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May 17, 2007

CarbonMan Triathlon Report

Before we get to today’s post, can we bestow a Chris Daughtry award, given to the American Idol contestant who doesn’t make it to the finals despite clearly being the most talented performer in the field? Actually, we should probably name this award after Jennifer Hudson (or even – how old school are you? – Tamyra Gray).

Anyway, congratulations to
Melinda Doolittle, this year’s winner of the Hudson/Daughtry award. I’d say it was a disappointment that she didn’t win the competition, but in the long run, it’s probably for the best. Given the success of the award’s namesakes, and the lukewarm album sales of many AI winners, I think we can officially classify American Idol in the same reality TV category as The Bachelor, The Apprentice, Flavor of Love, and (most horrifically) I Love New York – in other words, it’s a far better outcome for the contestants who don’t win.

Just thought that needed to be said. On with the post …


I might have mentioned this once or twice before, but in light of today’s post, it bears repeating: I’m an idiot.

It’s funny, because most people who meet me think I’m smart. I’ve got most of my family, and almost all of my friends and coworkers fooled. But sometimes I feel like I’m living a double life. You know how most superheroes have alter egos (often shy, reclusive, or clumsy) that conceal their true identity? Think of the exact opposite of a superhero – someone who appears to have his act together on the outside, but is really a bumbling wreck on the inside – and that would be me when it comes to intelligence.

Occasionally I screw up important things, like … um … on second thought, maybe I better not say. Fortunately, most of my oversights are relatively minor, as in the case of this virtual triathlon I was supposed to participate in.

A few weeks ago, Matt posted an invitation for bloggers all over the country to complete a three-tiered workout that he calls the CarbonMan Triathlon, then write their own race report. Distances for the tri workout are up to the individual participant – the idea was to have a shared experience to write about.

The announced date of the CarbonMan was this Saturday, May 19th. Somehow, I read the post, and thought the date was May 12th. Which means I’ve already done the event, one week earlier than I was supposed to. Have I mentioned that I’m an idiot?

Truthfully, I didn’t even do a whole triathlon – as you’ll see in the report. But I’m committed to another race this Saturday, so my workout from last week is as good as it’s going to get for me.

With that, I give you my CarbonMan Triathlon 2007 race report:

Part 1: The Swim

Did I say I started my triathlon on Saturday? That was a mistake. I don’t have access to lap swimming on weekends, so I do almost all of my swim training on weekdays, at a pool near my work. So my triathlon actually started on Friday afternoon.

I did a typical “mellow” swim workout: 2x 500yds, 5x 100 on 90 seconds, 6x 50 on 45 seconds, 300 pull, and 4x 25 yds underwater. Throw in a 50 yd breaststroke after each set, and that gives me a solid 2400 yds in approximately 40 minutes.

T1: 11 hours, 30 minutes

I went home, ate dinner, put the kids to bed, watched some TV, and slept for almost six hours before waking up at 4:30 for a bike ride. That’s my kind of transition!

Part 2: The Bike

Here’s yet another reason that I love summertime: I can ride from my house at 5:00AM without needing a huge headlamp to see the road ahead of me. And while it’s not quite summer yet, last weekend I was on the road at about 5:20 with decent visibility. And I was wearing shorts. Keep it coming, California.

If anyone wants to visit me sometime and take in the sights of the Monterey Peninsula, I’ll take you on the bike ride I did last weekend. From my house, I rode out of Carmel Valley and into Monterey, on one of the most beautiful coastal recreation trails in America, past Fisherman’s Wharf, Monterey Harbor, Cannery Row, and the Monterey Bay Aquarium. I rode past Lover’s Point Park in Pacific Grove, along Ocean View Boulevard to Asilomar Beach, and into Pebble Beach.

The roads in “Pebble” (as the locals say) are so beautiful, and the mansions are so exclusive, that there are guarded entrances to the community, and cars are charged $7.00 just to drive in and look around. But when you’re on a bike, you just wave at the guard as you pass by, and you’re free to cruise around almost anywhere. You don't even need to be rich - which, in my case, is a very nice thing.

Once in Pebble, I turned onto 17-Mile Drive, and rode about 10 miles past famous coastal landmarks like Point Joe and Bird Rock, past Cypress Point and Pescadero Point and the Lone Cypress, through Spyglass Golf Course and the Pebble Beach Resort before exiting Pebble at the “Carmel gate.”

On my way home, I passed the white sand beaches of Carmel, saw the Carmel River lagoon from Scenic Drive, and rode past the Carmel Mission before returning to Carmel Valley. The entire ride lasted about three hours and 10 minutes, covering 55 miles.

(And this is my routine weekend ride. Feel free to get jealous now.)

T2: 5 minutes

I sat on my driveway, took off my helmet and changed out of my bike shoes, and walked down to the mailbox to get the morning paper. And since my legs hadn’t quite recovered from the trauma of Wildflower, I knew one thing for certain: there’s no way I would be going for a run.

