Friday, January 29, 2016

DVT awareness

Hey folks - each March there is a national awareness effort for DVT and it's important to me share info with our group about Deep Vein Thrombosis, or DVT.  I hope this note doesn't come across odd or morose.  Your training and wellness mean a great deal to me.  I want all of you to know about DVT and understand the risk factors, given my own experience with it.  Not sure what DVT is?  Read on. 
DVT is a common but dangerous medical condition that occurs when a blood clot forms in one of the veins, nearly always in the lower limbs and typically the calf muscle.  A life-threatening complication of DVT is called a pulmonary embolism (PE).  A PE occurs when blood clots break loose, then travel and accumulate into the lungs or even the heart.  These accumulated clots damage lung tissue and block circulation to other vital organs, which creates a life-threatening condition.  DVT can affect a wide variety of folks, inactive or active, etc.
Some facts:   
*  Up to two million Americans suffer from DVT each year
*  DVT-related pulmonary embolisms cause more than 300,000 deaths annually -- that's more than breast cancer and AIDS combined.
*  DVT-related pulmonary embolisms are the most common cause of preventable hospital death.
DVT/PE is a personal concern to me.  As many of you know, the pulmonary embolisms which I developed in 2008 in my lungs were caused by DVT.  I wasn't mindful of the symptoms, I kept training and racing despite the pain and soon the clotting spread to my lungs.  Over time, these clots permanently blocked the primary vein in my leg which 2 surgeries could not fix.  After 4 months, I was fortunate to talk to a doctor friend who convinced me to quickly get medical help.   The PE and clots ended my running and triathlon career, something I cherished for 30+ years and miss dearly.   DVT and PE are very serious issues, and I encourage you to take the risk assessment tool; link is listed below.
here's the website:

Add MMFA to your training

Hi folks, I'm completing numerous CEUs in order to renew my USATF coaching certification this year, and I get to choose from many useful educational topics of interest to my coaching practice.  Given the demographics, training demands and busy schedules of our Runnerpeeps community, an important topic to me is functional strength training.  That said, I recognize that our peeps are a busy bunch and, while they can be awesome at achieving their run, bike or swim volumes, they often neglect their weekly strength training needs.  Ahem.  To my surprise and delight, I found a terrific USATF course called "Functional Strength Training for Time-Limited Athletes".  Wow, exactly what I want our peeps to know!  I completed the course last week and here are the key take-aways I want each of you to consider and implement:

What's MMFA?  
It's a term coined by Dustin Morris (a USATF instructor and certified strength coach) for "Multi-Muscle Functional Activity".  The intent is to integrate balance and control in your strength routines, considering the movement of each routine and how that addresses and strengthens the repetitive motions which you do in endurance sports.  If you simply go to the gym and do reps while seated on static machines, you're not getting as good of a total workout as you should. Those machines are fine, however they were originally designed more for rehab strength building and/or to correct muscular imbalance.  Net is, our bodies move in a variety of planes of motion:  sagital, frontal and transverse.  Our strength and conditioning routines should target all of these, for a total-body approach.  And, for time-crunched athletes (like ALL of us!), our strength routines should be effective, efficient and target multiple muscle groups whereever possible.  

What kinds of MMFA-focused workouts should I do?   
Dustin Morris advocates "double-dipping" as much as possible -- this pleases me immensely as that's exactly what I've been evangelizing the past several years, urging all of you to do the strength routines I prescribe.  Good examples of these are:

* for the arm/shoulder strengthening routines which I recommend (such as bicep curl, military press, arm pull-down and arm raise), I ask that you do these on an unstable surface such an bosu, saucer or even simply standing 1-legged.  This forces you to use lots of stabilizing muscles in your core, hips, knees and ankles.

* For the chest press, I recommend you do these with your head/neck rested on an aeroball instead of a hard bench -- this forces you to engage your core muscles to stabilize the ball.

* In the strength routine I recommend, you see (2) 4-min sessions of what I call "the 4min egg".... this is a simple, effective routine you can do nearly anywhere, any time.  1min plank, then immediately transition to 1min left side plank, then 1mi right side plank, then 1min on superman/swim drill.  If you only did 4min of core work each day, do a 4min egg!  I believe these are so important that I include (2) 4min egg sessions within 40min strength routine I provide.  That's 20% of the total workout!  That's how important these are to your training.

