Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Living the Easy Life

Two Saturdays ago, I was living the easy life. I went out to Clinton in the morning, ran a ten minute warm-up, a 5K, a ten minute warm-down and I was done for the day. Wow ! I was done at 10AM, and it was an afternoon of beer, snacks and friends.

No four hour ride and run, no long run run, no anything. Just a quick race and hanging out.

That was not the case this last Saturday.

I ran for 2 hours and 15 minutes and boy, did I feel like I'd earned something when I was done. Maybe it was just the 90 degree heat. Maybe it was that I was redeeming myself as a lousy two hour ride the night before.

But as I was running I thought about the difference between the two ways of spending Saturday morning. The 5K was kind of the 'old' me. Get up, drive (sometimes ridiculously far away), run a race, then drive home. The drive was usually way longer than the time spent running.

Don't get me wrong. 5ks are fine, I still run them, and I'm not knocking them.

But at the end of the day I guess I'd rather knock out a two-hour and fifteen minute run. There's time to think, music to listen to. Highs and lows to work through, all towards a goal that just starts to feel attainable in those longer moments. So keep those long runs coming Coach, because I'm ready for them.

Monday, August 24, 2009


I've started reviewing races on Why did I do this, you ask- well, maybe you didn't actually ask, however, I'm telling you anyway...

Racevine started following me on Twitter and tweeted me several times after I my post-race tweets inviting me to post reviews of the races. Now, I already chronicle my 'adventures' right here on this blog, however, I felt that there's a huge difference between my admittedly self-centered race entries here and a more objective evaluation of races which gives people an thumbnail description of what to expect and what the course is like.

While my opinions may not be of great value, I think the aggregation of opinions about races are. Too many times (myself included I'm sure) an athlete's good or bad performance overshadows or influences their evaluation of a race, and from first-timers looking for the right race to veterans looking for the right race, having a source to go to that rates races, their amenities, travel, and gives each evaluator a chance to actually write out their thoughts in free form is a great service to the running community.

Did I mention they have been having weekly contests where they select winners based on number and quality of evaluations ? Or that I'm competitive ? But contest or not, I think anyone who races should considering adding their reviews to this site.

Again, it's You can also follow them on twitter @racevine or become a fan on facebook. (I did both).

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Force 5 Team Race

The annual Force 5 Sports sprint triathlon was this morning at 10:00AM.

At 9:50, I checked my iPhone because it was move in day at UNH for the college students. Long story short, after making great use of new features in the mail app with the iPhone 3.0 software I realised that I sent my staff in at 10AM, and they were supposed to be there at 9AM.

I was already worried. Move-in day is already one of the super-high stress days at UNH. Absolutely stratospheric stress, everyone is moved to alternate locations to do there jobs so it can be one stop shopping for the students.

For me getting in the water when I'm already stressed out is about the only thing I can do that is actually physically dangerous. I wanted to take off my wetsuit and bolt. The race was starting late, things at work might be a disaster. I'd run 2:15 yesterday in the soaring heat. I was asking for all sorts of trouble.

Then again, my phone hadn't rung. Everyone has my number, my staff is great (maybe late, but great).

I got in. I swam. Maybe a tad slow, but not so bad.

I got out just ahead of Henry Brown- a super athlete. The race is a 'handicapped' race, meaning we start in waves based on ability. I was in the seventh wave. He was in the ninth two minutes behind me. I preceded to give up 20 seconds by inexplicably going the wrong way on the first turn.

Always the gentleman, Henry made getting into his shoes an ordeal. We traded places on the bike three times, then he finally pulled away, but he was my rabbit the whole ride and of course it made me have a faster split.

I saw him head out with Dave Ellis, the other guy in my wave, starting their run as I dropped my bike in the grass. I started running hard, knowing I needed to catch Dave as quickly as possible. Other teammates also started to come back to me and I actually had a great run.

Of course, I missed the post-race party, because I did ride straight home, shower and drive into work, and judging from the pictures, it was a great time.

Oh well, I had a great time too.

I put together another solid, low-stress swim today and I climbed the ladder up out of the water with the mission accomplished. Regardless of how I rode or ran, I was going to be happy.

