Friday, August 26, 2011

The Day After Tomorrow (According to The Weather Channel)

An earthquake and a hurricane - all in one week; surely the Apocalypse is upon us.  And judging by what I'm seeing on The Weather Channel, here is my best guess as to what will happen over the weekend with Hurricane Irene stalking us:

Sorry, I forgot where I was going with that.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

365 Days. Count 'em Down.

One year, 365 days from today I will be competing in the inaugural Ironman US Championships in New York City. 

Give me a moment to let that sink into my own brain as well.

Most people have heard of the Ironman World Championships that take place in Kona, Hawaii.  However, the Ironman Series also includes 8 other Ironman races scattered throughout the United States.  In 2012, Ironman is adding a 9th race in the US - this one in and around the NYC area.

Given that there are only a few of these races, and that the sport of Triathlon is growing by huge leaps and bounds in the US - these races tend to be very hard to get into.  And, unless you happen to be fortunate enough to live nearby one of the races - usually some sort of travel and overnight stays are required.

For me, my plan initially was to make the trek 6 hours North, and compete in the Ironman Lake Placid (upstate New York).  That race is so hard to get into, the only way to make it in is to volunteer for a 5 hour stint in the previous years event.  I was all set to do my volunteer work, until at the last minute they announced this new race - right in my back yard of NYC.

Given that 2012 will be the inaugural year for the NYC Ironman - no volunteering was needed to sign up; just a quick trigger finger on your mouse to get signed up quickly.  3,000 slots, at $950 each, sold out in 12 minutes.  Yours truly is one of them.

For the uninitiated, let's review what an Ironman Triathlon involves:
  • 2.4 Mile Swim
  • 112 Mile Bike
  • 26.2 Mile Run (Marathon)
The Swim leg will be in the Hudson River:
2.4 miles downstream.  Let's hope the current is cooperating that day.  The Hudson is typically much cleaner than the infamous 'East River', but let's not expect pristine Lake Superior by any means.  You exit the water just north of the George Washington Bridge.  I expect to be in the water somewhere between 75 and 90 minutes.

The Bike Leg will actually be on the New Jersey side, and shoot up the Palisades Parkway:
If you got in your car right now, and drove somewhere 112 miles away - you'd be in your car a little over 2 hours most likely.  You might stop somewhere for a soda, and to take a bathroom break.
As fast as I am on my bike, I'm not nearly as fast as your Ford Taurus.  I expect to be on the bike about 6 hours.

The Marathon Finishes in Manhattan:

I expect it will be a watershed moment when I finally cross over the George Washington Bridge, and enter the boro of Manhattan.  I've completed 4 marathons, but never one after having done all the stuff you just read through...  I expect the marathon should take me around 5 to 6 hours.

So, for those of you math majors doing a running total in your head - I'm looking at something around 14 hours to complete the Ironman, burning maybe 8,000 calories.

If you're looking for me in the next year, there's a good chance I'll be training.  And if you see me eating McDonalds, you have my permission to slap the chicken nuggets right out of my mouth.

The wildcard?  The weather.  Mid-August anywhere can be a crap shoot.  Today in NYC the high is expected to be 84 - which would be brilliant.  But 95 degree days are clearly a possibility in the dog days of summer.

I expect to be really well prepared for this event.  You don't take on an Ironman lightly, and truthfully I've been building toward this for 4 years.

365 days.  Count 'em Down.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Nerds on Patrol

So we took a Segway tour of the Washington D.C. monuments last week.  It looks nerdy, sure, but when you're zipping past tourists schlepping it on foot - you feel like part Superhero, part Paul Blart Mall Cop.  Either way - everyone gave it rave reviews, and I highly suggest you try a Segway if you ever get a chance.

Monday, August 8, 2011


I heard a great little analogy from Rick Santelli today (CNBC Host of Tea-Party fame), in regards to Obama's Administration:

"If my wife started spending 30% more this year than last year, and her answer was that I'm supposed to get 2 more jobs...that's the same analogy. We have a spending problem in this country." 

"You know what leadership means? It means that it doesn't really matter what S&P says. We all know deep inside that no country is the same as it was 5 years ago. And the market seems to be okay with it. And as for stocks going down we were already Ralph Cramden (of Honeymooners) on thin ice. Now an infant jumped on our shoulders. It’s just even more weight.

"In the end, in the end we need to address problems we know exist. A Treasury Secretary or a President should be out here not fighting S&P, not grabbing the other coach and slapping him around, taking the umpire behind the barn. He should be getting the team psyched to overcome.

"See I remember I had a professor in college. I wrote a great paper. Could never please this guy. But it made me better. Okay? We’re better than this. Don’t get caught up in the minutia. All this BS. We’re better than this. We need to prove it. We’re off the track. Whether we're better than some other country or not, the real issue is we're on the wrong path.

"Blame the Tea Party? Geez, no wonder Kerry did so well in an election. If it wasn't for the Tea Party, they would have passed the debt ceiling thumbs up, we would have been rated BBB."

Oh, and Congress is on Vacation until September 7th.