mountain for 30 minutes on a fire road and than blast down in 10 minutes through the woods, rinse, gargle and repeat. Nop, the organizers but together a dozy of a course, instead of climbing straight up the mountain we went up in three stages through the woods. Wait, three mean gnarly rock filled stages through the woods. The climb was mad technical and the descent was even more so and boy did it knock you silly. Some of the rock sections both ascending and descending where down right scary but a whole lot fun so long as you cleared them. I normally like the longer races but as we went through the start/finish for our third and final lap I was pretty satisfied and would have been happy to be finished with two. And man oh man, did that third lap hurt. My arms where rubber and my hands where sore as bounced my way through that last lap. I was more afraid of the fatigue in my arms letting loose and causing me to crash instead of the rocks. By days end I was 5th in class and 9thish within the group I started with, not stellar but not that bad either which is how this season is going. I had a hoot though and if I can I’ll go back as should you.

The remainder of August is filled with exciting racn’ action for ya’ll entertainment fan. The Shogren’s, as I write, are headed to Lou-Ville for road Natz and I am sure they’ll have some tales from the road. This weekend I have my choice of MTB racn’, either the Big Bear Ultra or a MASS race in Yozelland. Stay tuned for my report from where ever I end up. Then we got the ABRA RR race but I’ll be in NY visiting my family and doing mall laps with Grandma Rosie so I’ll miss that but I will be hitting a 6 Hour MTB race while there in the Finger Lakes. Oh then what, oh yeh, Coopers Rock and the SM100 maybe and then, wow, it might be over. Then the bikes will change but not the life with Charm City cross. It is a simple life but a good one.

As always "May the wind be always at your back. May the sun shine warm upon your face" and may your wheels always find it safely back to the ground.

PEACE Chrissy