Thursday, June 27, 2013

KIC Triathlon Race Preview

Sunday is my 2nd triathlon of the season.  As we move on to prepare for the Half-Iron in August, I’m moving up to the Olympic distance race this weekend.   I was really looking forward to this race especially after having my last race get messed up and having to bike the Olympic distance instead of the sprint distance.  I knew that I was going to be prepared for this race and had an outside shot at placing.  Based on last year’s times, I would have to have a lot of things go right for me in order for that to happen.  But, I was going to do everything I could to make this happen and really push the pace at the race.  The race is also in Stamford, CT which is only about 20 minutes away from where I grew up so this would allow my family and possibly even the wife’s family to come watch me.  That’s a lot of support which would only help my cause.
That all changed last week when I had a really bad crash while on my bike.  The crash happened on Saturday and I still have not even come close to any type of full recovery.  I don’t expect to be at 100% for the race, but I would like to be somewhere around 90%.  I can deal with scrapes, scratches, blood, etc but I cant deal with bruises and pain.  Since the accident, I have had to limit my training this week.  I have yet to get back on my bike and ride outside.  Part of that was due to it being at the shop getting looked at, fixed, and a full workup so the bike was out of commission for 3 days.  I plan on riding Friday for the first time but it might rain and I don’t know if I want to chance biking in the rain.  I'm a little gun shy about getting on the bike again.  I know the chances of me crashing again are slim, but it's still fresh in my mind and hard to get over the fear.  But the only way to get over it is to get back on that horse, or in this case the bike.  I also haven’t been in the pool all week.  For 4 days, my arms and wrists were still open and trying to heal.  So getting any type of water on them would sting and prevent healing.  Let alone jumping into a pool filled with chlorine.  I would be screaming from pain in less than 30 seconds being in the pool.  I’m looking to get back in the pool for some distance work both today and Friday but there are no guarantees for that.  What also scares me is my wrist.  I didn’t break anything but it definitely hurts when I use it and swimming might aggravate it so I’ll have to gauge how I feel in the pool.
Some other things that worry me about the race are little things that affect race times and performance.  Things like pulling off my wetsuit.  If my entire arms are scraped up, will pulling a wetsuit off open up some wounds or even hurt when I get out of the water?  What about trying to take my bike off the rack?  I don’t have 100% strength in my wrist so I’m going to have to be careful when I do this and reracking my bike in T2.  Then there is the every so scary flying mount that I keep trying.  If I can’t push off the handle bars without getting hurt, then how am I going to jump off my bike without hurting myself?  These are little things that add up.  Could all of that add a minute or more to my race?  If so, does that take me out of contention for a spot on the podium or age-group podium?  I’m really thankful I’m running in my Skora’s since they are so easy to slip on and off for the run that this wont cause me pain.  Every time I have tried to put on other shoes this week, I have been in pain.  Trying to put on black suit shoes with a bum wrist isn’t as easy as everyone thinks it is.  So thankfully, I can slip on my Base’s and get out of T2 pretty quickly and pain free.
So with all being said, here are some things I’m looking forward to for the actual race.
-This will be my first race using HoneyMaxx as my nutrition on the bike.  I’ve been added to the HoneyMaxx team and really excited about working with the product so I want to be able to have a good race.  I’ve been training with HoneyMaxx for a while now and only have good things to say about the product so I can’t wait to load up my bike with HoneyMaxx.  Having to set up my transition early and then ahving to go to the swim will also allow a lot of the HoneyMaxx to dissolve in my water bottle before I get to my bike, so it would be perfect timing when I reached my bike and can have the great taste of HoneyMaxx on my bike for my ride. 
-The race course is a really nice course which has some really fast sections but also some challenging hills.  I’ve always said one of my strengths is my ability to climb so if I can out climb some people on this course, I’ll have a good showing.  The course takes us through downtown Stamford as well as the surrounding areas which are very scenic so it’ll be nice to have a nice course and not just closed streets.  The run course is extremely flat so I want to push the pace hard.  It’s a 2 lap run loop so I want my first 3 miles to be around the 6:20 mile pace and then assess to see how the course is and possibly pick up the pace and finish with miles around 6:10-6:15.  Having a 2 lap run course is exciting to me because it gives you the ability to learn the course and then attack it the second time you go through it.  It also gives the athletes 2 times of running through race spectators which is always a nice adrenaline surge.
-After this race, I can finally put the Red Bank Triathlon to bed.  Good race or bad race, this is the most recent race so I can’t continue to think about that race debacle and reference it.  It’s over. That race isn’t coming back so I can use the KIC Triathlon as my gauge for the Half Iron race in August and plan that way.

