Monday, November 10, 2008

Jameson 5K 2008 at Southwestern

The race started at 8:00 a.m. I arrived at the registration table at about 8:03.

Deirdre and I had late night on the first day of Southwestern Homecoming enjoying buffalo chili and good conversation at the Kappa Sigma House. Having cajoled Deirdre into running this race with me, I also refused her requests to go do it without her on the morning of the race. With all the back and forth, we arrived late.

I had fun hitting the course and playing catch-up with the field. My gun time was over 30 minutes, my chip time was 25:37. My best time yet for this race, but still above the 25 minute mark.

My goal for next year is to be in bed before 2 a.m. and to run the race in under 25 minutes. I think the later might depend on the former!

Great job to Kenda Evans and all of the volunteers. They do wonderful job every year. See you all in 2009!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

By the numbers: A long day at the Longhorn 70.3

Arriving in Austin and picking up our registration materials at the Sheraton downtown, one particular  number dominated our interest. "What's the water temperature at Walter E. Long park?" 

78 degrees. Just wetsuit legal. Great news!

Mike W. figures wearing a wetsuit can improve your swim time by 10 minutes.

In any case, I'd never done an open water swim without one and I did not wish to lose any potential advantage in this race. That was pretty much the sentiment of the entire field.

Flash forward past my best swim result to date, improving six minutes over my previous time, we learned mother nature conspired to give us all another advantage. Wind gusts moved the buoys which marked the course, shortening it noticeably.

There went my one bright spot for the day!

After putting in a solid pace for the first 20 miles of the bike course, my performance diminished precipitously through the final miles on the bike and into a challenging run.

While I felt mentally prepared for this race, my conditioning (or lack thereof) really proved to be my undoing. I finished, marginally beating my time from Buffalo Springs Lake, but came in far short of my personal goal for finishing the Longhorn.

Mike W. found the course tougher than expected as well. He set an ambitious goal. While he missed it, he set a personal best by a significant margin, had a great race by any standard, and had to wait around well over an hour before I crossed the finish line.

We had fun. That should be the point of it all, right? These events are always a good time. This race had an deep field of professionals and impressive age-group athletes.

While I "bonked" on the run, I could still smile and chuckle at my overconfidence.

What's next? Working on my run, both speed and endurance. Same on the bike. Fall and winter time in Texas allows for training outdoors during the months many others around the country are forced to head indoors. I like the idea of training for a marathon in order to keep a disciplined schedule to focus deeply on my running ability. The Cowtown Marathon in Fort Worth in February looks like a great target race.

Short course racing looks pretty good right now too!

Saturday, October 04, 2008

On the way to the Lonhorn 70.3 in Austin, TX

Mike W and I 30 miles from Austin in his rig packed full of bikes, gear, and lots of nervous energy.

At around 8am we'll be in the water, and by early afternoon, be crossing the finish line.

An estimated 2100 racers are descending on Austin this weekend. As part of the Ironman 70.3 series, this race attracts the pros and those looking to qualify for Ironman Kona and for the 70.3 championships in Florida next November.

My personal goal is less ambitious. I'm shooting for something close to hours. Mike has a great shot to pull in at 5:15 or better, which is his goal.

In any case, it will be a beautiful Central Texas weekend.

More to come...

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Not reporting from the HH100

I bailed.

I'm in Austin hanging with friends.

Chris Richardson and the thousands of riders doing the HH100 are somewhere around mile 45 by now.

The change of plans was prompted by birthday party for our dear friend, Elizabeth, who has been recently diagnosed with a serious form of cancer. We're looking forward to seeing her and hearing about how she's doing. She recently started chemotherapy and radiation treatments.

So we're in the capital city where we love to be. So many good peeps here in Austin.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Hunter Kemper does America proud with a seventh place finish

It was a literally a sprint to the finish, or as close as one can get to sprinting 1:45 minutes into an endurance race! Great race to all, and congratulations Germany's Jan Frodeno for a great finish. The Americans showed and raced well, led by Hunter Kemper.

