A blog for (semi) athletic middle-aged men (and women) holding on to (the last vestiges of) their youth
by training for and competing in running, cycling, swimming and triathlon events!

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Boilermaker Recap

No...I'm not still sitting at O'Hare airport. My last post was two weeks ago on my way home from Utica, NY, where I had just run the Boilermaker 15K Road Race (above: the Team ZIP 15K runners the morning of the big race). It was late Sunday evening and I was sitting in Chicago waiting for my flight to Denver.

I got home around 2:00 a.m. that Monday morning, the first day of the week-long Cattle Industry Summer Conference. It was a long week...I was barely able to walk on Monday and Tuesday then launched into three days of early mornings and late nights. By the time it was over on Saturday at noon I was ready to collapse...but I held off until 9:00 that night and didn't get up until 8:00 Sunday morning!

The Boilermaker was a great event. Last fall's Chicago Half Marathon was the debut run for Team ZIP, but the Boilermaker was our biggest showing to date -- over 100 runners and walkers between the 15K, 5K, 3-mile walk and kid's run (at left: posting a blog on my Blackberry about an hour before race time). It was amazing to see my beef jerseys on so many runners congregating at the starting line, strung out along the course and at the post-race party.

And it wasn't just my colleagues like Bucky (at left: crossing the finish line). There were a bunch of people I had never met before the weekend began. Runners from Oregon, Colorado, Minnesota, Massachussets, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, New York, Washington, D.C., and...how could I forget...KANSAS!

How could I forget the "swirling vortex of bad judgment" (aka, the Kansas Tornado)? Stephanie, Carrie and Barb (at left: cruising across the finish line after getting lei'd on the course). Barb is a bonafide rancher from Wamego, Kansas who only recently began running and completed her first race earlier this year...the Olathe Marathon.

Who runs a marathon their first race out? That's bad judgment.

Barb, Stephanie and Carrie agreed to go dancing with me and Bucky at Bucky's (at left: Bucky standing in front of Bucky's) the night before the race. Seriously, Bucky's was the closest watering hole to our hotel in Rome (New York). As we entered the bar, Bucky yells "BUCKY'S IN THE HOUSE!" and then shows his ID to the bartender to prove that he is named Bucky.

Who goes dancing until midnight with a guy named Bucky at a bar called Bucky's the night before a 15K? That's bad judgment.

Yes, we actually danced until midnight at Bucky's and got up at 5:00 the next morning to head to downtown Utica for the run. But we all still managed to finish the race with respectable times. My goal was to run 1:25 (around 9:00 min/mile) and I finished in 1:22:13 (8:43/mile). Of the five members of the swirling vortex, I finished second.

The first of us to cross the line was Barb, who passed me around mile seven and never looked back. So the whole week of summer conference she reveled in telling the story of how she left my "carcass" on the course. Who does that? That's bad judgment!

I was a few minutes (four per mile) off the pace of the men's winner (at left: #2 Terefe Maregu of Ethiopia finished #1 in the 2008 Boilermaker 15K) who finished in 44:17, a blistering pace of 4:45/mile!

Oh well, maybe next year. I've already started training so I can beat Barb. I bet her a steak dinner that I'd beat her next year at the Boilermaker 2009. She's so sure she's gonna win that she already placed her order: bone-in ribeye, medium rare. Make mine the same. Win or lose...we both win!


Sunday, July 13, 2008

Sitting at O'Hare

Ah, the joys of travel. I was able to fly standby out of Syracuse on an earlier flight, which got me in to Chicago O'Hare in time to fly standby on a earlier flight to Denver...but I wasn't able to get on. So here I sit at the Chili's at O'Hare waiting for my flight to board. I'll get in to Denver at 12:15 a.m. (that's 2:15 eastern time) and get home around 1:30. Ugh. It's been a long day. Up early to run 15K, the post-race party, the post-post-race party for Team ZIP, the drive back to Syracuse in a downpour (at least it held off until after the run!) and I still have one more flight to get back to Denver. Fingers crossed. No delays!

Today's run was tough. I don't think my three weeks of training was enough! Around mile three I was not feeling strong and about to give up on reaching my goal (1:25). But then the crowd of spectators along the route and seeing lots of other Team ZIP runners on the course pumped me up and I ran strong until around mile 8. Then I started to fade. But I finished the last half mile strong, beat my goal by nearly two minutes, and felt good about the effort. After all, my number one goal is always just to finish the race. Not much chance I was going to run a sub-50 minute 15K and be in contention for the prize money!

Gotta run...or rather limp...to my gate to board. Wish me luck.


Boilermaker Finish!

Well, the big race is done. I finished in 1:22:16 - an average of 8:43/mile. I am very happy with my time, especially given that I have only been training for three weeks (following Ride the Rockies)!

The Boilermaker is a special event - the largest 15K in the country (about 12,000 runners). There were USA Olympic runners here and, of course, the ridiculously fast Kenyon runners. The atmosphere is crazy. I think the whole town was lining the course and cheering. We got tons of of "go BEEF" and "go Team ZIP" comments.

