100 Triathlons...my next will be # 152!
Go to the early blogs to read how I got into triathlons. Click on any picture to enlarge it. I'm now in USA Triathlon's Century Club; go to
https://www.teamusa.org/USA-Triathlon/Membership-Services/Member-Recognition/Deca-and-Century-Club/Century-Club
"It is not the critic who counts, not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood...who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly." Theodore Roosevelt 1910

Saturday, November 19, 2011

500 MILES!

Thursday evening I went  for a 6 mile run in Wekiwa Springs in the dark with no moon, just my headlight.  Sandy doesn't like me to do that and it is a bit scary but exhilarating.  Friday morning I did a 12 mile ride on the trails as we were going to the Albin Polasek Museum & Home in Winter Park early.  I was going for a long bike ride this morning but the Litespeed had a flat and I didn't feel like riding the Trek so I took out on the Salsa and went into the Park.  Stopped about mile 12 to watch 2 buck deer chasing 3 does in the big open area on the north end.  As I started out again, I checked my bike computer and discovered I had just passed 500 miles on the bike!  That's all trail riding since I got the Salsa in May.  Still love it; every ride is an adventure.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Magic Full Moon Run

With the end of Daylight Savings Time on Sunday morning, darkness now begins around 6:00. I rushed home Wednesday evening to do a long run under the full moon.  I planned on running 6.2 miles in Wekiwa Springs State Park as early as possible.  I grabbed my headlamp, a new 200 lumen mini-flashlight, my reflective belt, the Garmin GPS, and my park pass and headed out at 5:55.  As I entered the park, the canopy of oak trees made the road even darker and I was grateful for the pool of light from my headlamp on the road ahead of me. 

By the time I reached the base of the big hill at mile 1.3, it was quite dark.  Off to my right, a owl hooted to it's mate with no response.  As I approached the campground entrance, my light picked up tiny glittering green lights in the grass by the road's edge.  At first I thought it was dewsparkle but upon crouching in the gravel, I realized what I was seeing were the eyes of small ground spiders.  I soon reached the open area by the Sand Lake parking lot, which was bathed in the full moon's light.  I turned off my headlight and ran a short distance in the moonlight.  I turned it back on as I rounded the lot at 2.7 miles for the run back.  Glancing into the woods to my left, I was surprised by a pair of glowing eyes watching me, about 4 feet from the ground.  I flicked on my new flashlight and realized it was a deer watching me about 20 yards off the road.  Running back past the campground brought me the smell of woodsmoke and campfires visible through the trees. 

Leaving the park, I did a little additional mileage to finish my run at 6.23 miles with a time of 1:05 under the shining moon.  I grabbed my camera and took the photo above.  This was a lot of fun and I'll definitely do it again.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

# 111 Masters Championship Olympic Tri @ Moss Park

Today was my last race of the year, the 5th Annual Masters Championship Olympic Tri.  I've kept my training level up after my July injury and even ran 12.2 miles with Bernadette last Sunday.  I've won this race twice before but was unsure what to expect having done only 1 race since July.

What was not expected was a cold snap, pushing temperatures 10-15' below normal, almost January conditions.  Saturday morning was in the high 40s so the air temp of 52' at Sunday's race start combined with a 70' water temp brought out the wetsuits.  The sun was just peeking up over Lake MaryJane when we hit the water for the 2 lap swim.  The field spread out well and I exited the water at 26:55, my 2nd quickest time at Moss Park.  Transition was a bit slow as I still struggle with removing the wetsuit no matter how much Astro Glide and Suit Juice lubricant I use.  I took off on the bike and after covering the 23 mile bike course, I finished with a 1:11:23, averaging 19.1, making this one of my slowest bike time at these races (20.5 was my fastest).  I headed out on the run feeling better and pushed harder.  My mile splits for the 5.6 mile run were 8:36 giving me a run finishing time of 48:14.  My final time was 2:33:59, good enough for 1st place out of 3.  My friend Bill Floyd from Tampa won his 60-64 age group and a new friend, Chuck Callahan, from College Park won 50-54.  Chuck "ages up" next year into my age group so I better watch out.  A great finish to a great year.  Number 112 will be in 2012!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

# 110 Clermont Sprint Triathlon

This is my first tri after my injury at the Scenic 17 Tri seven weeks ago.  I bruised tendons on my right foot stepping off the road on the run leg.  I didn't do any activity (did RICE) for a week after and my right foot turned purple.  I resumed swimming and cycling cautiously as it healed and did a few 1-2 mile runs in the last 2 weeks.  I thought the Clermont Sprint would be a good first race back.

