Saturday, April 30, 2011

St. Croix Race Prep

Hydrating Before the Race

It's Friday before Jay's 70.3 at St. Croix where there are 2 slots in his age group for Hawaii. We are staying at the lovely Tamarind Reef in Green Cay Marina, where we did our morning run, followed by an official swim of the swim course, where the waves made us feel "like paperclips in a bath tub." Once done with our morning tune-up, we hit Rowdy Joe's for Jay could have his pre-race hydration and the "best fish tacos he's ever had."

Jay Sacking Out on the Beach

The beach at Cane Bay nearby was not bad either. We took the opportunity to chill a bit, catch some rays, and cool off in the water...and then at the nearby Eat Cane Bay bar with some killer Cruzan Rum drinks!

The View of the Northside, St. Croix

The views on the bike course are spectacular. This is a shot of the Northside where the bike course starts out...the only easy part of the whole day, with a downwind curvy section. Today (Saturday) we will really chill, with just one quick trip into town for some needed supplies. I'm sitting out on our patio looking at sailing boats, surf, and the nearby Buck Island (where our snorkeling cruise will take us on Monday).

Here's to wishing Jay good luck!!!! GO JAY! GO JAY! GO JAY!!!!!!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Ready, Set, Go!

Its been almost exactly 1 year since I was told the horrible news that my heart went bad with an infection and aortic aneurysm. Actually, under a year by about 3 weeks. Today I did my first triathlon since the operation to replace my valve and root with a human homograph. Since the operation, the last 11 and 1/2 months of battling back to this point has been a journey that few people could understand.

Today's race was just a dress rehearsal for next weekends task at the 70.3 race in St. Croix. The Grizzly Triathlon in Missoula MT. is the largest in numbers participating in the state. The competition is really pretty good especially in the younger age groups, The University of Montana regularly competes for the nations best in the collegiate Triathlon championships. There is also a good elite field for a race that offers no prize money. Lindsey Corbin, Ben Hoffman, and Matt Seely are regular participants.

The race went pretty well with just a couple of non-fitness mishaps such as my seat post slipping down about an inch after whacking a pot-hole, blowing through the last turn as the cop was taking a nap as I approached and having to stop and winch up my laces on my shoes on the run. Other than that I was pleased with how I felt. I swam right at 1:20 Pace per 100 for the 1000yd swim. ave 281w on the bike for 20k and ran 22:10 for the 5k run(the run has a wicked .7mile trail hill that I actually walked part of) My finish time of 1:07:55 bested all the age groups 35 and older. and even though my finish time was 57s slower than last year, my time was better since last year they got our lane out a 100 early on the swim. so my swim time of 12:38 did not happen. So without the mishaps that probably cost me 30-40s I was better than last year at this time and that's not bad for a partial heart transplant less than 1yr post! Although I was trying hard to best all the chicks, but Lindsey Corbin is a bit of a stud.

The awards where very nice, and very large Root beer mugs that will certainly hold a full can of Cold smoke beer! By the way the best purchase of the trip was a short fill(not more than 1oz)16oz cans/24 case for 24 bucks! And at the last minute My crazy wife Sarah filled in a spot in the race and did her first Triathlon in 4 yrs and placed 2nd! So 2 mugs for the Marschall/Keller family.

So now its on to St.Croix 70.3. I feel like I have done everything possible to get ready for this race, My goal now is to execute a solid day and see what happens. No matter what the result, the journey to this point has been a positive one.

There has been other great stories from other clones out there. First of all congrats to Mike Fogassey for realizing his dream of getting to Kona! Mike now the hard part starts! Jay Preston had a great race at 70.3 California with a 5th place finish in the 40-44 age group, Jay had the fastest bike split in his group and put together a great day, only x-pros Gordo Byrne, Chris Hauth and a couple others bested him. Jay will be racing at the St. George Ironman in a couple of weeks and he is ready to kill it! Also in the same 70.3 race Adam Weaver had a very solid day placing 10th in the same age group. Adam also bounced back from the 70.3 to run a near pr of 2:59 at the Boston Marathon only 2 weeks post.