Kudos to Steve and Scott Casper for making the party and race a big success.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Liberty Bank (Clinton Bluefish) 5k

I ran a 17:52 today on a hot and humid morning after a evening swim meet and a 40 mile ride yesterday.

It was not exactly what I'd been hoping for. I was coming off a race at Niantic in which, despite being disappointed at not catching the guys right in front of me, I'd felt really good. I was pretty sure that I was going to have a good 5k, especially after a 40 minute run in the sweltering heat on Tuesday.

But Wednesday night I developed a tickle in my throat and pretty soon I had a dam-break style flow of nasal and post-nasal drip. I finally gave in before the swim meet yesterday and took an antihistamine, and another one this morning. As a result, I was pretty dehydrated from my bike ride yesterday, probably more than I realised.

I got up this morning and while I definitely felt better, especially considering the swim meet, I knew I wasn't 100% either. But I had a friend driving in from Albany who was going to meet me at the race and Charlie Hornak and Robert 'Twins' Bove were also going to be there, and I was pre-registered, so there was nothing for it.

I got there a little late but just in time to warm up with Charlie. I'd been thinking on the bus ride from the parking area to the race start about putting how I felt aside and just running, reminding myself that it was a short race and that general fitness and just plain orneriness would probably see me through. We had a good warm-up, and it was such a nice hot, muggy day that everything felt OK. I didn't have any punch though.

I did my warmups and then lined up, and for the second 5K in a row, after I lined up, someone stepped onto the line in front of me. A big tall guy that seemed to be all elbows, or rather that was what I had in my face.Granted, this guy would end up being the second finisher, but I cannot for the life of me understand what he was thinking. When I get on the line, I always step into a hole between people or ask for room. He just stood in front of my like I wasn't there and I had to turn sidewise to get a foot on the line- the middle of his shoe was resting on the tape, half his foot on the race course. Oh well.

The guy starting the race went through a somewhat unorthodox explanation of how he was going to start the race. He also seemed to expect us to reply 'yes' when he asked if we were ready.

The it was under way, and like last year, I was quickly under siege, engulfed by high school kids and college guys. I was running pretty hard but it certainly seemed like I was in trouble.

We made it to the first hill at the turn off the main road the race starts on and I began to weed my way up through the younger but weaker runners. But I also realised something going up the hill- my legs were dead. I'd only ridden forty miles yesterday, but 20 of them had been at time trial pace and that's something I take seriously, but still... I never think about my legs during a short race. The problem was that I was dehydrated from the congestion and the antihistamine and that had prevented me from having my usual recovery.

Then we went through a flat section and there was another decent riser- a hill, not too long. There was a guy with running shorts, no shirt, and a twenty-year old helmet riding in amongst the runners and as I went to take the tangent up the hill, he was on the wrong side of the road, and in my way. I had to stop, cut, and run around him while I was on the hill.

The strangest things happen to me during races, although this was a lot milder than the time the motorcycle cop ran me off the road.

I hit a mile at 5:38 and knew I probably only had one good mile left in me.

After that it was really just about hanging on. The course rolls a bit, and there was a water station where I grabbed two cups of water and did my best to douse myself. There was a group of a few guys in front of me, but not much I could do seemed to close the gap, and behind me I couldn't hear anyone. I was just waiting for the turn somewhere around 2 miles, because I knew once I hit the turn, I'd be running downhill and could let momentum compensate for my dry mouth, tired legs, and still stuffed nose.

I hit the turn and cranked down the hill passed two miles, and started kind of just hanging on.

In truth, the heat and humidity, although conditions I race well in, were probably just getting to me. I'd gone through two miles at a 5:45 pace.

The next landmark was the underpass, after which there was one final turn. I was waiting until the underpass to 'turn it on'. I went through, hit the turn and-

There was no on. One runner went by me. I was still 2-3 seconds behind the guy in front of me and he also was passed. We just kept going. Except for the one guy moving up, everyone was running the same speed, all just out of reach of each other. It went on this way for half a mile, the finish line seemingly a long way away from that last turn.

When I finally saw the clock it was at around 17:40 and I knew I was breaking 18:00 and I tried to find an extra half-gear to catch the guy in front of me, but it just wasn't there.