With all that being said, here’s how I would like my splits to look when all is said and done:
Swim: somewhere around 25-27 minutes or so.  I don’t know the currents of the water or how hard this swim course is so I’m just going off some average times from the last few years.  I also don’t want to freak out on the swim like I did stupidly in my last race
Bike: Hard to predict but I’ll take a split around 1:08 for the course.  The first 7 miles are pretty flat with some rolling hills, the bulk of the hills are between mile 10-16 and then a good descent from miles 17-21.  I’ll be happy with a 1:08 split
Run: I want to go under 39 minutes for the run.  Based on the flat course and how I've been running on my brick workouts, I think this should be easily attainable.
The transition is also a 2 area transition.  This is a first for me so I can't accurately predict my transition time but it's safe to say that I want my transitions to be as fast as possible.
All in all, I would like to finish this race anywhere between 2:15-2:20.  If that puts me on the podium for anything that would be great.  At the end of the time, I can only do the best I can do and stick to my game plan.  If someone is better than me than so be it.  I'll accept that since I can't control other people.  I'll just run my race and let the chips fall where they may.
But it's race week again and I'm looking forward to it.  It's ready to go all out and hit this course hard.

Wish me luck.

Monday, June 24, 2013

The crash heard round the...well nobody really heard it

Well its race week again and I was really excited coming into this week.  It was finally time to stop dwelling on my last bad race and focus on this one.  But all that changed Saturday around 3:50pm EST.

Leo and I had planned to do a workout together. I was going to ride about 40-50 miles and he was going to do a 20 mile ride followed by a 5 mile run.  The timing worked out perfectly.  By the time I would finish my bike,  Leo would be just about be finished with his run and we'd meet back at my car.

So after driving to our designated start location, we headed out together for the bike.  Once I jumped on my bike, I knew something wasn't right.  I didn't have my pre-workout drink packed so I didn't have my normal caffeine buzz but I figured that was alright.  As Leo and I started to bike a few miles together (I would leave him at about mile 3-4), my water bottle popped off my bike from my aero bars and fell out on the road.  That was the second bad sign of the day.  So after I picked up my bottle from the side of the road, I caught up to Leo.  Once I got to him, I screamed out  "see you in 2 hours!".

Well, we didn't quite get to 2 hours before I needed to see him again.

My ride was going great.  I rode this route 2 weeks ago so I was somewhat familiar with it and my speed was a little faster than 2 weeks ago and the ride felt a little easier so I was enjoying it.  I got to about mile 16 or so and got to a point where the road goes over a highway.  The road splits with cars trying to merge onto the highway heading left and the regular road staying right.  It's not the best of places and a lot of people ahve even said that.  I slowed down so I could take it easy and nothing would happen.  Apparently this was a bad move.  Some car came around the corner speeding up to get on the highway and caused me to swerve out.  It looked like a bad motorcycle accident.  I slid across the road sideways on my bike.  I became unclipped and was laying in the middle of the ground with my bike laying right next to me.  Everything happened in slow motion. I knew something bad was going on.  As I got up, I started to take inventory of everything.  At this point a car came by and gave me a look like "can you get out of the middle of the road".  Like it's my fault I'm laying on the ground in pain.  He didn't even stop and ask if I was ok.  Just gave me a nasty look and drove off.  I grabbed my bike and got it to the side of the road. I noticed my water bottle laying in the middle of the street so I had to run and get in.

