Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Relay for Life/First Ride in Turkey

9May09- Incirlik AB Turkey-

Well I don't normally blog about other things but figured this was a worthy thing to blog about. So I arrived to Turkey on a Wednesday and the following day at work I found out that there was going to be a Relay for Life here on base my first weekend. It just so happened that they had 2 open 1 hour slots for our squadron which also just so happened to be back to back. So of course I had not had a good long run since China and figured I would kick it off with a 16 mile track run. The great thing about this event though was it was something that I had grown up around and probably had done about 5-7 of them in the past years from about age 10 or 11. It was one thing that I always looked forward to every year going out to Johansen and spending the whole day and night out there. There would always be volleyball going on along with all other sorts of events. So the event here on base was only 12 hours instead of the full 24 and was a lot smaller but at least I was able to get out there for a good long run for a good cause. I did hear quite a few comments from the other walkers/runners since I ran for 2 hours straight: a little girl said "Man his legs are SKINNY!! But he sure does run fast".....A husband and wife "He is still running????" and then the water lady about every 15 mins "Are you OK??" So the event was good and I had a great time soaking up some sun and getting a good long run in.

So Sunday morning I met up with a guy that was stationed at Osan while I was there but I did not know him. I got a hold of him through some other bike friends back in Osan and they hooked us up. So he was able to show me the ropes around the roads here and got off base and was able to see some interesting things. It was a short 18 mile ride but was nice to see some different scenery then the 8 mile loop on base. Below are some pictures from the ride. In my opinion it is a heck of a lot nicer than osan scenery wise but I don't know if the drivers are near as respectable as the Korean drivers were.

Well I found out there is a 5K on base this Saturday and then next Saturday there is a "Poker" run 5K on base as well. So we will see how those go. I will post a small update after each of those.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Wildflower, Wildflower, Wildflower!!!!!!

3May09- Avia Wildflower Olympic Distance-
Once again I dont know where to start. It all started off with a 4 hour drive with my buddy OC that was stationed in Korea with me. He is now in Idaho and made the trip out for the race. So once we arrived at the race site we had to set up camp. Luckily I had made some friends in China that were going to be at the race as well so they already had a camp site picked out for us. So we got the camp all set up before the Friday afternoon rain rolled in and just hung out on Friday. Once we decided to go to bed the rain stopped.
So OC was racing Long Course on Saturday so that meant an early wake up. I got up and cooked some oatmeal and had a good breakfast myself. 515 was quite early but it didnt really matter because at 615 some garbage truck came into our area and woke up the whole damn city dumping the garbage. So I headed down to the race around 730 and was able to watch OC start his swim at 815. For the rest of the day I just hung out and got a light swim in and got a feel for the water. Later on in the day I went back up to camp to catch a nap and ended up sleeping in the tent which turned out to be like a sauna. Well about an hour into my nap I was woken up to someone telling me OC had just ran by so I figured well I havent road the bike yet so I hoped on the bike and caught up to OC and cheered him on for a little while. After that I grubbed out on the Carb load party and then had a 2nd dinner with the family up at camp. So with a full stomach and having nothing to do we just hung out at camp and told stories until it was bed time. Got a decent amount of sleep and was wide awake at 0600 the following morning.
Well I stuck with the same eating plan as I had in China and woke up and ate some oatmeal and banana's. Sipped on some Gatorade and water and made sure to take care of the morning "business". So once all of that was taken care of and I got everything ready I headed down to transition area and set things up.
I started the swim in the 3rd Wave behind the College Men and Women. I started 10 minutes back from the official race clock and had 2 waves of people ahead of me. So by the 1/4 way mark I started catching people and the course got a little more congested. When I hit the last turn and headed home for the home stretch I felt really good and picked it up a bit. When I hit the boat ramp I looked over at the clock and it read "36:14", so that meant I had completed the swim in 26mins which was about a 2min personal record for me. So I came out of the water feeling really good and was pleased with having such a great swim. I had a decent transition from the swim to bike and did not have any problems getting the wetsuit off.
Onto the bike. Well let me tell you what..........A 1 MILE climb after just swimming .93 miles is not fun at ALL!!!! Known as "lynch hill" this thing was a beast and made me appreciate the hill work I had done in Korea. So this course was by far the hilliest course I have ever raced on and I thought it was going to take a lot out of me. I did not push extremely hard on the bike but kept a constant pace and really watched my cadence and tried to keep it up above 90 the whole time. I did not want to exert all of my energy on the bike and not be able to run on the hilly run course. I was only passed by 2 people on the bike which made me feel really good. I did a lot of passing but since there were so many people on the course I did not know if I was passing people in my Age Group or just the college people. So overall I was really pleased with the bike.
Now to the run......Well just like the bike course this was the hilliest thing I have ever raced on. I was tired of seeing hills on the bike let alone the run. So I just went out there and ran. I tried to find my legs early and they actually came to right off the bike and felt good. So I had a great run in my opinion and was very thankful for all of the college students out there at the aid stations especially the one at mile 3 that handed me a Coors Light which I happened to take a swig of. It was refreshing and I think it was the extra kick in my step from there on out...hint hint COORS LIGHT SPONSOR ME ;)!!!! At the other aid stations they were very willing to hose you down with cool water and had all kinds of gatorade and water. Sadly enough the mile 4 aid station was "closed" and I did not get to see what I had heard so much about. Overall the run was great and getting to come down lynch hill on the run course was great. A complete mile decent that I was able to fly down and have a nice last mile split.
So overall it was a great race and I had an awesome time and weekend. I was able to PR my OLY course record on one of the hardest courses out there which just showed me how much all the training for China helped out. Below are the split times and stats for the weekend along with some pictures.
Swim-26:17 (526th Overall)
T1- 2:32
Bike-1:13:01 (50th Overall)
Run- 41:09 (60th Overall)
2:24:17** The official results are posted wrong and are in the process of being corrected. My official time shows 2:26:17 but is off by 2 minutes. This moves my overall finish up, but not my age group placing.
4th Place Age Group out of 54
67th Place Overall out of 2,603
I would like to give a big THANKS to my family for coming out and supporting me at this race. Mom, Steve, Madyson, Mamma Weez, Aunt Vicki, Aunt Debbie, Cousin Blake, OC and then the people from "Camp WONGSTAR". Also big shout outs to Amy Chow and Jocelyn Wong from our camp for Amy taking 3rd in her AG and the Wongstar winning her AG.

Our Camps Bike Stable

Madyson with her "GO BUBBA" sign

Getting ready in transition area Coming up the boat ramp...
Out on the bike.....
Out for the Run...
The final kick down the finishing chute
Checking some numbers post race
Mom and Me

Myself, Amy, Jocelyn, and OC