Still, I ran a 17:50 last year and I ran a 17:52 this year. I got beat by a very large contingent of under-20s (6), but I still was 12th out of almost 450 people. I shouldn't complain.

A big shout out to Charlie Hornak and Rob Bove for also running (Bove broke 30:00) and thanks for driving down, Darren !

Sunday, August 09, 2009

Niantic Bay Triathlon- Surprising Myself

I warmed up for about 15-20 minutes. The water was almost flat. It was low tide, but slack. That was until about 10 minutes before the race started. While the tide had come in a little during the warm-up it was calm water.

By the time the race started, however, the tide was coming in and we were swimming right into it. Nevertheless, it was still out, meaning that we had to wade about 75 yards into the water. It was a weird combination. I wanted to start swimming immediately because when you run in the water your heart rate goes up. But with so many people around me walking, I was worried about the people behind me diving on top of me (happens) and the people in front of me diving and kicking me with their heels (happens).

The end result of being the third wave in a fast incoming tide swimming straight out is predictable. Chop, big, chop. No big story here. It was a mess. People who are better swimmers than I am agreed it was a mess.

Mark Satran and I swam the exact same time. We went into transition together and I came out slightly ahead.

The bike starts up a hill. Rather than mount and climb I ran up the hill in my bike shoes, passing people. I stopped to mount and @poycc passed me. I quickly passed him back, hit the first big left hand turn onto the main road and started bombing.

For the first time all year, I felt good out of the water. My back wasn't bothering me as it had been for the last 24 hours, I wasn't hyperventilating and the rolling terrain is exactly what I train on. Usually I'm pretty low-key about how I'm performing, but I was really cranking the bike, and with two waves plus the elites in front of me I had to give it everything I had. I felt like all the training I'd done on the bike this year, especially the time trialing, paid off.

I was up on my bars maybe 2-3 times the whole ride, once on the flats late in the race when I was trying to drop someone from another local tri club who decided not to drop back after I passed. I just stayed in my aerobars and kept up a high cadence of around 90. I didn't shy away from the small gear either on the hills.

I don't think I've had too many bikes as good as this one. It's just too bad that I didn't listen to the advice to take my shoes off before going down the long steep hill into transition after the dismount. Well, actually, I undid the strap on my left shoe, only to find out that I do not, in fact, like the pros, know how to take my foot out of my shoe.

I lost time going down the hill and Mark passed me. He also got out of transition with me.

He's three weeks off an Ironman (Canada) and he really made me work on the first mile of the run. I tried to pass him, and he wouldn't let me. I felt like he was turning it up a notch, but I also knew I might just not be strong on the run today. I pushed a second time. No dice. But I noticed I had a little advantage on the uphills and finally managed a pass on a hill and then hit a quick left and tried to open a gap. For a guy who's doing the big final week of training (and has another ride he had to do later in the day) he really made it hard to pass him and he looks like he's in great shape for an awesome IM Canada- good luck.

I was now running down exclusively men in their 30s. Since I was putting a big chunk of time on these guys (7 minutes ?) that was great, but I knew there must be 1-2 40-44s in front of me.

I ran well, but it was not my absolute best stuff. When I hit the two mile mark, I was very glad, and I should have but didn't take a second Cliff Shot (I had one on the bike).

When we got near the beach I saw I had three guys right in front of me, about 15 seconds. But I didn't have the acceleration to run them down, and sure enough the guy that finished ahead of me in ninth was 41.

I was unhappy with myself, however, I had no idea I'd finished 10th overall.

This was a good race for me, no question, and with room to improve on the swim (102 out of 495) and run (just 5th). The 3rd overall bike I'll take.

Shout out to Charlie Hornak, who survived a pretty rough swim and finished his first tri in who knows how long and also @poycc and all the rest of the Force 5 crew who showed up and raced well.

Some Disasters are Good for You

I did not post anything about my last race. It was a little dishonest of me, because I usually do race reports on every race, but the truth is, I was embarrassed about it. Long story short, I panicked in the water. I would not exactly call it a panic attack, but after side-stroking the whole swim, I was wasted and to be honest I still haven't looked at the results, but it was ugly.