What I saw next wasn't pretty.  There was pretty much blood everywhere.  My right hand had a cut on the palm, cut all up and down the whole arm, and my pinkie was scary.  The cuts on my arm were white and red.  I thought there was a chance that I got down to the bone.  Luckily I didn't so moved on to look at my pinkie.  This was the scariest of all the injuries.  I had a flap of skin hanging and knew there was a good possibility that I might need stitches.  It was bleeding pretty bad.  Next up was my left side.  My left palm was just as bloody as my right wrist, my knuckles looked like I got into a fight, my shoulder was cut up pretty bad.  Both my left and right hips had some bruises and cuts.  On top of everything, my shorts now had some rips in them.  That just sucks. 

Left palm at the doctor's office.  A little bruised

Nasty thumb 2 days later

I went into my saddle bag and took my phone out to call Leo.  Looking at the time, I figured he would be somewhere near my car and would need him to come and get me.  He picked up the phone and knew something was wrong.  I explained what happened and told him I was fine, but I felt bad but he needs to come get me.  He was 6 miles on the bike from the my car so I told him not to rush (I didn't want him getting into a crash or accident with my car).  Since he was going for a brick workout and had to store his gear and bike after his ride, he had a spare set of my car keys (lucky).  I told Leo where I was and told him I would start to try and ride back to him and we'd meet in the middle.  He yelled at me not to, but I wanted to see if I could ride and knew that it would save some time.

So I jumped on my bike, and started to ride back.  My left wrist started to hurt and this scared me a bit.  The last thing I needed was a broken or fractured wrist.  more on that in a bit.  I was able to ride a little bit without problems.  I was a little gun shy about riding so didn't really want to push myself and wanted to make sure I didn't fall again.  There was also blood dripping all over my bike.  Thankfully about 2 miles after the crash I saw a mechanic shop and stopped there.  I asked if I can use the bathroom to wash off my cuts to prevent infection.  You know my cuts are bad when the mechanics were a little grossed out by what they saw.  They let me use their bathroom so I washed up, cleaned what I could and hopped back on my bike.  About 20 minutes later, Leo and I met up and we put my bike on my car rack and headed back to the bike store.

I dropped my bike off at the shop and told them what happened.  The guys at Strictly Bicycles in Fort Lee, NJ are class act.  They cleaned my cuts, bandaged me up and looked over my bike.  Since I'm still under the year warranty, they took in my bike and are giving it a full tune up.  Hopefully, they don't find any huge issues and its just cosmetic and will only cost me the price of changing the bar tape.  I'll be picking up my bike Tuesday  from them.  There were definitely some scrapes and bruising to my bike.  I hate this.  If I can't race good, I at least want my bike to look pretty. 

So after coming home, showering, cleaning up and icing, and having to hear the wife explain to me that I'm "never biking on that road again", it was time to go to sleep.  Sunday came and went of the same as Saturday night.  A lot of bandages changed, the wife telling me how stupid I am, and some pain.  I couldn't get my long run in for the week but I'll take the recovery one week for the big picture victory.  My wrist was still bothering me so I said (after being forced by the wife) that if its still bad, I'll get it checked out Monday,  So today I went to the doctor and got some X-rays.  My wrist is a bit swollen, black and blue but I can move it, bend it and grab things.  Either way, I wanted it checked out just to be safe.  Thankfully, no breaks or anything major.  Just a slight stretching of the ligaments when I landed on my wrist.  The doc said I can continue doing my normal training and the pain is just going to come from the cuts and cruises.  Plus its going to sting like a motha when I go in the pool. 

So now, it's game on.  I'm hoping this week will let my body heal and I can fully participate in next weeks race.  I might wear a wrist guard just in case, but I don't think that will slow my swim down so much.  Only one way to find out, right?

So with that, here are some pictures of my injuries.  If you are squeamish, look away, but in some ways, its a lot better than it could be but the pictures don't give the cuts any justice.  They are worse than the pictures show
Right arm 2 days later
(and Thunder trying to sneak in the pic)

Left shoulder looking like Batman
(that is my wife and I's first date movie, coincidence?)
Left hip bruised
(had to block out other things that are close by)

Right arm and wrist (it looks worse today)

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Training with people of different abilities

One of the things that I lack in my training is the ability to work with other people.  It is something that has plagued me ever since high school and I wish it could be different.  I love to go for long runs or long bike rides by myself and see how hard I can push myself and not have to worry about other people, but there are those times where it's nice to be able to work out with someone else as well.  Unfortunately, I don't really have that.

