Monday, September 24, 2007

Seattle Oyster Race

Yesterday I competed in the first annual Seattle Oyster Race. I entered the corporate six-pack division with 5 other guys from the neighborhood; Anthony, Ben, Justin, Kevin and Scott our team captain who's company Therapeutic Associates sponsored not only us, but the race itself.

I have never watched the TV show the Amazing Race, but I heard this race compared to a single day, single city version of that event many times.

We met at Scott's at o' dark thirty to pack the bikes, roller blades, coolers and chairs into mine and Scott's Explorers. We hit the road just past 6:30 and made it down to REI just after 7. We got a close parking spot and got our camp set up inside the REI garage and were ready to go when the passports were handed out at 8AM. I had ants in my pants so I grabbed my running shoes and hit our first challenge with Anthony and Justin. We had to get our passports stamped at the Space Needle, and at a grain elevator on Pier 87? We also had to locate and get our photo taken at the "Wandering Rocks" in a Seattle park. That part was a little tricky, but we eventually located the artwork, and had our photo taken. We got back to REI in the top half of the teams and it was game on from there.

The second leg was 3 individual events. Two biking and one climbing. Since I had just ran, and the others were anxious to hit the road, I sat this one out while Ben biked to Gas Works park and back, Scott biked to Husky Stadium and back, and Anthony being the strongest of us climbed the REI rock wall.

Leg 3 was up and I wanted back in. Anthony, Kevin and I ran to a boat rental shop on the NE side of Lake Union. From there Kevin ran back to Jillians where he had to hit 45 with 3 darts before running back to REI. I suspect he managed this quickly and had a beer while watching Anthony and I suffer, but I can't comfirm it. Anthnoy and I had to paddle a 2 person kayak down to the south end of the lake and back. I've got to say I got quite a rush when a Kenmore Air float plane took off less than a 100 yards away from us. That rush unfortunately didn't last long as Anthony and I both agreed that this was the hardest leg for us. We used muscles that either we didn't know we had, or in my case, probably didn't have. At one point we got passed by a guy and a gal flying through the water. When we got out she said, that's what you get from two ex rowers. We lit it up running back to try and warm ourselves up, and to pass the rowers!

Leg 4 was a group bike event. I jumped in because I didn't want to miss out on all the biking, and I wanted to keep stretching out and warming up after the cold kayak paddle. Scott, Ben and I headed to get our photo taken with the Freemont Troll, and at the Ballard locks.

Scott and Ben know their way around Seattle really well and we took an awesome short cut back on our bikes. It did involve carrying our bikes up some stairs, but I think it cut at least a mile, and a couple of hills off the route we came by.

Leg 5 was a run to Pike Place Market where Anthony, Kevin, and Justin had to find the bug hut, or bug man or something like that. They took off and Scott did some research and called them with the exact location where I am told Anthony ate a cricket without a moments hesitation. I can't wait to hear what his girls though of that!

Leg 6 involved riding to Green lake and traveling by little wheels around the lake twice. This meant Scott, Ben and Kevin because they were the ones versed in roller blades and scooters. I felt so bad for Scott. I don't think he had biked this decade, and here he was doing every bike event. Anthony and Justin and I figured we were done and started to pack up. We were about to head to the car when Anthony said I wonder if there could be another leg? We decided probably not, but left our gear out and headed out. On the way, Anthony asked one of the timers, "There are just six legs right?" She said there could be 6-8. We went to a really nice Irish pub and I asked Justin what he thought the odds were that there was another leg, he replied since they were already sweeping the course, and the way the time keeper looked at us when we asked there was zero chance. I took his word for it and started in with gusto on a smooth pint Guinness and a shot of Jamison Irish Whiskey. We were cheering the Seahawks on and I talked Justin into ordering breakfast with me. I have never had such good corned beef hash with eggs and hollandaise sauce. It was soooo rich, but sooo good and salty. After another Guinness we decided we needed to get back to cheer our team on as they returned from the final leg.

WRONG. As it turned out, there was a 7th leg. Oh crap. There was no way to ask the guys returning from a 2 hour ordeal involving biking, roller blading and towing a team member on a scooter with an inner tube to run the hilly five miles to pioneer square and back. Off we went. Could I keep my meal down? I like races where you learn something about yourself. I didn't expect to learn that yes I can keep down two Guinness's, an Irish whiskey and corned beef hash and eggs while running 5 miles in hilly downtown Seattle, but I did. It hurt. It didn't feel swell at all, but we managed. I'm the one on the left in this photo. If I looked a little dazed, It was only because I was.