Race Results, Men's Triathlon
Video link

Sunday, August 03, 2008

A Saturday ride on the Fort Worth Trinity Trail

Fellow TNT alumnus and 2007 Florida Ironman finisher, Chris Richardson, showed me his 60-mile bike route along the Fort Worth Trinity Trails on Saturday morning.

We got out early enough to ride and finish just before the heat got into the triple digits.

We covered the distance in just under fours of saddle time.

We took a few breaks to change a flat, refill our bottles of hot water with slightly less hot water from the public fountains, and stretch out a bit.

We hit a few less traveled areas of the Trinity River trail system and traveled off the trail systems for a stint through the Ridglea Hills Country Club neighborhood.

This was a great training ride. The HH100 is just three weeks away!

Saturday, July 26, 2008

The rolling hills, hills, and more hills of the Goatneck

Lots of riders use the Goatneck as a warm-up for the Hotter'N Hell 100 mile ride in August. Some folks say that the Goatneck is even tougher than the HH100 in some respects because of the persistent rolling hills across the 70mi course. The HH100 is flat, windy, and well, hot. Though it's plenty hot in July too! By the time we stepped off the bikes for last time today, the mid-day thermometer was reading in the 90s.

The reported 3,000+ riders today received ample support on the course. Rest stops are spaced every 7-8 miles. SAG wagons (anyone know where that name comes from?) ensured distressed or disabled riders did not wait long for help. And the volunteers do a wonderful service and a great job every year - today was no exception.

My trusty riding partner Mike W. had to skip this race. As expected, I found some old TNT training buddies to ride with and even dear Coach Tom to visit with during the rest stops. Tom is looking strong as usual, and like many others from today's crew, will be heading to Austin in October for the Longhorn 70.3.

In summary. The Goatneck rocks. Today's distance was my greatest to date - so that's a new challenge met, heh!

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Runner's World Profiles a TNT Family

Runner's World magazine decided to send me a few free issues - they got my name from the Cowtown Marathon. Smart move; it's a good read thus far and I just might subscribe.

This August issue features a Houston family, the Crews, and their story with TNT and triathlon which began after husband and father Bill Crews beat his stage-four non-Hodgkin's lymphoma after being diagnosed in 2004.
You'll find the full article, "Team Work," here on the Runner's World Web site.

It's a story with a very happy ending. It might offer a bit needed motivation for you as well. Enjoy!

Monday, June 30, 2008

Buffalo Springs Lake 70.3 recap

The headline on reads, "Some fast age group racing in Buffalo Springs Lake".

Yes, I'd say so.

About 1,300 athletes came out for this year's race. Being part of the official IRONMAN 70.3 series, which offers qualifying slots to the ultimate IRONMAN event, the Ford IRONMAN HAWAII, in Kona, this race attracts a remarkable group.

Neither the wind, rain, nor hills deterred the leaders in the group from posting some amazing times.

The overall winner was Leon Griffen from Boulder, CO with a time of 3:58:35. The female pro winner was Mirinda Carfrae, also of Boulder, posting a time of 4:23:28.

Mike W. had a great race, despite some hiccups during a somewhat chaotic swim start. The pro wave began the event, and these pros first ran along the shoreline for the first several hundred feet of the swim before diving in to the water. The subsequent waves took this strategic tip and followed suit. In our wave, after Mike began his swim, another athlete dove on top of him, dislodging his swim cap and goggles. Mike, flustered and out of breath from having just run through sand and water, gathered himself, got to shore, and quickly recovered his gear. He still managed to complete the swim in under 32 minutes. Awesome time! The bike and run were as impressive, and strong enough to give Mike a sub-six hour time on very challenging course.

For my part, I scrapped in just under seven hours at 6:50:56. I managed to slightly improve my swim time over the recent Galveston race, but the tough bike course took it's toll on me and highlighted well the areas in which I need to improve: leg strength and core body strength.

