04 August 2010


I had another incredible training session this past weekend—if by incredible you mean incredibly difficult and incredibly painful on the body on my recovery day. I took the family into consideration when I asked my training partners to be AT my house by 6:15. I know how getting out on a long bike ride goes. You spend about 45 minutes preparing nutrition, filling up water bottles (no one did this prior to arriving at my house, of course. This meant I had to remind my young single friends not to continually let the front door slam shut so as  not to wake every member of my house up.) This, of course, proved futile. By the time we were getting ready to take off, everyone was downstairs watching Scooby Doo.

However, if it were not for Luca waking up, we would have no one to take this super cool picture of the whole crankskins.com team heading out before the big ride.

The ride started off well. We rode south, gradually uphill for the first 15 miles. We were clipping right along until Manuel decided it was time to get a flat tire. How selfish. Anyway, it is good practice. The rest of the team used this time to duck behind the giant prehistoric plants behind us and take care of some excess fluids in the body.

Approximately 20 miles in. Notice we are still all smiles. 
I tried to stay in front, but comfortably spinning most of the way. I know that come 12 September I am not going to be able to draft anyone, so I figured I better not get too comfortable with that now. Our goal was to make it down to another one of our beautiful western New York Lakes—Conesus, but we never quite made the right turns. It was kind of nice sort of knowing which direction we were traveling in. I had mapped out two bike courses. One was the shape of Texas and was 114 miles, the other was about 80. The menu called for a four bike with a 1 hour run sprinkled in for good measure. So, we all decided that the 80 miler made more sense. We arrived (in a very circuitous manner) in the lovely town of Geneseo—a college town where my wife went to school.
Manuel was off at the local bike shop getting some extra tubes. 
I loved the t-shirt of the young woman who took our photo:

Luca and Julian found this t-shirt absolutely hilarious.."you know... because
they are saying warm you buns, like you butt."
On the way back, guess who got another flat tire? You guessed it, Manuel. This time, Adam wasn't very enthusiastic—or anyone else—about Manuel trying to change another flat. He decided to do the dirty work  himself. Could it be that he found Manuel's nearly 30-minute flat repair a tad tedious?

Oh yes, it was great joy. Adam fixed the flat in under ten minutes (good thing we weren't racing!) We went another couple miles down the road when... you guessed it, Manuel suffered his third flat of the day. It turns out that really deep gouges in a tire are not the best thing in ensuring a flat-free ride. Anyway, by this point, I have to admit, we were all growing steadily annoyed at the continual stops, especially me. Finally, I told Manuel that I had to keep spinning. He totally understood. 

When we got back to my house (minus Scott who had to get back to his wife and baby daughter,) we threw on our sneakers and went out for an hour run. The legs were okay. Nutrition and hydration are really the keys for me. Adam and I ended up pulling away from Manuel and Mike a little bit. I was a little surprised because Mike is such a strong runner—a marathoner with several to his credit—but he competed in his first HIM this year and has not had a lot of experience running off the bike yet. When we all got back, we decided it was a perfect opportunity to go out and get some milkshakes. I was the champion of my family that day coming back with milkshakes for everyone. 

Hey look Alexa and Kelly, I AM wearing a shirt!!
Alaina made fun of me because she said I am flexing my legs in this photo. I can not help it if I have big muscular, Italian, non-running legs that are only made for biking AND act as 40 pound weights in the water while I am swimming.

I followed up my 80 mile ride and 10k with a 16 mile run on Sunday. I ran from my house to a public beach on Lake Ontario. It was pretty cool. At the very end of my run I envisioned myself running the last couple miles of Ironman with people cheering. I even threw up my arms at the end of my run to practice my triumphant finish line cross. My family was there on the beach waiting for me. I immediately jumped in the lake to get a minor ice bath. I had a scary thought:

The wind was whipping really hard and the waves were about 4 to 5 foot swells. I thought if Lake Erie is like this for Rev3, I am in some serious trouble. I may need a one man submarine to navigate the swim course. I mean, it is one thing swimming in the calm and placid waters of the finger lakes, and a completely different thing swimming in this huge pond. Luckily, the race organizers have a secondary swim course in case the waters get a little too treacherous for you average mortal swimmer.

I am managing to get in all my "competitive weeks" workouts in, but it has been challenging. I have a 1:30 run and a 2 hour bike ride scheduled for today. I think I may have to truncate the bike a little bit because of time. I am working all day and am going to take the boys to soccer tonight. Then the wifey has a rehearsal. Tag team parenting at its finest!

None of you guessed where the beautiful campus is that I will be teaching this year. Here's a hint: it is in the town of my favorite HIM! I leave you with this lovely picture of the wifey and me:

Train Smart!


Aimee (I Tri To Be Me) said...

Sounds like you ended up having a great brick! Nice job on the 16miler the next day too..wow!
With two boys and crazy schedules, I know all about having to cut workouts short because of time. We do the best we can and that's all that matters!

Anonymous said...

So does this mean no more Mark at good ole B-port?

Kelly said...

Hah!!! Before I even read that caption I thought..."Wow, Mark is wearing a shirt! What's going on?" I guess you have to flex your legs to make up for the fact that your shirt is on, huh?

Tell Manuel to check his rim tape...

Nice training, btw!!!!!!

Alexa said...

WOW! congrats on finally donning a shirt! I am so proud. :)

Heather said...

Great job with the training. How inpressive.

I visited the Finger Lakes last summer. They were quite lovely!

Alex Hanga said...

Mark, finally found your blog. Nice ride a few weeks back to Hamlin Beach. Now it's my average ride, 3 to 4 times a week. Cheers and keep up the good work and maybe we'll see you on N. Greece Rd. (although you have to watch out for all the construction!)

Mark said...

Heather—thanks for the kind words! I love the Finger Lakes. SO scenic, and a triathlete's paradise!

Alex—so glad you caught up with the blog AND left your mark. We'll get out there again before too long. Glad to hear you are bumping up the riding again!