In high school, I was on the track team and we had a really good relay team.  Every year we went to Nationals, and my senior year we even competed and medaled at the Millrose Games in Madison Square Garden.  You would think that our workouts were always done together, right?  Nope.  Remember, we were in high school so we wanted to be "cool"  So working out with the relay team was difficult at times.  Not because of obvious reasons, but because no one wanted to get smoked by one another.  There was always the fastest person and the slowest person in the relay.  I was neither so I'm good with that.  So during workouts, we all had to stick together.  This wasn't exactly fair to the fastest person in our relay, nor the slowest.  What happened was we all had to finish around the same time.  Which meant the fastest person of our relay had to slow down a little to stay with the group while the slowest person had to work harder than anyone to keep up.  It was great camaraderie, but looking back, I think we held our fastest person back a little bit because if he ever got ahead of us too far, we yelled at him to reel him back to us so we wouldn't look so bad. 

So why do I bring this up now?  High school was years ago and has no relevance, right? 

I've mentioned my racing/training buddy Leo a few times and one thing that upsets me is that we never really get a chance to truly train together.  Yes, there are times we head to the pool together and we're in the same area doing our workouts, but it's not like we go out and do a 10 mile run together or a 2 hour bike ride together.  We're just 2 different athletic abilities and speeds.  And by no means is this a knock against him or a post about him in any way shape or form.  This is about how I think we would both really enjoy to be able to work out together.

I am somewhere of a 6:10-6:40 mile runner depending on the course and what workout I'm doing, and Leo is somewhere between 8:15-8:45 mile.  Both are really good and we are both happy with where we are.  Same thing for our bike speeds.  I average about 21-22 mph depending on the course, and Leo averages about 17-18 mph.  So training together is really difficult.  I either have to slow down considerably during a workout which wouldn't benefit me in any way, or he would have to speed up significantly and he wouldn't be able to keep that pace up for an extended time.  So we would end up killing each other and getting mad at the other person.  I would be mad that I can't workout hard and would constantly be pushing him to speed up which would get him mad at me, and he would also be mad that I would want to push the pace too hard.

So how do we solve this?  There are some times we do workouts together that allow us to do the same workouts and we enjoy it.  We do my hill workout together during marathon training which allows us to work out together and we also do some of the speed workouts with our running team so that keeps us training together but the majority of our workouts are done separately.

Even this weekend coming up is causing problems.  We want to go biking on the same route for a few hours which would be a nice workout, but due to our different speeds, we would fight constantly.  And one thing to know is that Leo and I fight about anything and everything.  I fight and bicker with him more than I do with the wife.  And that's what makes our friendship so great.  We can fight and bicker and then 5 minutes later we are back to normal.  So if we have a 2 hour bike ride planned, do we just go at our own speeds and at the 60 minute mark, just turn around and we'll meet up around the end of the route?  Do we ride together for a certain amount of time then separate?  Either way, it's not like we're working out together even though we would start and end in the same spot.

Our training schedule is also very different.  I like to do my long bike rides and long runs on the weekends since that's where the most time is.  Leo wanted to do an hour bike ride and 60 minute brick workout this weekend when we were going to do a 2 hour ride.  Difference of opinions and schedules and neither is right or wrong, but it's just hard to coordinate schedules. 

So one of the things that I miss the most is having the ability to have a workout partner at times.  I would love nothing more than to be able to jump on a bike or go out for a run and Leo and I be able to talk, joke, catch up on things in our lives, push each other, and enjoy the workout together.  I wish I had that in my workout arsenal.  It would break up the always trying to push and push and beat a previous time.  Some of my workouts would be more fun.  I'm sure Leo feels the same way. 

So what is the best way for people who want to train together but are 2 different speeds actually train together?  It's something that I want to know so I can do it. 

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Father's Day wish list

My first Father's Day is coming up this week, and it's so weird to think that I'm actually a father.  Granted, I have been Thunder's father for 8 years, but this is something a little bit different.  As a side note, Thunder turns 8 this Thursday, so Happy Birthday to him.  I'm sure there will be some updates and pictures from his party to show later this week.