Overall, Buffalo Springs Lake is a great race, and within a short days drive in Texas, it will be one I hope to do again. Though since Mike registered for the Coeur d'Alene IRONMAN, which takes place the week prior in 2009, and I'll making a trip to New Orleans for SHRM 2009, next year's not an option for either of us.

That's one commonality with my work and triathlon training: trade shows and IRONMAN racing need to be planned at least a year in advance.

Friday, June 27, 2008

On to Lubbock, Texas

Mike W. and I depart for Lubbock in the morning, about a four hour drive from Fort Worth.

We'll pick up our race packets, scope out the course for the first time, get in a short practice swim, and go over our last gear checks before a 4:30 a.m. rise and shine Sunday morning.
We've to a 6:40 a.m. wave start Sunday morning.

We're both a bit nervous about this race. Mostly just jitters, I think. Wish us luck!

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Two Weeks to Buffalo Springs Lake

I swam my race distance, 2,000 meters, this morning.

Tomorrow, I'm planning on a brick workout with a long ride and short run -- before the 101 degree forecasted heat takes over the day.

Mike W. (who really needs a blog I can link to) and I are independently getting ourselves as mentally and physically ready as we can be for Lubbock. And reassuring each other "to just go have some fun" and not to stress what will no doubt be a very challenging event.

This will be the first long course Mike and I have done together. I cheered him on for his first Half Iron at the Texas Man in Denton. He was on hand for my first long course race at the Lone Star in Galveston. We did the Benbrook Sprint Triathlon together in May. I will no doubt be chasing Mike from the start at Buffalo Springs Lake. He's great to train with as he's a menace in the water, a terror on the bike, and pretty mean on the run too. Despite having a new born baby at home and missing many hours of training, I fully expect he'll have a strong finish in Lubbock.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Joseph Jaffe auctions consulting services for TNT


One of my favorite podcasters and authors, Joseph Jaffe has put his own consulting time on the eBay auction block as a fundraiser for his Team in Training campaign.

He's going to run the Nike Woman's Marathon in October.

I'm delighted a favorite cause just got the marketing muscle of a favorite thought-leader.

He's being joined by several peers in truly social endeavor. Best of luck to all of you!

I'll try to post a direct fundraising link here soon.

Sunday, June 01, 2008

The Rocky Balboa run

On a recent business trip to Philadelphia, I was grateful for a beautiful cool morning and an hour free for a morning run. My colleague Kevin and I set out from our hotel and headed toward the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the site of the famous steps depicted in the Rocky movies.

We're both uber-dorks in our own unique ways, but on this excursion and it's status as a "must do," we agreed completely.

You'll notice these two snap shots which depict me at the top of the steps in my victory pose.

I had remembered the bronze statue sitting a top the steps (in Rocky III, I thought), but the statue today sits near the foot of the steps at street level.

Philly was a neat city to visit. Between the Rocky run and the refresher course in revolution era America, we had a great time during the few hours we had free to play.
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Sunday, May 04, 2008

Race report: 6th Annual Tri-Benbrook Triathlon

The proud new father, Mike W., posted an impressive third place finish in our age group. Another TNT Alumni, Anthony H., bested Mike to take second place thanks in part to a stunning run performance.
Yours truly came in 12 out of 28 in our age group.

We all had a lot of fun. It was kind of like playing a home game. We all know the bike course very well; the windy and winding hills that snake around Benbrook Lake serve as a popular training ride for cyclists in the Fort Worth area. The ride peaks at "Nice Hill" - a steep and fairly short incline that someone appropriately named. A giant spray-painted smiley face awaits you as you grind your way to the top.

Team in Training had a tent at today's event to promote the upcoming Nation's Triathlon in September taking place in Washington DC and benefiting LLS

While not an official TNT event otherwise, tons of volunteers cheered on those of us in the purple and green. We're encouraged to sport the jersey and continue to promote TNT as alumni - and I gotta say, I don't mind at all having a ready cheering section and hearing the "Go Team!" throughout the day.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Season Wrap-up: $94k raised by FW Team

Our Fort Worth Triathlon Team Coordinator (a truly awesome person who excels at her job) sent a final wrap-up for our Team:

You'll be happy to know that our team of 35 triathletes collectively raised $94,7 61! That's enough money to provide 189 families with monetary assistance through our financial aid program! So the next time you see one of your fellow alumni, be sure to say congrats to each other on helping The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society get one step closer to finding a cure!

