Sunday, May 29, 2011

Island Lake Swim Fun

The rain held off, so the Nearys and the Cases went up to Island Lake Rec Area for some biking and swimming. Tom caught a bunch of bluegill and bass but ironically no trout at Trout Lake, while Sharon and Cody picnicked and relaxed on one of the mini-beaches around the perimeter of the lake. Another super smashing day this long weekend.

The three swimigos

This is the real reason why Alaina flies through the water.

In her element.

The most competitive Case? C.O.D.Y. No doubt.

Disc Golf at Hudson Mills

The Nearys came to Michigan this Memorial Day weekend! Friday night was filled with laughs and great food at Casey's. Saturday featured a long relaxing morning, then off to Hudson Mills Metropark for some running and then disc golf on the Monster course with Cody the amazing shot fixer. She loves being on her job.

We played 18 holes without losing a disc before both Tom and I threw our discs into this scummy, over-full pond and I had to wade waist-deep into the muck to retrieve them. Ack! Sorry, no pictures of that mess.

Best running partner in the world.

Sharon is all focus.

Great action shot taken by Tom.

Once he stopped using the putter, Tom threw like a beast.

Alaina made this best shot of the day for a birdie.

No doubt, Alaina had the best round of the day.

Who's happiest?

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

American Triple-T Post Race

I've been slacking on taking pictures during our training sessions for this weekend's American Triple-T event, so blogs have been sparse. But that doesn't mean we haven't been training our butts off in prep for these races! I'll give a brief race report here and more details when the race pictures come out. We didn't take many pics this weekend because there was so much racing and we kind of just forgot.

The past week in Michigan brought the ultimate suckage in weather trifecta: wind, cold, and rain. It was even harder than usual to believe we'd be diving into a lake and racing in 4 triathlons over the next 3 days. But Friday was gorgeous on our drive down to southern Ohio and we got ourselves mentally ready to rock this thing as a Co-Ed team.

Our goal was to race smarter and pace better this year on the first 3 races so that we could race a strong half-Ironman as the 4th race. The plan worked as we had a faster overall time for the whole weekend by over 10 minutes! And we won! By the last race on Sunday we had a 15 minute lead on the second place team and we caught up to them at mile 1 on the run after they put up a really fast bike split, so all we needed to do was take it easy and finish the race.

The only bad part of this 140+ mile weekend was the run on the half-Ironman for me. The 80+ degrees and high humidity and pollen levels sapped me of fluids more than I expected and made my lungs feel asthmatic the whole time. My legs felt amazing for once because we paced the weekend right, but I couldn't get enough oxygen to my muscles, so I definitely slowed us down. But in the end, we finished and WE WON!

I can't thank Alaina enough for getting me through that 13.1 mile stretch in the hot, buggy, hilly as heck trails. She didn't let me quit and calmed me down when I panicked and felt dizzy. She's some kind of amazing athlete, partner, and wife.

Bridge that connects the swim course to transition area

This is our only picture of the bike course! Hah!
It's the boy scout camp where we go UP for 3 miles straight.

After the run everyone goes down to this creek that feels like an ice bath. It's awesome.

This dude could be my brother from another mother. We have the exact same frame.
He corrected my timing chip problems, and I thanked him at the awards ceremony.

First Place Co-Ed division champions of the American Triple-T. Two years in a row.

We won two $1500 gift certificates to a bike shop in Ohio. We're rich!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Triathlon as Lifestyle

Most of the time I think of triathlon as a hobby. Like playing golf, or going to concerts, or joining a softball league, it's something I do for fun in my free time. Alaina and I take the sport seriously and we want to do well at races, but we do it because it's fun to swim + bike + run on a regular routine. It gets us outside and makes us feel like adventurers. Triathlon magazines and forums talk about triathlon as a lifestyle, so I've been wondering lately, when does a hobby become a lifestyle? defines 'lifestyle' as "a set of attitudes, habits, or possessions associated with a particular person or group." I'd say our attitude is push ourselves to new limits. The habits that get us there are daily training. And the possessions are the ridiculously expensive gear and nutrition that ultimately make this possible. We are triathletes. Maybe it has become a lifestyle.

This weekend's long ride was a 75 mile loop on country roads near Chelsea in howling 20+ mph winds. UM commencement was today, so we wanted to get as far away from Ann Arbor as possible. Hoping for the projected 60 degrees, we got 50s and cloudy, as we were underdressed and froze our tookies off. After 3 hours of hard riding trying to keep the body heat up, we were both ready to crack, so we dialed the effort back and phoned in the last 50 minutes. Sooooooo ready to be done at 4 hours, and even happier that we're not full-Ironman training.

20+ mph sustained winds brought the pain.

Alaina drops her chain on a climb and sniffs her armpit in frustration.

Only 1.5 hours into the ride and feeling groovy.

Finally back in Chelsea

Lifestyle smile. Or I need to take the zoom off.