Monday, August 24, 2015

Racing Weekend: Great Lakes Plunge & North Shore Triathlon

It was a great weekend for racing.  On Saturday at Clark Street Beach in Evanston, we had the first annual Great Lake Plunge.  While the water was a little cold it was a great event.  Those swimmers are crazy.  Most of the folks who signed up were planning to swim without wetsuits (not me).  But because the water temp was only 53 degrees the race officials decreed that wetsuits were mandatory.

I signed up for the 1.2 mile distance. There were also 5 mile and 2.4 mile options, but because of the cold temps, the distance options were reduced to 1500 and 750 meters and I jumped on that 750 meter option.  About 25 meters into the swim I was wishing my wetsuit had sleeves, but by 100 meters my brain was too cold to wish anymore and the rest of the swim was okay. 

On Sunday we had the 3rd annual North Shore Triathlon at Gillson Beach in Wilmette. The North Shore Triathlon is the creation of Craig Strong and J. P. Bordeleau of Precision Multisport where I train.  Craig and J.P. and a host of PM volunteers did a great job organizing the event. 

Two years ago at the first North Shore Tri I entered the race as a relay team with my daughters. I swam, Christie biked and Nicole ran. It rained for the entire race and whenever I have asked them if they wanted to try it again, they just give me a look. Not a good look. 

Last year the race was a month after my surgery and I couldn't bike so I had my friend Zeev Saffir do the bike segment and I swam and biked.  Unfortunately last year the temp on race morning was 42 degrees. 

This year the weather was perfect. I did all three segments.  And despite swimming slightly off-course (which is hard to do on a straight line course) I had a great race.  Averaged 20 mph on the bike and ran the 5K at a 7:33 pace. Took 1st in my age group. 

This was my last triathlon of the year. Next race is the Lakefront Marathon in Milwaukee which I will be running with my coach Heather Collins.  Our to make it to the starting line.

Check In for The Great Lake Plunge

Waiting for the water to warm up (it didn't)
Beat the crowd to Transition

A half hour later
Cold water

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

What Time is it Anyway?

I started this blog in July 2009 with the stated purpose of chronicling:
  •  My writing endeavors; I was working on a novel which I was confident would be published to huge acclaim in no more than a year.
  •  And my triathlon training; my goal was to finish in the top 10 of my age group at the USAT National Championships in 2011 when I would be the youngest in the 60 to 64 age group.

It is hard to say which goal was more unrealistic. I think it might be a tie. Which shows that at least I am consistent.

The novel took six years and I’m still waiting for it to be discovered by Oprah or maybe HBO.

And I have now competed in five national championships without finishing in the top 50% to say nothing about the top 10.

But I have improved my tri performance each year. One of the problems is that the old guys I’m competing against keep improving too. 

I wouldn’t have been able to improve at all if I hadn’t had great coaching – first with Craig Strong from Precision Multisport and these last three years with Heather Collins who works out of Precision also.

The 2015 USAT Nationals were held in Milwaukee last Saturday. It’s a great venue. I wish the USAT would keep the race there permanently – even though there are way too many guys walking around there with Packer jerseys.

I finished 52nd out of 85 in the 60 to 64 age group. 
BUT... year I compete with the REALLY old guys (65 to 69)  and my new more realistic goal is to finish in the top 25 (but my secret goal is top 20).

I also plan to publish another novel next year.  Please let Oprah know.  
And here are more photos of me.  They look very similar to the race photos from the last twenty races, except I keep looking a little older.