I've done Clermont Sprints for years starting in June of 1994, five months after we moved to Florida.  The big surprise today was that the old, cramped Highland Hut had vanished, replaced by a huge new pavilion and building; very nice!  Another surprise was that there were over 600 competitors.
I was in Wave 4 which was surprisingly crowded including 1 guy who decided to do the backstroke in the middle of the 400 yard swim.  The bike was nice and hilly and I averaged 20 mph for the 10.6 mile course with a max speed of 40.2 on a downhill.  My main concern was the run because of my foot so I started slow with the idea of taking it easy.  Well, that went out the window after about 100'.  At the first quarter mile one of the many collegiate team members passed me and I hung with her.  Her name is Allison, a Junior from USF, and this was her first triathlon.  She was complaining of cramping so to get her mind off of it, we started chatting.  The miles rolled away and I finished at 1:08:12; my mile splits were 8:40 which is a pace I was happy with.  I finished 5th out of 13 with Ken Junkins winning and Jim Mayer taking second in Male 55-59.  These guys are really fast!  Allison finished 4th out of 6 in Collegiate Female, a great first race.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

# 109 Scenic 17 Triathlon - Babson Park

 This tri is a favorite of mine since I first did it in 2009.  It's held on the campus of Webber Intl. University in Babson Park, near Cypress Gardens.  The 600 yard lake swim is fine and the 5K run has a few hills but what makes it great is the 15 mile hilly bike ride on the Scenic 17 highway.  My average speed on the bike was only 18.9 but my max was 39.8!  Several long climbs are balanced by very fast downhills after great views at the top. 
There were 9 total in my 55-59 age group so I had plenty of competition. I was 4th on the swim and 4th on the bike.  There was a little problem on the run though.  Leaving transition, I was passed for fourth by Charles Best after we dueled for the entire bike ride.  After the turnaround at 1.55 miles, as I was climbing a hill with a right hand turn at the top, I put my foot into a hole at the pavement's edge.  My foot rolled to the right and as I went down, I jammed my left big toe on the pavement.  My right foot was really hurting so I walked about 500 yards and got passed again, moving me to sixth.  I soon discovered it didn't hurt any worse running than walking so I hobbled all the way to the finish.  The guys at the medical tent diagnosed it as a bruised tendon and iced it there. Even with my slow run, I finished 6th out of 9.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

#108 Tigershark Daytona Mid-sprint Tri

Great race today! This was the Mid-distance sprint at Tigershark's venue in Daytona Beach Shores. The Seminole County Triathletes came out in force as Tracey, Becky, and I raced and Billy, Deanna, Walter, Cathy, and Leigh cheered us on. Walter got some great photos!

My 600 yard swim was quick at 11:52, much better than last year's 18:27 with 5' waves. I managed to beat my friend and fellow Maddog, Randy Brown, out of the water, but he started nibbling away at my lead, passing me on the bike. I upped my bike pace from last year's 20.8 AVS to 21 for this leg.
Randy's strong run ended with me 2:02 behind him for second place. My final time was 1:18:06. Jan Thompson (Maddog #27) won her age group again, finishing just behind Tracey.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

First 200 Miles

This morning I passed the 220 mile mark with my new 'snow' bike, a Salsa Mukluk. The majority of my rides, ranging from 5 to 18 miles, have been in Wekiwa Springs State Park, across from my house. I travelled locally to other venues and after I sampled the Seminole State Forest, the Upper Wekiva Preserve, and Rock Springs Run State Preserve, I found that Wekiwa Springs had the widest variety of trails, hills, lakes, ponds, and fire roads anywhere nearby. The best part is that it's so close and very big. I've seen deer, black bears, fox squirrels, a bobcat, owls, rabbits, a gopher, tortoises, a bee tree, and an alligator gar in the river. One thing I almost never see is people. I often ride before or after work on the weekdays but nobodies around. Here are a selection of photos from my rides; click on any to enlarge it.

