It was the mini-tri at Lake Placid the day after the Ironman. Talk about stupid. There's no other word for it. But it taught me something valuable. I panic when I can see that I'm losing ground to the people around me. So it's a for-fun mini triathlon on a Monday night and I shouldn't care about how I do. Doesn't matter. I And that's what I ultimately decided- I'll be fine in the water as long as I can submerge my head and my ego.

Fast forward. Friday Night we went to the North Branford Potato festival. Ian struggled a bit- all he wanted to do was the bouncy house, so there was a good deal of me carrying him on my shoulders. When I got up Saturday morning the muscles behind my rib cage in the back, or above the hip (lower back) hurt on the left side. I did a 40 mile in the morning, but easy, then we went to a pool party where I was the one in the water with Ian. By the time we got home at 5PM. I knew there was something wrong with my 'back', just not what. I decided to go to bed at 10PM, which is insanely early by my standards.

I got up just before 5AM and my back was either worse, or the same. I could not tell.

Lot of backstory here. (Sorry)

@poycc gave me a ride to the race. Once there, I knew that I needed to run. Usually, I set myself up in transition and head straight for the water, but not today. I didn't think I could run at all, so I needed to test myself. It hurt a lot at first, but I was able to get in a mile, then still be the first person in the water 45 minutes before race start.

After 20 minutes of warming up, I realised I was still trying to decide if I thought I could race. And the funny thing is, if I hadn't had a disaster in Lake Placid, I might not have. What if my back spasmed during the swim ? I hear they do that. I might get so freaked that I'd be afraid to ever get in the water again. I might get out on the bike or run and really hurt myself...

Then I thought about Eric's latest blog post, Hedging. Great post, better than this one, trust me. That post made me realise even he isn't always 100% sure about what he's doing, and more importantly, as he often says, it's not that hard. You swim, you bike, you run. Game on, then you're done, game over. This isn't hard.

I went positive- not really my style. I decided the swim would make my back feel better. And it did.

End of that story. Now back to the race in my next post.

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Tired of the Drama

I had a two day run of crazy out on the local roads.

I'm not going to go into the blow by blow because anyone who rides knows the score. On Tuesday, I had a driver pull out in front of me without signaling or stopping, cut me off twice, stop short and try to run me down. Did I drop some f-bombs in there ? Yes, I did. In fact, I'm pretty certain the first invective after being cut off the led to the rest of my adventure.

The next night I went on a group ride. At one point, I was leading out two other riders by about 75 yards. We were riding on a quiet side road, and they were side by side. Should they probably have been single file ? Yes, sure.

The driver of the SUV who laid on the horn for about five seconds first slowed down ominously and then revved his engine and took a run at the other two cyclists. I didn't have to look. I know that sound.

Then he made a run at me. I did one of those head leans to get a visual, not turning my head because I tend to drift left when I do that. He buzzed me, nice and tight, rear view about 6 inches from my head as he went by, the dull heat of the vehicle oppressive on a muggy night.

I was pissed, and his window was open. What, even if he had any beef at all (which he'd forfeited by using his SUV as a weapon), had I done, except be out on the road ?

I let loose a real tirade and I followed him. At one point he considered stopping, but as Steve Surprise said, when he heard me use the phrase 'vehicular assault' he decided to just keep going.

Margit and I had an unhappy discussion afterwards because we have a difference of opinion on the matter. She thinks no matter what happens, you should just let it go. I appreciate that point of view. I agree that there are a lot of crazy people out there. As Coach Troy says in the Gates Pass ride 'it's just the nature of the beast' that some motorists are not going to give cyclists room or right of way and 'you just have to deal with it.'

At the same time, there's just something fundamentally wrong about letting people walk (or drive) all over you all the time. We have some great routes down here on the shoreline, but we really have some crappy drivers too, and on roads that are tight, winding, with poor sight lines and low speed limits.