And, of course, we did several media interviews at the finish. Everybody loves beef and Team ZIP (we were BY FAR the biggest team in the race with over 100 runners).

My media interview tagline..."Beef. It's what's for dinner at the Boilermaker." So original :)


Its Raining, It's Pouring but Team ZIP is Soaring

We're at the starting line of the Boilermaker 15K in Utica, NY. The race starts in about 45 mins. After dancing at Bucky's last night, me, Bucky, Barb, Stephanie and Carrie (the Kansas tornadoes - aka the Swirling Vortex of Poor Judgement) got back to the hotel around midnight to get some sleep. We left the hotel at 6:00 am to drive to the starting line for our Team ZIP team photo at 7:00. Now we're standing around in the rain waiting for the pain to begin. Why do we do this to ourselves??

Oh yea, we're here to demonstrate the importance of beef in a healthy diet: Zinc, Iron and Protein. Fuel for the finish. So of course we all ate beef last night at the Savoy restaurant in Rome (before dancing at Bucky's).

Gotta run...go Team ZIP!

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Live from Bucky's

it's 10:00 pm and I'm hanging out at Bucky's restaurant in Rome, NY, the night before the Boilermaker 15K Road Race in Utica. The best part if this story is that I'm with a guy named Bucky and three runners from the Kansas delegation for the Boilermaker. We picked "Bucky's" for the pre-race party for obvious reasons (it's the closest bar to the Econolodge in Rome).

We have over 100 "beef runners" from around the country. We are Team ZIP (Zinc/Iron/Protein). Utica and the Boilermaker will never be the same. Neither will we.

More tomorrow...


Sunday, July 6, 2008

Now Appearing at a Sports Authority Near You

Ever shop at Sports Authority? Well, the next time you visit one of the over 400 Sports Authority stores in 45 states, don't be surprised if you find me waiting in the lobby to greet you! No, I haven't given up my day job. And don't expect me to literally welcome you to the store like a Wal-Mart greeter. But you may just see me staring back at you from a poster on an easel beckoning you to join the Sports Authority team...

So, you ask, how did DDubs become the model Sports Authority employee? Well, I wasn't "discovered" in a mall. And apparently very few people caught my brief national TV debut on CNN two weeks ago. No, the real story is that my neighbor, Natalie, works in the HR department at Denver-based Sports Authority and needed a "40-something, semi-athletic male" for a new recruitment campaign. Of course, being the good neighbor that I am, I offered to play the part :)

So I showed up at the photography studio in downtown Denver one evening not knowing what to expect (hey, it was my first modeling gig!). I showed up in my "corporate" attire black pants, blue golf shirt) so that was the shot we did first...after "makeup." Standing in front of a blank, white screen, the photographer asked me to strike various poses and "laugh" on command.

Then it was time for the "action" shots. After changing into my running gear in the "dressing room" (a very small bathroom) they put me on a treadmill that had the front section removed and told me to start running. After finding a comfortable speed (6.0 mph), I jogged along as the photographer yelled out instructions like "stop smiling" and "look more serious." So I did.

It was a little strange running on a treadmill without the display and "handle bars" along the sides. And I couldn't look down at my feet the whole time. Then the photographer asked me to "exaggerate" my movements. I was sure I was going to fall flat on my face and end up in a crumpled heap behind the machine. But I never fell and the photographer was able to get at least one good shot of me running with my head up, looking serious.

Finally, I changed into khakis and a black "Sports Authority" golf shirt for the final shot, which I call my "store manager" look (at left). I look a lot happier in my "corporate" shot (at top), but seem pretty content as a store manager. As I understand it, the point of the campaign is to attract people who are passionate about sports -- whether its running, cycling, skiing, golf, or whatever -- to a career at Sports Authority.

If I wasn't so passionate about beef...


P.S. My "store manager" pose also appears on the "careers" section of the Sports Authority website. Click here to check it out!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Ride the Rockies by the Numbers

I've shared my stories and pictures from Ride the Rockies 2008. I hope you enjoyed them. But its hard to relate the enormity of the entire experience with mere words and pictures. So here is the "tale of the tape" as recorded on my Garmin Edge 705 GPS-enabled cycling computer (at left):

421.8 total miles (RTR is advertised as 435 miles, but a footnote on the website explains that this includes a calculated number of miscellaneous miles around town, which I don't record)

30:01:43 hrs/mins/secs (total time "in the saddle" -- an average of just over five hours per day of riding)

31,054 ft. of total elevation gain (an average of 5,175 ft. -- or nearly a mile -- of climbing per day!)

14.05 average mph (this includes many hours of climbing up steep passes at 6-8 mph averaged with a few minutes of screaming down the other side at 50+ mph!)

125 bpm average heart rate (NOT pushing it...I'm a wimp)

80.0 rpm average (NOT high enough...would like to be 88-92!)

55.26 max speed (a new personal record)

21,668 calories burned* (3,611/day average)

* I didn't count how many calories I consumed, but I gained one pound on the ride, so I must have consumed more than 21,668!

So for all you fellow geeks out there, that's Ride the Rockies by the numbers.

Ride on!