We finished 6th out of a 12 Corporate Six Pack teams. Pretty darn good for a team with no training, whose wives predicted heart failure!

These guys were studs. I'm already signing up for next year!

Date: Sept 23
Mileage: 15
Ride type/Bike: Road/Allez
Sept Miles: 214
Year to date mileage: 2186

Date: Sept 18
Mileage: 23
Ride type/Bike: Road/Allez
Sept Miles: 199
Year to date mileage: 2171

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

2nd Annual N. Bend to Roslyn on Gravel

Zach called me Sunday morning about 8AM and asked if I was ready for rain. I figured since we had plans made, I better at least go to North Bend and check it out. It was just a little misty in Renton so I figured it would be ok. Nope. It was raining. Really raining in North Bend. We suited up and checked the doppler radar, thought we might still be able to pull it off and headed out the door.

The rain quickly changed to a drizzle, and then to just a light mist. I took off my jacket and was comfortable in tights and a jersey.

We passed a couple of huge groups of folks coming down the trail. Shuttlers with kids mostly. My headlamp held out through the entire 2.6 mile tunnel and we reached the other side still hoping for sun. It appeared to come out for a second, but then the rain came again and continued for about 45 minutes until we were past Lake Keechelus. We had a nice tail wind and let it drive us right past our exit on Bull Frog road. Instead we rode into Cle Elum and back tracked on Hwy 903 to Roslyn. The wind heading that direction was ugly. I was cranking as hard as I could and I think we barely made 14mph.

A shot of Jack and a pint of brew at the Brick cured my cold feet. Wife and daughter arriving an hour later to drive me home was perfect. Big thanks to T&T without whom this ride would not have been possible.

Here's a scary video Zach shot:

Date: Sept 16
Mileage: 63
Ride type/Bike: Railtrail/Tricross
Sept Miles: 176
Year to date mileage: 2148

Date: Sept 13
Mileage: 11
Ride type/Bike: LYL/Tricross
Sept Miles: 113
Year to date mileage: 2085

Date: Sept 12
Mileage: 24
Ride type/Bike: Road/Allez
Sept Miles: 102
Year to date mileage: 2074

Date: Sept 10
Mileage: 6
Ride type/Bike: Gravel Hill Repeats/ Tricross
Sept Miles: 78
Year to date mileage: 2050

Monday, September 10, 2007


I have a 9.3 mile double track loop that I regularly use for training. It's got about 830 feet of rolling hill climbs and it's great for getting the heart rate up. I've been riding it since the mid 90's. I remember when I first started riding it, I'd take aver 50 minutes, and then I'd be cramping up pretty bad the rest of the day. I remember when I got my first clipless pedals and started cranking it out in 44 minutes. I thought I was doing pretty well. Over the last year I had brought my personal best down to just under 35 minutes and I thought that was probably where it would stop. I rode it Thursday in 33:08, taking another 90 seconds off my personal best. I think a lot of the increase was due to doing it on my cross bike with some 35mm Schwalbe Racing Ralph's. Of course I guess I'm in better shape too. Now I just need to get off my butt and do some interval training before my cross season starts on the 30th.

Date: Sept 7
Mileage: 20
Ride type/Bike: Road/Allez
Sept Miles: 72
Year to date mileage: 2044

Date: Sept 6
Mileage: 12
Ride type/Bike: LYL/Tricross - Record
Sept Miles: 52
Year to date mileage: 2024

Date: Sept 3
Mileage: 5
Ride type/Bike: Road/Bridgestone
Sept Miles: 40
Year to date mileage: 2012

Date: Sept 1
Mileage: 35
Ride type/Bike: Rail trail- Road/Tricross
Sept Miles: 35
Year to date mileage: 2007

369 Mile August

It was a great month. With the girls out of town I was able to work out 12 times in 10 days. Too bad I couldn't keep it going!

Date: Aug 30
Mileage: 40
Ride type/Bike: Road/Allez
Aug Miles: 369
Year to date mileage: 1972

Date: Aug 29
Mileage: 20
Ride type/Bike: Road/Allez
Aug Miles: 329
Year to date mileage: 1932