But back to Father's Day.  I am not great at getting gifts.  In fact, I genuinely hate receiving gifts.  The problem is that I expect too much, so I often get let down.  Or, I have no expectations and then I get something great but can't appreciate it.  So this leaves me too many times just buying my own gifts and either getting paid back for them or I just don't get anything.  I never know the right reaction to opening a gift so it makes me feel very awkward.  I also hate people spending money on me.  I don't know why, but it's something that I never like which is usually the reason I just go ahead and purchase what I want.  Its weird, but that's just me.

This year there are a few things that I do want.  I hardly doubt that I will actually get any of them, except for maybe one, but its nice to dream of certain gifts that would make my Father's Day really special.

So here goes:

1) To place or Age Place at the KIC Triathlon later this month.  I'd like to put the debacle of the Red Bank Tri behind me and do some great things at this race.  I didn't expect to place in this race going into the season, but it seems I may have an outside chance so it would be an awesome gift if I could have a great race here.  I want the race to go well, but to be able to place in a race I didn't think I had a chance would be special.  Especially since I got screwed in my last race.

2) Either an ISM Adamo Road Saddle or the Bontrager RXL Speed Dial saddle:
        I'm not sure which one I want.  The Adamo is the market leader and clearly the saddle that has a lot of followers.  However, I hear that there are sometimes issues with it being too wide and causing some rubbing so it might not be for everyone.  That's where the Bontrager Speed Dial comes in.  Bontrager did a nice thing here by putting a dial on the saddle so you can fully customize it to yourself. This might save either my heiny, or my "boys".  The Speed Dial has a little less cushioning than the Adamo so I have to factor that in as well.  As for price points, The Speed Dial is twice the price as the Adamo, so I would feel bad for someone to spend that kind of money on me.

Adamo Road Saddle
Bontrage Speed Dial Saddle

3) 6th Generation Ipod Nano
    My regular mp3 is at it's tail end of its life.  It doesn't hold a charge for too long so I'm in the market for a new mp3 player.  I have my waterproof shuffle, and I also have been fortunate to be on Team X-1 Audio for a lot of waterproof gear, but I like to keep my waterproof gear separate from my every day gear.
  I like the size of the 6th generation nano more than the 7th generation since it can clip right on to my shorts and I don't need an armband to hold on to it.  I think this is a huge advantage.  Plus, they started incorporating an FM tuner into the new ipod's and I listen to the radio more than my mp3's.  It just keeps things fresh.  So I'd like to replace my old mp3 player with a new 6th gen. ipod.

I like the size and screen.  Perfect for me.

4) Something from shutterfly.
    Every year, the wife gets me something that has pictures on it.  It is usually a present from Thunder, but she does a very good job.  In the past, I've received a mouse pad, a mug, a collage to name a few.  They are usually images of Thunder and I, so I would expect something of the same this year, possibly even adding a hint of Riley which would be nice.

5) Rudy Project Hypermask sunglasses
   I have to admit, I have a huge weakness for sunglasses.  I'm an addict when it comes to them.  I wear them for all my workouts and am always looking for newer ones.  So this year, I've been noticing the Rudy project Hypermask and think they really look awesome.  I've heard so many great things about them and now want to have them to try them out.  I can't decide which color though.  Yellow is my favorite color so I'm always leaning towards that, but the white/green combination looks really good too.  I do have a pair of green sunglasses so maybe the Blue/Yellow would work, but I can't decide. Maybe both.  They are expensive, but I can get them for about 40-50% off due to a few sponsorships, so maybe someone would have to pay me back if I decide to buy them and get them as a present.

Both colors are really cool and suit me perfectly.  Which one to choose?

Now, I think the only one out of these that I'll actually get is something from shutterfly.  The wife is really good about that, and the others are probably a little too expensive and no one knows what I want.  I won't be upset though.  Father's Day is not about getting presents. It's about being able to spend time with the family, and this year, I get to celebrate something for the first time.  But it still is nice to dream, isn't it?