You Trained, You Endured, You Achieved and You Mattered!

Thank you for making my job so much fun and rewarding!

Thank you Misty!

And thanks again to all of the Team Goodman supporters who made the real difference this season! You all rock!

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

The Run

Team In Training brought something like 175 athletes to the Lone Start Triathlon. Seemingly, an equal number of TNT coaches, mentors, staff, and participant family members rounded out our numbers.

All of us running in the green and purple have a distinct competitive advantage. Because we're running in support of a cause that every one can get behind, we get support from voices known and unknown all along the way.

At no point in the race did I need the motive force of the "Go Team!" cheers more than I needed them on the run.

I came out of T2 as my watch chronograph ticked past four hours. I can do this, I thought to myself. A sub six hour race was within my reach.

Watch time was now 11:30 AM in the morning. The day was heating up. The forecast called for a high of 85 degrees. It was humid.

The run course was amazingly well supported. Stations with Gatorade, water, cola, chips, pretzels, and gels were set about a mile apart. A few wet sponge stations were put into the mix - volunteers took thousands of sponges, soaked up cold water out of rubber trash barrels, and handed them to red faced runners.

This was welcome relief for my sweating head which was also crusty from saltwater and sweat residue.

I continued to concentrate on my nutrition for the first run loop. My cramping stayed confined to the bike. If I stayed hydrated and well fueled, adding in some sodium intake according to my original plan, I had a shot at pulling this off.

It was not to be. A different set of circumstances conspired against me this time. My sweat from the heat and the humidity, the wet sponges, and the cold water I poured on my head all seemed to find a comfortable home in my shoes. My feet were strapped into wet and squishy messes.

By the time I realized I was blistering and tightened my laces hard to adjust, it was too late.

First the left foot. Then the right.

Looking back now, I feel like a bit of a blister wimp. My mind's eye imagined horrible sores forming into festering and bloody messes. In actual fact, I've got a quarter coin sized poofy pad of fluid on my left foot and a dime-sized pad of fluid on my right.

But like the cramp on the bike, it was distracting enough to alter my run pace and intensity. I tried to 'run around' the blisters. I shifted my stride in order to strike more toward the outside of my foot with each step. Boy, I'm paying for that two later as my feet are the sorest part of my body. The cheers of encouragement from Coach Rodney and all of our supporters helped me immensely.

All in all, I ran 20 minutes slower than I needed to and knew I was capable of doing in order to hit the finish line before the clock ticked past six hours.

It's easy for me to be all "woulda, coulda, shoulda" at this point. I can tell myself that my heart, lungs, and legs were up to the challenge, it was just my feet that had a bad day. Maybe that's true, maybe not.

In any case, it's all got to come together on race day. And this is how it came together for me on this day.

Run time 2:17:51.

You know what? The finish line still felt damn good.

The Bike

Fort Worth, Texas has a strong bicycle scene. We've got long, windy, and winding roads. We've got parks. Bike shops abound. I've been lucky enough to ride with a group of new friends outside of TNT with much stronger bike legs than I have.

Cyclists seem to age well. I've got something to look forward to, as my hairline recedes, my quick-twitch muscles will continue to develop.

Up until Sunday, the last time I rode more than 45 miles in one-day was back in 2002 when I did the MS150 from Houston to Austin over two days.

Fortunately, this ride at the Lone Star Triathlon in Galveston is flat. The path follows the shoreline for most of the distance. The wind was to be the x-factor. But it applies itself more or less equally to all.

This was not to be my day for a great ride. I got passed... a lot. To be expected, I told myself. "That guy has a $3,000 Cervelo for Pete's sake..." It's a fun game to check out the other bikes as they whiz by. Always shopping...