Unquestionably, we have to do our part. The person riding in the road next to Steve the other night should have moved right as soon as they realised there was a car back. It's definitely up to cyclists to keep up good relations. But the five second horn blast and using his car to 'buzz' three cyclists is inexcusable, dangerous, and it's also illegal. And letting people cut you off with no response, which is certainly my number one issue with motorists- just yield the right of way to me when I have it- please! Don't cut me off turning onto a road I'm riding down in a straight line. Letting that go- if that doesn't tell that motorist that yes, that's the thing to do, what does it do ?

Nevertheless, I'm sick of all the drama out there. I don't want to be yelling and screaming at people and I certainly don't want a side view mirror in the side of the head.

I just want to ride.

Maybe I'll try it Margit's way...



The popular microblogging site Twitter went down early Thursday morning, with the site's operators confirming the outage on a status blog as a denial-of-service attack.

Twitter originally offered no explanation for the outage, adding a characteristically pithy post on its Status blog titled, simply, "Site is Down". "We are determining the cause and will provide an update shortly," the post read.

Shortly thereafter, however, the site confirmed that it was suffering a denial-of-service attack. "We are defending against a denial-of-service attack, and will update status again shortly," the site read.

There's no wondering if this outage will spark fresh discussion of cyber-security and counter-cyber-terrorism efforts. The question is how much discussion will it spark...

The Day the Twitter Died

I'd gotten up this morning and read an article by Robert Scoble on unfollowing people.

To be honest, I thought, oh great, yet another article by the in-the-know, internet intelligensia about why you shouldn't be following people like me, who may not really offer the sort of Twitter ROI that is important. Or is it important (to me) ?

It must not be- for me. I've been languishing at approximately the 400 user mark for a while now. I continue to tweet the beers I drink each night, provided sporadic twitter race-day coverage of Ironman Lake Placid, comments on the Tour de France, and frequently add tweets on politics, technology, and even the Daily Show. Taken as an aggregate, there's probably something not to like in my stream for just about any of my followers.

Twitter is at once this great democratizing force, unless Twitter decides to 'rationalize' the tweet-stream, which has been discussed by Twitter recently, and this obsessive playground for control-freaks. Who follows you, who you are following, how many are there, what's the value, and other questions are constant discussion points on Twitter, and that's fine. But I think there is maybe to much ROI on something that is basically free- or free plus the cost of the time you put into it.

However, I found the article really actually useful. There's nothing wrong with using Twitter whatever way you like to- as a communication tool, a means of self-expression, a resource for answers to your questions. Complain, philosophize, agitate, even market. it's all good. But there's no reason to handicap your account and your experience, either.

Example- your bio line. Mine said almost nothing about me except that I like Battlestar Galactica. While this is true, it doesn't tell you who I am, what I do, or what I tweet about. So, as the article suggested, I changed it.

Then I sat back, made this one change, interested to see what might happen.

And Twitter took a giant face plant a few minutes later. It's been down about two hours now, I think, and yeah, here I am, writing about it being down on my blog, partially because you can't tweet about twitter being down. You can, however, go to for a status update.

Anyway, read the article. I think there are some great tips for being as 'good' a twitter user as you decide you want to be.

Monday, August 03, 2009

Saturday Morning Mishaps- Bad Bottle Cage Installs

Maybe I should let the pros install my bottle cages from now on.

Sunday, August 02, 2009

Sea Legs Shuffle 10 miler

Sea Legs has over the years has become a regular on my race schedule. The race falls a week after Ironman lake placid and the day after Block island triathlon, which John Hirsch won yesterday, and I decided to skip. The trip to Lake Placid took too much out of everyone- and as much as I enjoy watching John eviscerate the field at BI, it would have never worked.

This race has been a state championship the last two years, which brings out the best runners in the state. As a former winner of the race, I knew well that I would not be competing for a top spot, however, I would be scoring for my team in the open and masters category so I needed a good effort.

The race starts out with a long flat run up Seaside Avenue, then hooks a left and shortly after that you are climbing a serious short uphill on a bridge. I wanted to go out hard for the first mile- sub-six. Six guys quickly formed a lead pack and I was alone as the chase group. I knew I was running harder than I would be in later miles, but if I could moderate my effort after one mile, I'd be fine.