Monday, June 10, 2013

First time Riley's sick

Things have been a little slow out here with training and racing.  But this past week brought upon something that the wife and I knew would come but we never wanted it to.  The first time Riley got sick.  Of course, at first I just said it was a little nothing and he'll get over it in like an hour and not to worry.  Likewise, the wife thought it was the end of the world and we needed to rush him straight to the doctor.  I'm happy to say it was closer to my version than to the wife's.

Last week out of nowhere, the wife and I hear this deep, weezing cough coming from Riley's room.  It sounded like Riley has been smoking for 40 years and now his lungs are shot.  I didn't think anything of it.  I just thought he developed this little cough and like everyone else's cough, it'll go away.  Well, a few days later the cough was still there.  And in some cases, getting worse.  He started to wake himself up during his naps and at night and wouldn't fall back asleep.  We once had this cute little baby who slept for 10 hours straight without a peep, and now he's hocking up a lung and up all night.  Which in turn has kept us up all night.  So sleep has not been at a premium for about a week now.

After calling the doctor to see what we can do, she recommended some Vick's Vaporub for babies and a long steam shower.  So here we are.  Baby Riley and I essentially naked in our bathroom with the hot shower running and steam all over the place.  It was like Riley and I were in some Indian reservation sweat lodge together.  All he wanted to do was play and drool all over me, while I'm sweating like crazy and dying in the bathroom. 

Of course, as time went on and we spoke to our families, everyone had an opinion.  My wonderful (cough, cough) mother in law had all sorts of reasons to why Riley got sick and what we should do about it.  I didn't realize that my mother in law went to medical school in a matter of minutes and is now the baby whisperer.  And as always, she's right and we're wrong and we don't know how to raise our baby. 

Thankfully, there was no fever and Riley just has some type of virus or something that's causing him to cough and have yellow goop (yes, that is the clinical term) coming from his eyes and nose.  Either way, the doctor said he's fine and that he'll return to normal in a few days.

Let's hope for the wife and mine's sleep pattern that he feels better sooner rather than later.  We can't take another few days of waking up at 11:30 pm, 1am, 3 am, 5 am, 6 am, and then being up for the day.  We knew this day would come and there will be plenty more over the years, but for now, we're just happy it's something small

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Runner's Rut

For the past few weeks, I've been in a runner's rut.  I can't explain it, don't know why, but it's really starting to bother me.  After Boston, I figured I could and should scale back my running training to focus on more swimming and more biking.  However, I knew I need to keep my fitness level for running up to a certain standard.  I wasn't going to go and bust out 20 mile runs just for the sake of it, but I knew I could drop a 12 or 15 mile run at an easy pace and feel comfortable doing it.  About 3 weeks ago, I went out on a Sunday morning and actually did a 12 mile run at about a 6:30 pace per mile.  This actually impressed me some, but also got my confidence up.

Since then, I haven't had a good run at all.  On the weekends, I continue to try and go out for a 12-15 mile run and the first time, my legs were tired so I called it after 6 miles.  I didn't mind this figuring I needed a break and it was a once in a while issue.  Then at some point that week, even during my 5 mile run at tempo pace, I was gassed early.  Now it started to worry me a little.  Last week, I had an easy 13 mile run on the schedule.  One where I even said to myself, slow the pace, I don't care about speed just get the mileage. Again, I got about 7 miles in and couldn't finish.  I have no idea whats going on.

My bike and my swim are great.  They are actually better than where I thought they would be so I'm thankful for that and am lucky that my fitness is being kept that way.  But for some reason, I have this block on me when I go out for a run.  It doesn't matter what distance I try to do.  It can be a short 4 mile run, a 8 mile run, or a long 13 mile outing.  I just can't get it in my head that I can run.  I think it might have to do with my A race now is in August and I know I'm physically capable of doing it right now if I needed to.  There is obviously some letdown after a big race from April, but that is now 6 weeks ago and I should be back in the swing of things now.

I need to break out of this rut quickly.  I love to run.  I love to run more than I love to bike or swim so it makes me happy going out there and hitting the pavement.  But when I'm in the kind of rut that I'm in now, I can be so frustrating and it really affects me.