Sunday, June 26, 2011

# 107 Tigershark Daytona Sprint Triathlon

Rob Wallace's Tigershark Triathlon Series at Daytona Beach Shores is always a well run group of races and this year's first one was no exception. The races increase in length each month so it adds to the challenge, plus changing surf conditions always add some spice to the swim. Sandy rose at 4:00 AM with me to greet the sunrise on Daytona Beach. We met some old friends in transition and I readied myself for the 7:00 AM start.

There was some overcast skies at the gun but the waves were calm with a very low tide so there was little north/south current.























The bike leg on A1A was fast and flat with a small breeze from the south. The tailwind on the return allowed me to crank my max speed to 25.6 with a final average of 20.4. I shot out of transition for the new run course with the continuing overcast keeping temps down. The new beach run now has two turnarounds so I was keeping an eye out for my competition. My mile splits for the run were 7:34 with a final finish time of 1:00:34. My tri-run times are always faster than my running races alone. This was good enough for first out of three in my age group.




Fellow Mad Dog Jan Thompson also won her age group with her son picking up second as a Clydesdale. Another great race!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

# 106 Orlando Triathlon at Baldwin Park

Today was the perfect day for a race; 70s, no wind, calm water, flat course, lots of people, at a local venue. Baldwin Park is a new urban community about 3 miles east of my office in downtown Orlando on the site of the old Navy Base. Epic Marketing was putting on this race for the seventh year. It features an unusual multiple lap bike leg which is 5 times around the lake, followed by a 1 lap run.
I started out strong on the 750 meter swim and then charged out on the bike. With all the people on the course at once, it adds to the challenge but it feels great to be passing people constantly. I finished with an average speed of 21.7 and followed with a fast run at a 7:37 mile pace. My final time was 1:14:05, good for 2nd out of 6 in the 55-59 age group.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

New Salsa Mukluk - First Ride!

A few years back, I was at Orange Cycle when Orlando bike doyen Diane Blake, arrived with an amazing new bicycle, a Surly Pugsley. It's a snow bike from Minnesota that does equally well in sand. I thought, "What a perfect bike for Wekiwa Springs State Park's sandy trails". So for about 2 years, I have been saving for my own snow/sand bike. After gathering small work bonuses and ebay sales, it finally added up and on Monday, May 2nd, a new Salsa Mukluk arrived. I put it together the next evening and was riding around neighbors' lawns at 10:15 that night. I was really looking forward to Sunday in the Park!

Mother's Day morning at 7:00 AM I entered the park, filled with nervous anticipation. My last foray in there with a Gary Fisher mountain bike (1999) resulted in many spills and the sale of the Fisher at the following month's Orange Cycle Garage Sale. I hit the first trail 1 mile from my house and immediately started a sharp uphill climb, scattering 9 deer on my way up. About 5 minutes later, I was hooked; the Mukluk was perfect for the sandy trails! About 3 miles later I decided to turn off the fireroads and try a singletrack trail. The bike excelled at the technical stuff too, bouncing over roots and obstacles with ease. I rode up toward Otter Camp, the furthest camp in the park, at the 6 mile point. I passed Big Buck Camp which was occupied with a family (Happy Mother's Day!) and waved as I continued on. Otter Camp was empty so I stretched my legs and took some photos. Both of these camps are on Rock Springs Run, which funnels into the Wekiva River.
























After a break, I backtracked and explored a trail I had never run down before. I was surprised when it dead-ended at a fence on the border of Kelly Park, the very north end of Wekiwa. I turned south and stopped again 2 miles later at a trail crossing. I was then surprised by 3 mountain bikers, William, Paul, and Tony. We chatted briefly and I let them lead out and followed behind. We separated after a bit and I saw them in the distance on another cross trail later. I went through the dreaded "sugar sand" 5 times but only had to walk through it twice. I'm sure that will improve. The best part of the ride was never falling once. I returned home with a total of 15.6 miles and the conclusion that this bike is amazing!

