Sunday, February 28, 2010

Indoor Triathlon #2 - Success!!

Today was my second indoor triathlon and if I say so myself it was a success!

My start time was at 11 but since I was already up I headed on over to the Spears YMCA around 9:30. I got their got checked in and spent some time just getting settled in. I talked to some friends for a while and watched some swimming, biking and running. I talked to my coach for a bit and then went to get ready for my start time.

The indoor Triathlons consist of a 10 minute swim, 20 minute bike, and 20 minute treadmill run. So its a timed triathlon that takes place indoors as opposed to the outdoor ones that have a preset distance.

I've already completed one indoor tri this year and I hoped to improve a little bit in this one. My main goal was to swim 400 yds in the 10 minute swim and then just see what was left in the tank for the other two disciplines.

I started off a little to fast and know that I can work on that before my next indoor tri. I did have to switch into back stroke some while in the pool and my hopes for the next time is to be able to swim mostly freestyle for the whole time. But I still was able to swim 400 yds! I improved by 75 yards from last time.

I got into the exercise room and set my bike up then got started. Well, I thought I set my bike up correctly, after about four minutes I had to hop up and raise the seat one notch but after that everything felt great. I rode 6.10 miles in 20 minutes and was the 5th male in cycling.

I started the run pretty conservatively with the plan to increase speed every minute. I started at a speed of 5.0 on the treadmill and before 10 minutes was up I was at speed 6.0(thanks coach for coming in and telling us to go, it would be over soon!). I kept pushing the speed and ended up at a speed of over 7 with a sprint for the last minute.

My distances today were:
Swim -400 yds(+75 from last time)
Bike - 6.10 miles (+.22)
Run - 2.05 (+.2)

I'm really glad that the Triad Tri Team put on these indoor triathlons because its a great way to get started in the world of triathlon. They offer some good experience and I hope they'll help me prepare for the Whitelake Sprint Triatlon (5/2) that'll be here before you know it.

The next event on the calender is the ING Georgia 1/2 Marathon on Sunday March 21st.

I hope everyone had a great weekend

Until Next Ride...

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Flipper

As you may know(and you should if you've been reading!) I started swim clinics 6 weeks ago. I was a true beginner to swimming. Don't get me wrong, I knew how to stay afloat and make it about a length of the pool before I was just about to die. We've had 2 swim clinics a week and thanks to much help from my coach and the other teachers of the clinic's I've slowly started to feel more comfortable in the water. I enjoy seeing progress even it it is slow in coming. I didn't title this blog flipper because I'm swimming like the lovable Dolphin that had his own tv show, instead I couldn't believe what I learned today at our swim clinic. Today after a good warm up and some swimming we worked flip turns. 7 weeks ago I never thought that I'd be ready to even attempt a flip turn. Although I can't say that I can do a flip turn now, I can tell you that I kinda sorta can do one, but I'm willing to keep trying just like I'm going to keep trying to improve on the many other facets of my swim training.

What a great weekend! The weather was phenomenal. Yesterday I was able to get out for a good ride on the bike for only the second time this year. I went out for close to fifty miles. After the ride I got in a nice nap before going home to celebrate my dad's birthday. We also got to visit with Tara's parents. Its nice that we grew up so close together even though we had no idea at the time, because we get to visit both our parents more frequently.

Today I got in a nice 7 mile run outside, and didn't have to wear a bundle of cloths. I actually wore the new Triad Tri Team shirt, its a brooks wicking shirt and it was great. Its the first piece of Brooks apparel I have, I suppose I should have tried some before now with as much as I love their shoes.

Climb MS Power up the Tower (www.climbMStriad.org) is coming up two weeks from yesterday. Its on March 6th and registrations are looking great. I've been working on the day of agenda for that tonight and its time to get back to it. All the logistical pieces are falling into place and I'm really looking forward to having the event.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Derek vs. the Doughnut

Lets just preface this by letting you know that Krispy Kreme original glazed doughnuts are one of my favorite sweets in the world. It would be a good battle to see if Reese miniatures or the original glazed would win the fight of my favorite mass produced sweet, and I'm sure it'd be a knock down drag out fight.

That being said when I got home from my workout last night I noticed there was a small box of doughnuts on the counter. I suspiciously asked Tara where they came from, hoping that she would say something like those are for the underprivileged children in some far away place, so keep your hands off! Instead all I got was some excuse about how a parent of one of her kids at school had missed the valentines day send your kid to school with bad stuff day and wanted to make it up to them. Darn!

So the battle began.

Round 1: Tuesday night. I should have probably just threw them all away figuring that no body was going to eat any of them, but I didn't, that'd just be wasteful right? Lucky for me Tara cooks on most Tuesday and Wednesday nights when I have my longer workouts and swim practice, so she just about had dinner ready. I'll say that that was a big help, but it still took a lot out of me walking past that box multiple times and not having a doughnut. Bedtime & success! I did it, for now.