Our coaches did an admirable job of beating into our brains the importance of race nutrition. Fuel, hydration, and electrolytes all must be maintained in order to maintain oneself upright in the race. So nutrition was my primary objective during the first quarter of the bike. I popped a gel. I drank water. I nibbled on a Clif Bar. I drank more water. Every 15 minutes or more I hydrated. By mile 23, I had to pee. A portable pot parked by an aid station was free as I slowed down to take a bottle of water from race volunteer (an awesome group of people, I must say!).

I made a sudden stop and hopped off my bike. Something in the combination of the inertial forces and the particular chemistry of my legs conspired at that moment to create a cramp. I completed my pit stop. Crap, I thought, as I peddled back onto the road.

I've dealt with leg fatigue before, but never an outright cramp. My left hamstring (I believe) was the offending muscle. It was not very bad though. I could still peddle. Mentally, it was a distraction. I had to work around it. Find a motion that did not further aggravate it. Pull back my effort as it began to tighten harder. Pick up the effort again, but not so much. And so it went for the next 30 miles.

"How is this going to feel when I get to the run?", was my other thought.

I wanted to finish the race in under six hours. I did some calculations. I was still within range if I could finish the bike at the four hour mark. I believed I had a sub two-hour half-marathon in me.

I did all I could to consume electrolytes until the finish in order to help the cramp. It wasn't getting worse. I found a pretty good pace through the last 10 miles so.

Going into T2, I was just under four hours with just a half marathon to go. Plenty of time...

The Swim

The morning alarms (I set two plus the hotel wake-up call) sounded at 4:30 AM. The in-room coffee maker served well enough to prepare my pre-race meal of organic oatmeal with berries and almonds.

Mike and I met the rest of the Team in the hotel lobby at 5:30 so we could walk as a team to transition.

Note: 'transition' refers to a large penned area with three gates where the athletes park their bikes and gear. It serves as a hub with the spokes being 'swim-in', 'bike out/in', and 'run out/in.' With three legs of the event, we have two transitions, noted as T1 and T2.

The national anthem completed over the loud speaker, our first wave was in the water and swimming shortly after 7:30.

We were the wave with the green swim caps. As planned, I quickly fell to the back of the pack. I'm a slow swimmer and I was not about to defy expectations today. By the first tetrahedral pylon indicating our turn to the left, the blue caps were upon me. Waves were being sent four minutes apart. Halfway to the final turn, the yellow caps were in the mix.

I was not the last greenie to finish the swim though - and my time of 45 minutes was right at what I expected to swim. And much improved over my 30 minute time at half the distance last year.

Running up the carpeted path toward transition, I was well within my race plan. I waved to Mike, Tiffany, and the TNT gang watching us all come in. The wetsuit strippers helped me out of my wetsuit.

Into to T1 and the bike...

Triathlon Song

I am still pretty new to the triathlon sub-culture. The 'Triathlon Song' sums it up as well as anything The first 1:10 really hits the mark...

Monday, March 31, 2008

A quick wrap-up report from Lone Star

More details to follow. Here's the quick and dirty.

Campaign results: Our North Texas Team raised more than $175,000 for much needed blood cancer research.

Event results: Everyone from our team finished their respective races. I completed my Half Iron Man distance in 6:16:02.

We did it! Thanks to all of you for supporting the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. Thanks for your encouragement in this triathlon effort of mine - it means a lot to me.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Reporting from Moody Gardens, Galveston, Texas

Before I head to rest and then again to wake at 4:30 AM to prepare for a 7:30 start (my age group goes first along with the elite athletes), I wanted to leave one last dispatch (thanks to Mike W. for bringing his laptop on the trip).

We just finished our Pasta Party, which as planned, offered a healthy dose of "acknowledgment, inspiration, and motivation." And a bit of instruction for our day tomorrow - repetition helps.