SCT Lake Monroe Bike & Run

Saturday started with a 10 person Seminole County Triathletes Meetup at D2 Cycling in Sanford at 7:00 AM. We took off for a 33 mile bike around Lake Monroe. A little extension of the course took us down some empty country roads.


Everyone laughed when we passed a "Lost Pig" sign by a mailbox. Upon our return, 6 of us ran the D2 2.7 mile loops, some twice, some 3 times; Deanna and I did 7.25 miles. It got quite hot near the end in the bright sunshine. Good workout: it's nice to have D2 as a place to meet.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Easter Sunday @ Lucky's Lake!

Dr. Lucky invited everyone to his home for an Easter sunrise service, lake swim, and pancake breakfast. An amazing 172 people showed up for the 7:00 AM service! Everyone packed away pancakes after a 1 or 2 kilometer swim and my wife Sandy made dozens of omlets for all. Great time!
Read more about Lucky's Lake at my July 2010 blog or go to the link on my home page.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

# 105 Frogman Olympic-distance Triathlon

Beautiful Daytona Beach was the venue for my 105th triathlon. The Frogman Triathlon is an Olympic distance race that benefits the Naval Special Warfare Foundation, supporting Navy SEALS and their families. Rob Wallace, the race director, has 2 sons in the SEALS.


Since this was a longer race, the start was right at sunrise, 7:00 AM. The .9 mile swim was a bit choppy and it took a while for me to get into a rhythm. I exited the water at 29:51 and headed out on my bike. The only unusual feature of the 25 mile bike was going over the intracoastal bridge, which came at mile 4. It was a slow 10mph climb to the top, rewarded by a 32mph downhill on the other side. After about 8 miles on the mainland, I hit the bridge again for the return. I was blasting along at 21+mph south along the river when I realized that the wind had picked up and I was going downwind. After several turns, I was back on Atlantic Ave. which turned into A1A and a headwind. My speed was consistent at that point and I finished with an average of 19.6mph. Coming out of transition for the run, I headed north on A1A, which had the right lane closed for us. At the 1.5 mile mark, we turned right down a beach ramp for a 3 mile run on Daytona Beach, followed by a final 1.5 back on A1A. I passed 1 person on the run for a 3rd place finish out of 5. The 6.2 miles took me 1:03 for a 10:09 mile split. My final time was 2:50:01.



Several retired SEALS spoke at the awards cermony which was a special treat.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

SCT/D2 Half-ironman Training Weekend

Tremendous weekend! The Seminole County Triathletes presented a Half-ironman Training weekend starting with a 1.2 mile swim on Friday evening in Little Lake Howell (thanks, Terry), followed by a 56 mile bike from David Houle's D2 Cycling Center in Sanford, concluding with a 13.1 run on the Seminole-Wekiva Trail on Sunday morning. About 15 people signed up with about 10 doing all 3 legs (including me).
The swim was great, with a well marked course (of water-ski buoys) in calm, spring fed Little Lake Howell. You could tell when you swam over a spring because the water got colder instantly. We were treated to a nice buffet on Terry's lanai as we watched the sun set over the lake.

Saturday's 56 mile was due to start at 7:30, so I arrived at 7:00 and got my gear all ready. David Houle hosted the event at his shop, the D2 Cycling Center in Sanford, just north of Route 46.

We took off promptly and headed south being led by 3 very fast members of the Seminole Cyclists club, including David's wife Shannon. I dropped back a few times but would catch the group again at stoplights. Around mile 25, the 3 leaders took off and I caught the second group at the 1st SAG stop, right on Lake Monroe in downtown Sanford. We all finished together after the lap around Lake Monroe. My average speed was 18.8 mph for the entire ride; that's close to race pace for the 56 miles.





