Saturday, September 27, 2008

Almost Fall

The temps are plummeting here in Tampa - 2 or 3 days in a row of sub-90 degree weather has me hopeful and anticipating Fall. Ah yes, fall in Tampa. Where the only thing turning color is the grass - from green to brown. Where you finally can't wring your shirt out after an hour of working outside. And most importantly, where the year-round-outdoor-training-center truly becomes year round again.

Things are looking up for the family d' Bigun. The installation biz is looking good. Of course, going from zero to anything is good at this point, so really, time will tell. Only one more month of weekly grass cuts for my lawn customers - then the nice 6-month break of every-other-week cuts. Time to do other things. Like train.

And train, we must. The interesting thing about a mega-relay like Border to Border is the added pressure of not letting your teammates down. An Ironman, generally, is all on you. DNF, and you've only got your own pride to deal with. Fail to pull your weight in a relay - even amongst friends (or especially amongst friends?) and the consequences are far more guilt ridden. I like the carrot this race provides me - it may force me to train even harder than I did for IM CdA. This is really gonna be a cool race.

The big question for the back half of the '09 Tri Season is, "which Ironman"? Ironman Arizona seems to have fallen flat - lackluster blogger/friend interest in this race has taken it off the radar. Ironman Florida is now a consideration. Cheap accommodations, no plane fare, cool temps, flat and fast, IMFL has it appeal. It's still an hour and a half in salt water, however, and the entry fee is sure to be in the $600 range. Gulp.

Beach to Battleship is gaining some steam in this community - all predicated by positive race reports from this race coming up on Nov 1st. Interesting point-to-point down-current swim, flat bike on newly paved roads, and a flat run, taking place in an area with affordable hotels to which we can drive to. It's close to my NC-based family. Oh, and did I mention that last year's entry fee was $250! I'd be very interested to see how much LESS you get for that entry fee vs. an M-Dot race, if it's even less at all.

Ironman Cozumel has a foothold and continues to gain ground. I wouldn't be surprised if it's close to sold out already, since they are only allowing 1,500 athletes. And, it's $525. Now there are, allegedly, inexpensive packages heading that way - it is a tourist (trap) hot spot, after all. I'm not sure how much longer the window will be open to consider this race for '09, but it too, is out there. Not sure how I feel about having fish for Thanksgiving though (packet pickup is on Turkey Day...).

So there you have it. I'm pretty sure I'm not doing St. Anthony's Olympic this year - $150+ for a mega-crowded race that I have yet to eat at or do well in - and having to wait in the sun for an hour in line to get into transition - well, I used to love this race, now, not so much. Smaller and cheaper is the way I think I'm going now...and different. I enjoy multisport - and I enjoy a new and interesting challenge from time to time. The whole endurance canoe/kayak sport is intriguing to me, and it's something I think Di might enjoy as well, at some participatory level. Ultra running or biking may catch me napping and grab hold of me before I come to my senses. Who knows?

In the mean time, I gotta figure out a way to pay for all...all THIS! These "hard" times will turn, I'm sure, and priorities will change again. Change like the seasons.

Monday, September 22, 2008

AZ now tentative

Aaaaak! We had to pull the plug on IMAZ'08 this weekend. After careful consideration of the bank accounts and air fares, we decided it wasn't in our mortgage's best interest to fly to Phoenix in 9 weeks. We are very disappointed, and while we are still working towards a business windfall which will enable us to make a last minute trek to Tempe, we just cannot commit to it at this time. Perhaps we have a boxed up item worth thousands on e-bay in the garage?

That does, of course put a monkey wrench in our '09 race plans. I was just looking at the Beach to Battleship again...$250 entry fee for '08, we can drive there (no airfare)...I don't know, it's a possibility as a late-season Iron-distance event. Our race dollar priority for next year is still the Minnesota Border to Border - having just learned that my boy Blink and the Blinkettes may come up and ride with us, not as race participants, but as a long training weekend. Very cool.

IMAZ may have to take a raincheck until 2010.... Craaaap!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Decisions, Decisions

Well, it's coming down to the wire. Well, sort of. Pretty soon we have to decide whether or not to go to Arizona to cheer on our bloggie peeps cranking it out at IMAZ08. That would then lead to "pulling a slip" for IMAZ09 - something that I really want to do, yet I see the crowd participation fading fast. Blink is out. Johnny Tri is out. Greyhound is out. Iron Shane is out. Baboo and Misty are out. Momo, who surprised the world with her IMAZ08 bid, is out for '09. I know there are many more bloggers and potential participants out there...these were just folks that have been swept away for one reason or another.

IMCOZ09 - looks like many will be traveling over to the dark side and hitting the beaches of Cozumel in '09. That's cool - it looks to be great race. Hope we don't get any late season hurricanes...

IMCanada'09 - Those crazy Canuks have done the unspeakable and, yes, opened up registration on-line for an undisclosed number of slots. I know of two who got in...Blink - taking him out of IMAZ...AND...MN B2B! My step-sister in-law also got in, and is VERY excited about racing next year. Truly...good for them both!

So now what with the MN B2B? Looks like there has been interest garnered in an unlikely, yet very likely place - in the heart of Minnesota itself! Yes, Tacboy and his super-hot Trimama have quietly mentioned to Heir Bigun that they'd like to participate in a 4-person Relay. This leaves one more slot open - perhaps for the likes of another smoking hot, uber-fit, fem'd triathlete extraordinaire...none other than Iron Jenny? Doing this race for the first time as part of a 4-person relay sounds a bit more fun (Bigun says, hiking up his skirt...) than the 2-person variety. The registration price goes up at the end of next month, me thinks, so we still have time to hem and haw.

I actually started running again - 4 times so far this week (it's Saturday...I'm wanting to run tonight and do a little longer run tomorrow...) and while I thought I had two giant, fat sandbags for legs on Monday, by Thursday things felt a whole lot better. Bike and Pool...soon, grasshopper, soon....

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Minnesota Border to Border Triathlon

The Minnesota Border to Border. 4 days. Biking. Running. Canoeing. Yes, it's a Triathlon. No, there's no swimming. No, there's no whining.

Blink's got me brainwashed into believing we can do this as a 2 person relay. Last year, one out of 2 relay teams made it in. Teams of the 2-person variety, that is.

This sucker's taking place in July. I'm 90% in, although, not much (ok, any) discussion with TrisherpaDi has taken place yet. Oh yea, a little thing called, how-we-gonna-pay-for-all-dat is also a factor. But...it's nice to dream, isn't it?

Any one else think this looks like fun and want to consider entering against Blink and I in the 2-person (or even a 4 person) relay?

Oh, and Blink promised that he would actually get out of the canoe during the portages....I was sorta wondering why he'd pick a 250-lb Clydesdale as his Relay Partner.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Unretouched Picture of Taconite Boy

They say that superhero's are immortal. Now Taconite Boy may just be that. Just as I pictured him, Tacboy was once a German General pushing military symbols around a lighted war board with long sticks. This photograph is proof-positive.

Tacboy seems to have turned and in a rare uber-race moment, smiled for the camera. World Domination! We are lucky to have his experience for our new planning center up in the Hallowed Hall.

Oh, and if you don't listen to the TacBoy and Bigun Podcast, you totally won't get any of this. In fact, there's a good chance you are slightly offended. Sorry about that!