We heard from a 31-year old father of three who told of his story of surviving stage 3 Hodgkin's Lymphoma. October 23, 2003 was the day he got the news - the day he'll never for forget. Today, he thanked all of us, and by proxy all you, for making his survival story possible.

We also met the father of two of our team mates - two sisters who decided to join TNT in support of their father who is doing well after being diagnosed with a rare blood cancer. Gleevac has made all the difference to him, a drug made possible by funding from LLS.

Positive energy abounds with this crowd. I wanted to send some of that energy and positivity out to all of you through the ether. Your support and donations have been noticed. And from the survivors I met this evening, I'm able to send you their thanks and appreciation.

Final pre-race day

I'm off to Galveston. About a five hour drive from Fort Worth.

Today calls for a packet-up, a pre-race meeting, an open water swim, and a pasta party organized by TNT.

This will be my third pasta party with TNT. These are remarkable evenings.

The team gathers to dine and "carbo-load." Add in visiting family. Add in very enthusiastic TNT staff (gotta love 'em). Throw in a few coaches with last minute inspiring and soothing words and bits of advice. Bring forth the honored heroes - cancer survivors who, like Doug Campbell speaking last year, share amazing stories of fighting and overcoming their disease.

The net effect reminds everyone why we started this journey in the first place. It also takes us out of ourselves and our own nervous energy, bringing our attention back to those heroes and the Society we're striving to support.

Thanks to all of you once more who I have the honor of representing, donors and supporters, the real Team behind Team Goodman.

And finally, watch this space for race results soon...

Monday, March 24, 2008

Fundraising update: $2,842

Wow, I'm very thankful for the response to the St. Paddy's Day appeal! We had about a $500 day. Truly awesome. Thanks to all of you who have supported The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society - many of you for the second year in a row!

I'm officially square with Team In Training - having met my minimum fundraising amount. I'm just shy of my goal of $3,000 and it's not too late to make a donation!

If no stragglers make up the difference, I'll find a way to get across the line. I'm not going to finish a Half Iron Man and then not hit the fundraising goal. That's no way to cap a season that began in September!

Again, to this season's donors, thanks for all your support! It truly means so much to me and especially the Society...

Into the taper and race day planning

Under strict orders from our coaches, those on our way to Galveston this weekend have began to taper our training. The basic idea is to rest your body and avoid any taxing workouts in the final days leading up to your race. Pretty common sense stuff, but triathletes often fall into the "more is better" mode of thinking and need to be constantly reminded and cajoled to lay off.

This leaves me time to work on my race plan, hydration and nutrition specifically. Elevated exercise for more than a few hours requires your body fuel and replenish fluids along the way. Coach Todd from the Dallas Team gave us a clinic a few months ago which helped a lot. It's time to put pen to paper and have an actionable plan for race day.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Happy Saint Patrick's Day

According to Wikipedia:

Saint Patrick's Day (Irish: Lá ’le Pádraig or Lá Fhéile Pádraig), colloquially St. Paddy's Day or Paddy's Day, is an annual feast day which celebrates Saint Patrick (circa 385–461 AD), one of the patron saints of Ireland, and is generally celebrated on March 17.

You'll find lots of cool history in this entry. Did you know that Boston has celebrated St. Paddy's Day since 1737?

It's more than enough reason for me to have a Guinness.

"Guinness is Good for You," as the poster to the right states, even for aspiring amateur triathletes.

Thanks for the great holiday Ireland and for sharing it with the world!

Saturday, March 15, 2008

The Forest of Nisene Marks State Park

Northern California is pretty darn cool.

Banana Slugs.

Redwood trees.

Today I saw one banana slug making his away across the trail and lots of redwoods while on a run through Nisene Marks with friend and coworker Andy B., ultra-marathoner .

We ran nearly five miles into the park to the epicenter of the October 17, 1989, Loma Prieta earthquake, and then we turned around and ran right back out.

This was one of the best runs I've done in a long time, in no small part because the course is gorgeous (thanks again, Andy, and Mark too!).