Sarah's Post

Well, it’s been quite a busy few weeks, topped off by an age group win for Jay and a 2nd place age group finish for me at the Grizzly Triathlon in Missoula, MT – a studley sprint race featuring the likes of Lyndsay Corbin and Matt Seeley. It was a beautiful, sunny, warm day welcoming our first tri of the season – with sparkling snow-capped mountains all around us keeping a cool breeze blowing. Chloe had a blast with her friend Axl (the son of my college friend Cara Nelson) – from Easter egg hunts to swim center silliness.

Now it’s off to St. Croix for Jay’s Half Ironman and Hawaii qualifier – I’m sure he’ll do very well given his recent training and performances. Last weekend, Jay explored warm weather training in the Lake Mead area outside of Las Vegas, while I teamed up with Jenel Duey and Robin Culver to conquer the women’s sport division at Peaks to Prairie. Go Robin’s Team! (Jenel ran 9 mi., I biked 43 mi., and Robin paddled 22). It was just a spontaneous decision for me to join the race and has encouraged me to jump into more events even if I can’t train as well as I’d like for them.

Cale and Chloe have been busy with growing up, soccer, swimming, ballet and the end of Kindergarten for Chloe. She is reading some, smiling a lot, and learning tough lessons about discipline and politeness. Cale walks like a drunken sailor. Jay is doing very well, and we hope with all our hearts that things continue to soar upwards.

Monday, April 18, 2011

The Need for Heat!

This past weekend I took a flyer to Las Vegas (actually Henderson) to train for 3 days solo in hot weather. With St. Croix just a couple of weeks away the 40-50degree weather in Billings, made me a bit nervous about dealing with the Caribbean heat of St.Croix. With Allegiant air, Vegas is a cheap and fast place to get to and the training is actually pretty good. I was able to log 14 good hours of work In 2.5 days and got my first sunburn of the year! I even stayed in my Hotel/Henderson area without even a sniff of the Vegas strip, although I really wanted to check out the Pawn Stars shop, maybe next year. It was all good and even though not all the workouts felt super great, I got the work done. The body really needs to acclimate to the heat you know. It was a real challenge to keep up on the fluids and monitor the intensity during training without melting down. The river mountain loop trail(40mile loop) is a great bike trail that loops around the Henderson area and runs close to Lake Meade, I also road out in the Park (lake Meade)and up some great climbs in very desolate desert roads that reminded me of riding in Kona.

descent and back up climb to Calville bay( lake Meade national park)

and at the bottom at the Calville bay the marina in the foreground, I had a snack here and a drink, but no mountian dew

I also did my first open water swim in Lake Meade, which was a bit chilly at 57 degrees, but my new T1 wetsuit and neoprene cap from Desoto did the trick and after some minutes it wasn’t all that bad( warmer than the Snake river!)

The last day I did a hot, hilly 14mile run on the river mountain loop trail and ave, 7:15 pace which was encouraging, then a bit later, in the heat of the day I did another 3hr ride and transition run(90 degrees!). Sunday it was back to Billings and met the Fam at the Peaks to prairie finish at Coulson Park. Sarah and her team of Jenel Duey and Robin Culver won the womens division, congrats! Also a shout out to Paolo Gerbasi for placing 2nd in the Duathlon and all the other clones and friends that did peaks/grizzly races, Sue, Carla, Pat, Ed, Tina, Don, etc… also congrats to clone Mike Fogassey for getting in to the Hawaii Ironman world championships in this years lottery! lots of work ahead mike!

It's great to be back in Billings, although the weather is still pretty wintery here. But that's ok, since now I will be taking a bit of rest after this past 20+hr week and I will ready for this weekend's tune up sprint Tri in Missoula and then the following week its off to St. Croix!