Halfway up the hill there's a right hand side-street. I saw a green SUV. The woman looked at me, decided she had time to pull out, and then pulled onto the road, only to see the six guys in front of me blocking the road. There was room for her to go around, but she instead decided that she would back up into the side street. She'd forgotten all about me and started a viscous fast left hook turn. I dodged her- I had room to get around, but I was pretty aggravated and delivered a very robust 'WTF ?'.

When Jim Zoldy passed me, he quipped 'I'm pretty sure that car will make the blog' and of course, he's right. Great race by the way, Jim. Twelfth overall and a very solid 1:01.

Chris Schulten, Jim, and several other people I expected to pass me were out in front of me by mile two, and that's the flattest part of the race, pretty much until two and half miles, it's board flat. I'd dialed down a notch and settled in, but the two mile time I'd gotten- well over 12:00 minutes- seemed kind of wrong. I'd done 5:50 for the first mile.

When I hit the three mile mark I was already a full minute off 6 minute mile pace, and starting a set of rollers. This is where I'd attacked last year, and it had been way too early and I'd paid a price later on. So I held back, even when the bulk of the EKG team went by me in a pack. I wanted to push and hang with them, but it was definitely the wrong thing to do.

There was nothing big going on after that for a while. Chris was closing in on two younger runners and I was watching him. He wasn't really pulling away from me, and as these other two runners came back to me, I really had to fight the urge to run them down, because the biggest hill on the course is in mile four on Old Sachem's Head. I took it about 90% up the hill, passing one of the guys, then caught the other one on a roller about a half mile later.

There was one other runner between Chris and I. I was very slowly losing ground to him. As we came around Vineyard Point Road, they were drawing even and ran together for a while, then as we started climbing again, they still had about 15 seconds on me. I did not want to push these uphills. My plan was to attack any short downhills, but hold my pace until at least eight miles, instead of overcooking the course like I'd done last year.

It was beastly humid. I was taking water at every stop and pouring it on my head or chest and that was helping to keep more core temperature where I wanted it.

We went through eight miles and I was still about 12 or 13 seconds behind Chris. Sometimes I would pick up a second or two or lose it. He was stopping to drink water at the aid stations, pausing for just 2-3 seconds, then running with a better pace afterwards, so it evened out. I was still trying to catch him as we hooked a right onto Old Whitfield and worked our way around High Street until we were back on Whitfield again.

I knew my only chance to catch anyone was to catch Chris and that I would have to take him on the hill on the bridge (it's an uphill in each direction, like a big upside-down U).

It didn't happen.

We picked it up down the other side and raced to Seaside Avenue, both of us running a little harder. I could hear Julie yelling encouragement to runners as we hit the corner and I ran it in. Unfortunately I couldn't see the clock until it said 1:03:57, too late to surge and break 1:04.

I ran a 1:04:02. I joked with Chris that we'd run 57s on the course, so they must have added a mile someone. We ran a warm down together. Chris is such a nice guy as well as a real competitor and it was really great for me to be able to have him to chase the whole race as it kept me focused on staying steady.

Also, a big shout out to the Terwilligers and Marty Schaivone. Maureen ran a great race then hosted us for a post-race pool (and trampoline) party with Marty's help. Thanks guys.

On the minus side, I was 21st overall and 6th in my age group. On the plus side, it was a state championship, so 6th in my age group is bad, but not that bad. It's better than 28th and 7th in my age group, which was what happened at the State Championship 5k. Not the sort of numbers I'm used to at road races...

As a training run to get read for a September half-ironman ? Pretty good.

Saturday, August 01, 2009

Ironman Lake Placid 2009- Spectator View

I thought I should get a few thoughts down on the seventeen hour day we all spent last Sunday at IMLP.

Spectating an Ironman is no small assignment. First of all, it's not your race, it's the 2400 or so people lined up and waiting to get in the water that are racing so you kind of have to tailor what you do to be focused on them. Note to spectators that use the porta-potties right by the beach 20 minutes before the race starts. I'm talking to you. Cross your legs and hold it until 7:00, would ya ?

We got down to the water about twenty minutes before the start of the race and waited in the rain for it to start. You always kind of get these chills. The music is blasting and then they start the pros- 10 minutes early- before the rest of the the race- the age-groupers- can't we just call them the athletes ?