Two weeks left until Galveston and the the Lone Star Triathlon. Fundraising closes next week.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Fundraising closes March 18, add your support now

Where has the time gone? The proverbial finish line is near.

So many people to thank... (Fara, I will have a card coming to you in Portugal very soon!).

If you want to help us reach our goal of $3,000 for this season - we are within reach - you can donate securely online via the season-two fundraising page.

Every little bit helps.

Monday, March 03, 2008

Open water swim practice in cold Grapevine Lake

Our first open water swim practice had the Dallas and Fort Worth North Texas triathlon teams gather 9AM Saturday morning at Rockledge Park on Grapevine Lake.

Everyone wore a wetsuit, those going to Hawaii for Lavaman borrowing from TNT alumni and other fellow team members. I tried out my new sleeve-less wetsuit recently arrived in advance of our race at the Lone Star in Galveston.

The prevailing sentiment of the entire group was, "Holy crap, this water is cold!" And it was.

58 degrees Fahrenheit cold.

I don't know how far we swam. I was in the water for just over 30 minutes and opted not to take a second lap, though a few fellow "halfers" did. Most everyone overcame the shock of cold water on their face and did the distance very well. The whole point of the exercise to gain experience in the open water which is very different from pool swimming in a number of important ways, including:

  1. You can't see the bottom or even your own hands in many cases.
  2. You can't stand up if you're tired.
  3. You can't stop and rest at the wall.
  4. You're surrounded by dozens of other people.
  5. Your surroundings are almost invariably unfamiliar.
  6. You can't swim in a straight line without "sighting" - periodically looking up during your stroke and navigating.

For certain, my sighting needs help! My swim experience from Lone Star 2007 is proof of this. I have a hard time swimming in a straight line which is only exacerbated by cold and fatigue as my swim form breaks down and my stroke tends to cross my body. Knowing these things in practice will surely help me avoid them on race day. And practice will help me improve; we're back in the open water this next weekend for a practice triathlon.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Cowtown results, 50th percentile YEAH!

Check it.

599 out of 2031 total finishers.

443 out of 1068 male runners.

Age Grade = 50.6%

I am a perfectly average half-marathoner.

And that my friends, I am perfectly ok with...

Onward to the Lone Star Triathlon on March 28.

P.S. TNT was well represented. I wore my TEAM training jersey and had lots of "Go Team" shouts from spectators along the way. One marathoner was running in honor of his 2-year old daughter recently diagnosed with leukemia. The mission goes on. You can extend your offer of financial support with a donation here. Fundraising for this season closes March 15.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Looking ahead to the Cowtown

The Iron Man distance triathlon ends with a full marathon.

The Half Iron Man distance (for which I'm training) ends with a half marathon.

I've never run a full or half marathon distance either in a race or a training run.

That's about to change!

For mostly psychological reasons, I decided to opt out of our team's weekend brick workout and instead to run the Cowtown Half Marathon this Saturday, February 23, 2008.

Bricks are great training - they combine cycling and running elements in race like conditions. They're great at conditioning your legs and heart.

What I need is a specific kind of mental conditioning. I need to know what it feels like to run 13.1 miles.

Plus, the Cowtown promises to be a fun event - bigger this year than ever before.

You've probably noticed the pervasive and deep links between amateur endurance sports events and charitable and social causes. The Cowtown is affiliated with the University of North Texas Health Sciences Center and serves to promote health awareness in the community. Pretty cool.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Happy Valentine's Day

Here's wishing you and yours a love filled day!

Paying it forward, most of us are one slip away

A few thoughts on health care...

Expenses due to catastrophic health care costs are among the tops three causes of personal bankruptcy filings (the other two are loss of a job and divorce) - Source, BBC News.

The employer based health care system in the US struggles to keep pace with unrelenting increases in health care costs. The answer: shift more of the burden back to the employee. It's a trend to which we can all relate.

Among the most pressing issues in our current presidential race is who has the best plan to address the problems of health care in America.