Round 2: Wednesday morning. As I walked back past the box of deliciousocity (new word for an itme with taste that is infinitely greater than delicious) and had my normal start to the morning. One piece of toast with low fat p-nut butter and honey. I have that at home when I first get up and then a protein bar at work ( I added a banana today to help with further recovery from this weekend and yesterdays workout). Back around the box on the counter a few more times as I got things ready for the day and...Success again!

Round 3: Wednesday night: As previously stated Tara usually cooks on Wednesday and she had just finished a great dinner (grilled chicken, green beans & salad aka: our usual) when I got home. Again the box tempted me a few times over the evening but I'm happy to report that I had success again!

Now while I firmly believe that a HOT doughnut is awesome, I don't discriminate against a colder one. However after 2 days I can believe the the taste starts to exponentially decline and the calories become much more meaningless than if I'd given in previously. That being said I can safely declare myself the winner in this heavyweight fight of will power versus Krispy Kreme. You can't exactly call this a rematch, but more like a rematch of 20 previous rematchs and Krispy Kreme would be holding a 21-1 record over me but hey, you've got to start somewhere. Rome wasn't built in a day (or by people eating dough fried in lard) so I'm happy with the accomplishment.

I swam farther tonight than I have at any previous time. 2000 yds and I'm really excited about it. I am able to enjoy the swim workouts now, I've still got more than my fair share of things to work on in the water(I won't bother to list them because you probably don't have that much time to read) but things are going really good. I had a rough swim workout a while back and its been all but forgotten, I can laugh at myself when I'm working on something and it isn't going right and when I make it to the end of the pool I feel like reevaluating what I was trying to do and trying again. Oh yeah, I've also decided that if the doughnut had won that I would have probably had a horrible swim workout. I'm sure all the glaze oozing out through the pores would have caused a chemical reaction once it met chlorine and I'd have been slowed down(and thats hard for a slow swimmer) to a wounded dogie paddle.

I'm really glad that I decided to sign up for the swim and triathlon clinics taught by Suzanne Duncan (www.SuzanneDuncan.com) they have been so helpful. I have another indoor triathlon on March 14th and my first outdoor, open water tri at Whitelake on May 2nd. I am nervously excited.

Follow the blog to see how the training is going.

Until Next Ride,

Monday, February 15, 2010

Luck & Love



I am so lucky to have my fiancée, my family and my friends. Fitting that my post right after Valentine’s Day has love in the topic isn’t it? However, its not just about Valentine’s day. I’ve just been thinking lately about how lucky I am. I have the best fiancée, the most amazing parents, and great family and friends. Tara, my mom, and dad are the most important people in my life. I have so much love and support for anything I do its amazing. I know that whatever I crazy thing I choose to try they’ll be there for me. From going from a decent paying job to waiting tables so I could go back to school and get my undergrad degree, to starting an MBA, to signing up for a ½ Ironman when I don’t know the slightest thing about swimming other than how to barely make it to one end of the pool, they are always there for me. November will be here before you know it but with my family support and some great coaching I know that I’ll be ready to start at the Beach and make it to a Battleship! Its hard to believe that there are less that 5 months left until our wedding. To borrow a quote from Valentine’s Day the movie, I can’t wait to marry my best friend and start our new life together. We’ve been together for over 2 years and they’ve been the best 2 years ever. Its funny to see so many movies or whatever about the “in-laws” and how horrible they are but its not like that at all with Tara’s family. They’ve made me feel like a part of their family from day one and I couldn’t be more comfortable with them.

I just want to say thank you to Tara, my mom, dad and the rest of my family and friends for always being there for me. I am truly blessed to have everyone of you in my life. The last few years have been amazing and I’m sure there are a lot of great memories to come.

On a training note, things went well this week. I had 2 good swimming sessions and feel like I’m learning a lot every time I’m in the pool.

I raced the Groundhog Gallop on Saturday and did great for running a trail race in 2 inches of fresh snow. It was only my second trail run ever. I’ve never done such a beautiful run as we did through the woods on Saturday. Sunday was the Valentines Day Massacre Marathon and Relay and I ran on a 4 person relay team. Each person took turns running a lap, and we each had 4 laps to run. The results aren’t posted on the website yet but I know that I got faster on each of the first 3 laps and believe I ran even just a bit faster on the fourth lap. After the first hour or so when it warmed up it was pleasant except for the strong wind gusts. It was a fun race, I hope next year my dad can come out and run it with us.