Steve and I got up next to the wetsuit corral and got to see the majority of the athletes getting out of the water pix here. Except for having to strip down and rescue a scared kid floating on a dock, this was pretty uneventful. I took hundreds of low-quality photos with my iPhone, a few movies I haven't posted, and then we headed back to the room on the opposite side of the lake.

We could hear them bringing in the last swimmers from across the lake.

Then we went out to run, heading out on the run course, which is also the bike course. It was Steve, Margit and I, with me pushing Ian, on the opposite side of the road from the bikes. It amazes me that on race day there are people out riding bikes on the bike course. What are you thinking ? I heard LPPD yell at two of them to get out of the way. The lead guy came through hauling ass and we didn't see anyone else for more than 10 minutes. When the second guy came through (down near the bridge were you turn off to the run course), I yelled 'Five minutes, he's got five minutes on you.' I was trying to to keep up his hope...

We ran the run course until we got to the turn-around, kept going instead of turned back, and then went up 86, Steve and I together, Margit right behind. Because of the hills, I was able to run and talk to the cyclists at the same time, combining banter and cheering with the occasional make-the-pass remarks. It was kind of weird climbing the bears pushing a stroller, chatting with athletes. I saw Mandy and a few other people I knew.

We stopped at the top to cheer people on and regroup, then Steve and I put the hammer down for the finish from the turn-around on the run to our condo.

We watched some more bikes, hit a very quick shower and then lunch at Lake Placid Brewery. Note on Josh's FIre Fish- make it hotter ! It was like, OK hot, but not alan hot. Not close.

Then we watched more cyclists coming in and I snapped many more low-quality iPhontos. Pros were headed out on the run and in on the bike at the same time.

A little later, I was down at the expo when Dave Harju came in.

He was pretty banged up from a crash near the firestation at the end of the bike out and back. He'd finished the ride, gotten some bandages, and then run a loop of the (edited) run course. I have to say, he really refuted the idea that pros maybe don't hesitate to drop out of races when they suffer adversity. He looked like a doctor in a hospital should have been cleaning him up. Someone I know gave me a hard time about not recording his account of the day's events with my 3gs iPhone's movie mode, but I felt like the guy deserved his privacy.

Then we set up by the condo and watched the race go by. People start coming in on the bike and you know these people are still on the race course, but their race is over, they've missed the cut-off and they may or may not know it. This scene repeats on the run. Steve and I were surprised at how long it took for the sweeper truck to come through with the truly forlorn and how many over the limit people they left out there.

After that, it's all about the runners. We were at the hot corner for the ambulance, right past an aid station where several runners collapsed or called for aid.

One of those was Gus Ellison. He was shivering and apparently sick to his stomach- we offered to walk him back but he decided (wisely) to take the ambulance.

It's hard. People are struggling out there and I'm an outgoing person, so I'm always trying to find that right balance- encourage but don't badger. One guy gave me his Red Bull to hold until he came back from the turn around. Others started running again when Steve and I encouraged them to keep going. This is the part that's the most fun because you are in the action in a good, supportive way, but it's clear some people just aren't going to make it.

We never saw Mandy Braverman on the second loop of the run and it was only afterwards that I found out that was because she collapsed at mile 16 and needed CPR. Wow, that's scary- get better soon, Mandy, especially since you are signed up for IM Florida.

About 10 PM Steve and I made it to the venue and got up in the bleachers, spent about an hour, but we were both tired, knew we had to be up early to sign up, and just weren't feeling the excitement.

As we walked away, Mike Reilly headed down off the scaffolding and we heard people start banging on the sponsor placards and we knew we'd missed that moment, where you do feel it, where the 16 hour plus people start to really mean something to you, by about 1 minute.

One minute. Eight minutes. Just time. Just something you have to get over regardless of the numbers. We went back to the condo- Margit was out watching and the three of us cheered on people as they went by- 24.5 miles on the way out. 25.2 or .3 on the way back. Increasingly desperate, increasingly unlikely to make it back under 17 hours.

We went inside right at midnight.

Next year. Now it's about next year, and I'll be there, on the course. So will Steve. I hope Margit finds a way to be there too.