Very few of us have enough in the savings account to deal with a true health care catastrophe. Insurance seems to be less and less of a safety net every year. Perhaps our government will play a bigger role to everyone's benefit. One thing is clear, America's non-profit organizations carry a huge load in meeting the needs of those among us stuck hardest by disease and which require prolonged and costly health care. It's a strength of our country we should be proud of. Financial Support is a big part of the mission of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.

Help in this mission. Donate to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. Pay it forward and hope you never have to cash in that good karma (yes I know that's a very bad mixed metaphor).

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Yes We Can

Whatever your political inclinations and whether or not Barack Obama is your candidate, I believe"Yes, we can!" is a timely, if not a critical message for our country/world. With all we're up against in solving our problems, there is no other response. And while not directly related to supporting the fight against blood cancers or triathlon training, the message still applies... (watch and try not get goose bumps, I dare you!)

Thursday, January 31, 2008

The most generous way to spend a Saturday night...

...and still get to drink beer!

Come to the Fort Worth TNT Team Fundraiser at the legendary Rahr & Sons Brewery.

The evening will include:

  • The ambiance of the working Rahr & Sons brewery
  • Local beer, on-tap, no limit, all night!
  • Raffle prizes
  • Live music
  • A silent auction with lots of donated goodies from local business, sport tickets, gift baskets, and on and on...

Cost: $20/person at the door, or buy tickets from me in advance (write "Jonathan Goodman" on the back of the ticket and I'll get credit toward my fundraising goal).

Saturday, Feb. 9th
Rahr & Sons Brewery Company
701 Galveston Ave.
Fort Worth, TX 76104

In memory of Mr. Gerhold, my high school math teacher

I recently learned about the death of my freshman year high school math teacher, James Gerhold, of cancer.

My two years at Clay High School in South Bend, Indiana seem like a lifetime ago. I remember that I really liked Mr. Gerhold, that he was an excellent teacher and a decent man and I learned a lot from him. I'm very sorry to hear of his death. My deepest condolences go out to his family and friends. Reading his guest book, it's plain to see he touched many lives as all great teachers do.

James H. Gerhold, 61, of South Bend, IN passed away at 12:40PM Monday, January 21, 2008 in his home. Jim taught math for the South Bend Community School Corporation at Clay High School for 33 years and retired in 2002. He also taught at Raffi Naftali Riff Yeshiva. Jim was born on November 5, 1946 in South Bend, IN to Robert H. and Dorothy L. (Enfield) Gerhold. On May 31, 1969 in South Bend, IN he married Suzanne (Carroll) Gerhold, who survives.

Along with his wife, Suzanne Gerhold; his mother, Dorothy Gerhold; and his sister, Janice S. Gerhold both of Mishawaka, survive.

Jim was a 1965 graduate of South Bend Central High School and graduated from De Pauw University in 1969 where he was a member of Sigma Nu. He earned his master's degree in mathematics from the University of Notre Dame. He was a member of the Activities Board at Southfield Village and a member of TCU Advisory Board. In his later years, he joined the South Bend Bridge Club, which he really enjoyed. Jim played varsity basketball for South Bend Central and DePauw University under two legendary coaches, Jim Powers and Elmer McCall. He was an accomplished woodworker and left behind many beautiful pieces for friends and family to enjoy. Jim also loved traveling, but he was equally content to sit at home and read a good mystery.

Memorial services will be held at 7:00PM Thursday, January 24, 2008 at Palmer Funeral Home-River Park, 2528 Mishawaka Avenue. The family will receive friends from 3:00PM until time of services in the funeral home on Thursday.

Contributions in memory of James H. Gerhold may be made to Multiple Myeloma Research Fund; Miles for Myeloma, IU Simon Cancer Center, P.O. Box 660245, Indianapolis, IN 46266-0245

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Fundraising Update: Half Way There!

Thanks to a combination of generous donations from friends and family and a bit of volunteer work, we're half way toward reaching our Season Two fundraising goal of $3,000.

Thank you all!

To donate online, visit the Team Goodman fundraising Web site!