My calendar had a half marathon scheduled for Saturday but its been postponed. I was going to run the trial run the Pilot Mountain Payback but the course just isn’t in good condition so they’ve postponed it but I can’t run it in April due to a Walk. The bright side is if the weather cooperates I’ll get in with the Other Saturday Ride(creative name huh?) before going to Pilot to celebrate my dad’s birthday.

What kind of goals do you have this year? Goals, resolutions, what ever you call them, I hope they’re going great for you and if they’re not you still have plenty of time to get to work. Learn from mistakes, celebrate success, and always make decisions that you are happy with.

Until next ride,

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Krispy Kreme Challenge Photos

I thought I’d do a little writing while I’m sitting here waiting on the pictures from the Krispy Kreme Challenge to be resized for easy uploading onto my website. I started doing event photography last August with the awesome camera that I received as a graduation present from my parents. The Tour de Gaps was my first event and I’ve been lucky enough to have several events since then. I enjoy taking pictures and noticed the super high prices for a race photo from several events that I’ve done. I thought that I could take photos and sell them for more reasonable prices. Its working out pretty good so far.

The Krispy Kreme Challenge was the largest race we’ve done photos for to date and it was madness at the finishing line. The race was only 4 miles, not really long enough to string out that amount of people. We tried to get as many good shots at the finish line as possible but with so many people crossing at the same time it was impossible to get them all. The runners were a constant stream for over an hour, my fingers were starting to get so numb it was hard to feel the button to press for the images, I had to switch fingers for that a few times.



To view all the photos, either Sunday Evening or after go to: www.HillEventPhotos.com

I try to get the race photos up either the same day or the next day depending on the size of the event. This one is going to be one of those next day times, because it really takes a while to get everything ready to upload.

It takes a while to get everything processed and sorted for the larger events that we shoot. Here’s what has to happen before race participants can browse the photos, and how the race gets their profit sharing check.

1. Get up early to get to race site
2. Find a good spot to get start photos
3. Set up for finish photos
4. Take finisher photos
5. Download photos onto hard drive from all cameras. Most races its one or two depending on the size, at the KKC we had four photographers, 2 start/finish & 2 at the KK.
6. Rotate all photos. When shooting the finish photos I usually take them as portrait, in other words the camera is up and down, not side to side. The all have to be rotated to be upright once the images are downloaded, otherwise everyone is on their side. That doesn’t make it so easy for online viewing
7. Use Photoshop to batch resize the photos. If I were to upload full size images to the website it would take days, uploading a image that is anywhere from 1mb-5mb would take quite a while, most people internet is much faster downloading than uploading. By running the images through Photoshop’s multiple file program it will compress the images so they are between 50kb-100kb, while retaining the necessary stuff to be viewed at a large size online. This takes about 2 seconds per photo. Small races pose no real challenge. The last 3 events I’ve done have had 3000, 1000, and 4500 participants. Yesterday’s race had about 4500 finishers, which means that 1500 folks who registered didn’t come out.
8. While Photoshop is resizing I can start to look at how the images need to be sorted. I like to separate them into 5 minute finishers groups but even this provided a challenge for the KKC. It took about 8 minutes to get everyone started so when the finished, you could have 2 people in a row that were 8 minutes apart in chip time. I did the best I could by comparing bib numbers to the finishers list. Thank god acrobat has a search feature, I would’ve gone blind trying to read through the finishers list of 2500 and that was just the males.
9. After the images are compressed I will sort the compressed files into folders that correspond with the gallery they will be uploaded too. For the KKC there will be 14 galleries of photos.
10. The galleries have to be uploaded one at a time to SmugMug.
11. I have to publish all galleries after protecting the images and setting the prices. There is a feature where I can do all of these at once so it makes it a bit less time consuming.
12. I edit each gallery heading with important info that I want the browser to see
13. Email the race director and let them know the pictures are available and ask for a starting roster or if they will email out about the photos. I was supposed to have mention of Hill Event Photography in the prerace packet that went out but was left out of that. Hopefully the email will still get attention for the website so racers can view and purchase their photos.
14. After 2 months I total up all profit from the sale of pictures of this event and write a check for 10% of the proceeds to the event organizers to give to the Charity of their choice. In this case it will be the Children’s Hospital of NC.

I need to offer a special Thank You to my other photographers for this event. Richard & Marilyn Hill, my parents who got up at 4:00 am to get ready and be in Greensboro in time to pick us up to get to the race. Also to my beautiful fiancee who got up much earlier than she normally would on a Saturday to help out as well. Without this amazing support team, nothing I do would be as fun or meaningful. Thank you.

On another note, after falling off the training and eating healthy wagon for the past 3 days I’m really excited to get back to the gym. Hopefully I’ll have a good run and a great swim clinic today before heading home to finish up the pictures and watch the Super Bowl.
Until next ride