But I had the integrity of the CarbonMan to uphold, so I relied on a strategy I’ve used countless other times when a situation gets tough: I had my wife bail me out.

Part 3: The Run

My wife normally goes for her run after I get home from my workout, so she was already laced up and ready to go once I walked in the front door. The individual triathlon became a relay, and I was off the hook for continuing the workout.

Unfortunately, all I have to report from this point is that she did her usual 5.5-mile loop, and that it went “fine” and she felt “pretty good”. Obviously, she’s not nearly as wordy about her workouts as I am. Which might be a good thing, because otherwise she might decide to start a blog, and tell you all kinds of dirt about me. And – believe it or not - there’s still some information that I’d prefer to keep to myself.

So let’s just leave it at me being an idiot who did a triathlon on the wrong day, and needed his spouse to finish a job he had no intention of finishing in the first place.

If there’s an idiot/relay division for this little race, I’m thinking we’ll take first overall.


olga 5/17/07, 12:03 PM  

I wish your wife could spill some real truth on you, so we know you not as this great smart fit guy who races well and takes care of the kids and his job:) At least she finished a tri for you, buy a wife some bling!
OK, on a note for Melinda, I was bummed out too, although as you stated, #3 seems to be a better performer anyway (did you see Elliot yamin? I liked his changed look, and glad he has a CD and a tour coming). She was so gracious on leaving - as she was through the whole thing - I thought it was better it wasn't Jordin crying over. I am also glad because I didn't want her to go head to head with Blake - although she is a much better sinmger, he is a damn good performer and entertainer. Now what?
As you can see, I care for AI much more than for tri training:)

Curly Su 5/17/07, 2:15 PM  

sounds like my GYGO! tri on Dec 30,31, and Jan 1...at least yours was done within 24 hours!

Distance Running Dave 5/17/07, 2:21 PM  

Sounds like my kind of tri, except for the biking and swimming parts!

angie's pink fuzzy 5/17/07, 8:51 PM  

i don't think you're an idiot. sounds like a smart plan to me. do it when you can, and get someone to finish it for you when you can't!

and yes, totally jealous of your bike ride. i don't do bikes; maybe we can run a similar (albeit shorter) route this summer? it's looking like last week in July/first week of August...

SkiRough 5/17/07, 9:00 PM  

Hmm... I think you just wanted to get a jump on Carbon Man and show us all up!

I'll be doing CarbonMan NEXT weekend as I have a tri this weekend anyways.

Good on wifey for finishing up the Carbonman for ya!

Thanks for your commentary on American Idol. Since I don't have cable, I rely on you to be my eyes and ears for all pop-culture related phenomena ;)

Matt 5/17/07, 9:48 PM  

Hey thanks for the pub. I appreciate you having the utmost respect for the integrity of such a tradition as the Carbon Man.
As for AI, I'm of the belief that Jordin and Melinda were splitting too many votes. The pop crowd carried Blake, but it won't be enough in the finals.

Bruce 5/18/07, 4:11 AM  

That gives a new meaning to false start.

jeff 5/18/07, 10:03 AM  

false start, indeed!

grinned the whole way through the race report, from the award for melinda to the ride through monterey and the hand off of the baton.

good job, despite the fault!

Phoenix 5/18/07, 11:04 AM  

I'm soooo envious of your bike ride! Of course, I've got corn fields and river bluffs - not too bad, but your ride sounds like heaven.

Hey, will your wife finish my tri for me? I'll give her my finisher's medal!

teacherwoman 5/18/07, 1:04 PM  

I love the report! Very nice!

tri-mama 5/19/07, 6:10 AM  

How can you beat a couple that does a virtual tri as a relay! That's fantastic. Personally, I didn't think any of the top group of AI this year was all that great. If you could combine Blake's entertainer value with Doolittle's voice-a "Blootle" that's someone I'd vote for.

robtherunner 5/19/07, 6:32 PM  

I was going to tell you how much you improved on your second transition time compared with your first until I realized that you had your wife finish the job for you. I hope you did it right today.

Annette 5/19/07, 9:47 PM  

That's my kind of triathlon! :)

I enjoyed reading about your bike ride. Since I spent a week over there last summer, reading your post took me back on vacation - for a moment. Great area! I loved it! I AM jealous of your scenery/weather.

Megan 5/20/07, 1:17 PM  

Dude, you race more than anyone I know. Don't you ever get tired?!?!?!

Coach Tammy 5/20/07, 9:49 PM  

Hilarious! I'll have to remember that relay bit for next weekend. But back to the beginning of this post, seriously guys... first Kahuna, and now you... do all of you actually watch that show?? seriously????? sigh.

Paul 5/21/07, 3:43 PM  

Congrats on the carbon man! Have the legs come around yet and did you do another carbonman on the 19th?

olga 5/21/07, 4:50 PM  

So far I am in for Firetrails:)

Darrell 5/23/07, 7:24 PM  

It's the thought that counts, right? At least that's what they always told us when we were kids.

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