The one shining moment was my last brick workout.  I had a nice long bike ride and pushed a little hard on the bike, but once I went for the run, I was cranking.  My miles were flowing, my pace was great and I felt comfortable and my legs were fresh.  In fact, they were fresher than they have felt in weeks.  And this is after an extremely hard week of workouts.  I wish I could have felt this good for a stand alone run, but for some reason this workout was perfect.  In fact, I cut a mile off my scheduled run because I wanted to leave it in the tank and end on a great note and have the confidence than having something possibly go wrong. I was always told that its better to leave a mile out on the road than have it come back and bite you.  So hopefully this strategy will pay off on my next long run.

But right now, this runners rut is really starting to affect me and needs to change quickly.

To anyone who's ever been affected by a runners rut, I feel your pain.  I'm in it now.

Monday, June 3, 2013

RIley's first day in a pool, and I develop wings

Over the weekend, the wife and I had a wedding Saturday night.  It was our first big event since Riley was born.  What was nice was that it was the wife and I, my parents, and my sister in from Toronto for the wedding.  I have to be honest and say the wife and I didn't have a great time.  I'm not sure if we were looking forward to it or not, or we were just so tired from Riley, or who knows.  But we got there and we just knew we weren't going to have a great time.  Let me say that the wedding was really nice, the venue was awesome, the ceremony was special, the food was really good, and the band was incredible.  We really wanted to have fun.  But for some reason, the wife and I just couldn't enjoy ourselves.  Maybe it was because my sister was there with us and we didn't want to leave her and go dance, or that we didn't want to just sit there with her because that would be preventing her from dancing.  Who knows.  All we know is that we were exhausted and wanted to leave pretty early.  It was pretty upsetting because we were both looking forward to having a good time.

Because we were at the wedding, this meant that the wife's parents had Riley for a sleepover.  I'm never too fond of this because they never listen to our "rules" and this messes up Riley's schedule and he becomes a terror the next day (which did happen by the way).  So Sunday morning after the wedding, the wife and I drove to grandma and grandpa's house.  I ended up bringing my bike in case I could get a long ride in that morning.  It turned out that the wife didn't feel well and wanted to lay down at her parents for a while and also wanted to sit in the sun to get some color.  Because of this, I was able to get a little more than a 40 mile bike ride in.  It was awesome.  The parkway closes on Sundays for bikers and runners, so I was able to put down some nice miles and splits.  It was also a chance to have a nice long hot day to get some more testing with HoneyMaxx and how much I want to concentrate my drink mix for my Olympic Triathlon later this month.  I was very happy with my ride and really excited I got to do it.  It was an unexpected surprise.  Kind of like finding money in a pair of pants you haven't worn in a while. 

However, it was hot.  As in scorching hot.  There was a 3 day heat wave in New York and the temperatures were hovering around 90-plus for the weekend.  My Garmin actually said it averaged 91 degrees and got up to 102 at some point.  I was wearing a race top since I wanted it to be able to breathe, have pockets, and I like race tops better than regular cycling jerseys.  I knew I had to put sunscreen on, so I asked the wife to apply a lot on my back before I headed out.  But after 2 hours on the bike in the direct heat and sun, my back was nice and toasty.  Once I was able to get home, take my top off and hop in the shower, I looked at my back and saw this:

These aint no Red Bull wings.  These hurt
Yes, that's right. I developed red wings on my back.  Nice hot, burning to the touch, can't lay on my back wings.  Very funny picture, but it looks like I have to invest in some higher SPF for days like this

Well, when that was done, we wanted to get Riley acclimated to being in a pool.  The wife has big plans for Riley this summer and having him come to a lot of pools and beaches so we want to get him comfortable going in the pool.  Grandma and Grandpa bought one of those backyard pools that you can just fill up with water, so of course it was daddy who had to bring him in the pool.  I wasn't complaining after a nice long, hot bike ride.  So after filling up the pool with water, it was time to get Riley wet.  Riley loves the bath so we didn't think this would be a big problem.  We figured he would assume it's just one big bath.

It took a few minutes but ultimately Riley loved playing in the pool with daddy. 

Over the course of the summer, we'll introduce him into bigger pools, and ones with more people, but for now, Riley's learning how to play in the water.  Next up is teaching him how to sight the race buoys.  I'm not sure they make a baby race wetsuit, so we have a few years for that one.
One happy little swimmer