Sunday morning we all met at the Markham Road station of the Seminole-Wekiva Trail. West Volusia Runners helped coordinate this and brought a sizeable contigent with also.
Most of the SCT people were doing the 13.1. We started out pretty fast and I stayed quick despite my efforts to slow down. I was feeling good and figured just go for it. Jennifer from WVR was already at the water stop/turnaround at the Jones Trailhead at Long Pond Road and started after me. She kept pushing me and I stayed with her, doing 8:30 mile pace. We caught Rebecca with about 3 miles to go and she stayed with us and surged ahead, forcing me to keep up. My PR in the half is 1:54:52 (2005 OUC Half/Orlando) and the time was pretty close.
A big push at the end got me in at 1:57:14 so that was a great finish. Thank you ladies for pushing me so hard. After a rest/stretch at the trailhead, most of us headed over to D2 Cycling for the BBQ. David & Shannon outdid theirselves with the food and we enjoyed watching the pictures from the weekend on the video screens. All together a great training weekend.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Orlando Xtreme Half-Marathon

The first event of the New Year! Orlando Xtreme Half-Marathon is an annual event, an off-road 13.1 mile run at the Orlando Wetlands Park, on the very eastern edge of the city. (If you click on the picture above, you can see runners across the lake.) My friend Bernadette signed up early and convinced me to join her and another runner from West Volusia Runners, Rick Paine. There is also a 5K and 10K at the same event. The trails are really dirt roads that twist and wind through the park. The half-marathon course was a 2 and 1/2 lap run for the total distance.
It started off cold (36') with a crystal clear sunrise at 7:03 AM. The 3 events all started at 7:30 at 3 different spots so we never saw the others. A co-worker
Rhonda brought her daughter, Ashlee, to run the 5K. Since I was off on my race, I missed Ashlee's victory as First Female Overall. The picture to the right shows a proud Rhonda with Ashlee.
Rhonda snapped the pic below of me as I finished lap 2.
At the start of the Half, Rick took off like a bullet and Bernandette and I ran together for the first mile. Then her ITB problem acted up, forcing her to walk, so she sent me on. I began a methodical climb through the field, averaging 8 to 9 minute miles. The weather was perfect after the sun came up and it was great running in the early Saturday morning. Very scenic course through the wetlands. I decided to carry my Hammer Nutrition bottle filled with a 240 calorie mix of Perpetuem rather than use a belt carrier. The next day my biceps were aching from the hundreds of bicep curls I performed during the event; back to the belt next time! I supplemented the liquid with Hammer Gel, Endurolytes, and Anti-Fatigue Caps and felt strong throughout the entire race. I really cranked it up for the last mile as my GPS showed me doing 7:30 pace near the end, with a final time of 2:07:24. The result was an average time of 9:17 per mile over a 13.70 mile distance, so the course was a little longer than a half-marathon. My PR in the half (on asphalt) is 1:54:52 at the OUC Half in 2005.
Rick had finished ahead of me with a 1:44:47 and Bernadette came in with a 2:18:07. When they announced the awards, we all had finished second in our categories! A very satisfactory result to a great day!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Into the New Year

Well, 2011 is stretched out in front of me and I just filled out my calendar with various events in the New Year. I spent many of the past December mornings at Florida Hospital Rehab at RDV Sportsplex in Maitland. Betsy Hughes at Track Shack recommended a therapist there named Laura for my running injury. Laura was a godsend and the 1+ hour therapy/twice a week cured me of pain and discomfort. I still need to perform the exercises twice a week and aggressively stretch after my long runs. They open at 6:00AM, which allowed me to get to work by 8 with no problem.

This morning I ran 11.1 miles in the Wekiwa Springs State Park and felt great afterward. Encountered Gary Cohen's trail running group at mile 7 in the middle of a golden meadow of grass; they even had a little white dog running with them. See Gary's and the Park's link at the blue box on the right side of the main page.

No swimming yet as the water temp in Lucky's Lake is 56'F; cold even with a wetsuit. I may go back to the state park as the springs temp is 72'F year round. Last Sunday, I froze on a early bike ride as it was 46'F at the start but dropped to 32' on the northern route. Made a Panera's and Starbucks stop just to warm-up. The rest of the USA was buried in snow all weekend. Looks like it's going to be a great year.