Sunday, July 31, 2011

The Journey Begins - Ironman Lake Placid - 2012

My master plan was to volunteer at the 2011 race to ensure my priority registration for the 2012 Ironman race in Lake Placid, NY, but it didn't turn out according to plan.

My flight to Albany and subsequent volunteering at the race were scrubbed at the last minute due to a little detour to the ER and a short stay in the hospital in the week prior to the race.  I'm doing much better now, but I was not ready to jump on a plane and be away from family and physicians without a little more time to recover.

The good news is that I was still able to register on-line for the 2012 race and providing the doctors are OK with it, I'll be training for and racing in my first Ironman race in July of 2012.

More to come...

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Unintended Epic Bike Ride

I set out from my house at 5:40am on Saturday, July 2, 2011 for a long bike ride.  I was thinking 50-60 miles up the Suncoast trail.  I returned at 1:30pm from a ride with 6 new friends who let me tag along on their annual "Century Ride" which included about 40 miles in the hills of San Antonio, FL.  It was a great ride to celebrate the start of the Tour de France and my upcoming trip to Lake Placid to volunteer at the Ironman race.

My early morning riding partners were Kevin, Steve, Felix, Shawn, Gary and Angelo. Kevin knew the routes best and was the leader for the adventure.  Gary indicted that we'd be riding the "full hondo" and I was welcome to join in.  The pace was great and I was up for an adventure.  We made our way up the bike trail and turned off the trail after 20 miles to head into the hills of San Antonio.  Fortunately it was slightly overcast, almost foggy, but that didn't make the hills any less steep.  San Ann is known by cyclists and triathletes in the flat lands of central Florida as a great place to ride the hills and we did that day.  I learned about places like Happy Hill Road and the Three Sisters; a challenging set of three hills with a small flat spot between each and the word "Whew!" spray painted on the asphalt at the top.  There is a map available of the San Ann routes (, but I didn't have a copy, so I just followed along with my new riding partners and did my best to keep up.

I also learned that Kevin has been hosting another ride in Florida for the last 20 years.  It's known as the Coast 2 Coast Cross Florida Bike Ride (  Looks like a fun way to explore the back roads of Florida starting in Ormond Beach on the east coast and ending in Tarpon Springs on the Gulf of Mexico.  Kevin was a great leader on our ride and I can see now that he's had plenty of practice.  Check out the C2C ride for yourself.

At one point in the ride, Steve and I stopped at the local Quik Mart for some refreshments.  I couldn't resist the huge Drumstick ice cream and fought to eat it before it melted in the ever warming day.  It turned out to be pretty good fuel for the rest of the trip and sure beat anything I was carrying with me.

There was only one flat tire on the trip and it did heat up on the last 3rd of the ride, but it never got too hot.  The conversation was great as I learned a bit about everyone and was taken into this very generous group of riders.  The cycling and triathlon community in our area is full of great people and I'm so pleased that I was able to join this group for the day, make some new cycling friends and ride my longest bike ride ever; 112 miles.