*Recall that, even when I ask that you do your plank sessions, you can pick in the intensity a bit if those are easy.  If an athlete says to me, "Jeffries, planks bore me.  I am so ridiculously fit, Madonna is envious of my butt and Jilian Michaels called last week to ask about my ripped abs".  I reply, "OK, good. You go take your fine self over there in the corner and repeat the 4min egg... except lift a leg during each of the sets".  Seriously, for advanced athletes who can easily knock out some planks, I ask that they amp up the intensity to introduce instability in the set.  A great way to do that is either to lift a leg during plank sets or to do your front plank sets on sliders.  Intent is that your core is working double-time to both strengthen and to stabilize.  BOOOM!

* For the squats, I like you to use your own body weight and do squats using a wall and a ball.  Personally, as I'm in my late 40s, I prefer to cushion that hard wall with an aeroball : ).   You may do the same.  Go down and repeat a chair position, focused on a nice 90degree angle.  I guarantee that, within 30-45sec, you will lose your good humor and your lips will straighten into a grim, tight line.  However, this is a terrific exercise!   Dustin likes to pick up the intensity of this, and to have an athlete to hold an aeroball in their straight-outstretched arms.... then, simultaneously lifting the ball above their head just as they go down into a seated motion.   DANG.  That is an advanced move.  I would love if some of you can get to that level of fitness, however I'd be thrilled if you simply did your wall squats as part of your routine each week.

* For the lunges I recommend, I really like a crazy, lateral movement-focused lunge which my pal Larissa taught me years ago... you do a typical lunge, except that you have an aeroball in your hands, arms outstretched straight in front of you.  And, as you dip into each lunge, you rotate your core and smoothly/slowly swing the ball around to each side.  It's terrific and includes those side-obliques!

* Dustin gets pretty crazy on few of his recommendations, such as doing a rowing set while kneeling on an aeroball.  I think that's an really advanced move for a typical athlete and don't recommend it.  However, if you'd like help to do that correctly, let's chat.   Overall, Dustin and I are in 100% agreement on the types of routines and the MMFA-focus for each of those.

How often should I do these?
Dustin Morris advocates 5-6x weekly of brief conditioning work.  I think that's ambitious, given the typical time availability of a peep.   I need to be realistic and consider the working professional/parent peeps who make up our group.  On the training plans I provide to you, I recommend (1) strength session and (3) core conditioning/plyo sessions.  Go with that.  If I could convince Every. Single. One of you to commit to 4 strength/core sessions a week, that'd be IDEAL!   If that's too much, start with 2 sessions, and work up to 3.  I would rather you do (3) brief 20min sessions than a single 60min session.  Key is frequency!  That's why I always refer to your core/plyo strength requirements as "frequent brief core!, frequent brief core!"

How many of each should I do?
Dustin advocates doing strength routines mostly on time intervals (like 1 min of chest presses) and he isn't a fan of traditional sets  -- i.e. 3 sets of 10 reps @ light weights.  Dustin believes the athlete will cycle through the workout more quickly if he/she stays on task, monitors their watch and moves rapidly to the set routine.   As a coach and athlete, I prefer the sets method.  Provided the peep doesn't meander around and chatter like a hen to everyone in the gym, they can complete the strength routine quickly.  I've repeatedly timed the strength routine I recommend and know that it takes approximately 40min.   So, whether you prefer to do routine based on time or sets, I'm OK.   Ultimately, I see the benefits as the same.  Get it done!

Who do I ask if I have questions?
Contact me if you have Qs about any of these, or let's chat on an upcoming run.  Or, we can quickly review a few of these before we do a run, like our Thurs Starbucks run or our common Saturdays runs.  Or, if you're a member of a local gym, reach out to the certified staff onsite.  The routines which I prescribe in my strength training will be well understood by those professionals, and they can help you.


Own the hills!

Here's a good workout I recommend for many of you who are doing/planning to do hill repeats each week this winter and spring...  I call them "hill-and-a-halfers".  I first began running these with Chuck, Jamie and others each week on the Sawmill hill in 2002-2007.  I found these to be terrific, high-intensity additions to weekly periodized training and a veritable kick in the pants.  We have a big crowd of folks capable of handling  these.  The below workout is a perfect choice to fulfill the (1) high intensity workout on their weekly plan.

To do these workouts, find a nearby hill that's uniform grade, moderately steep, and 500-600m in length.  Sawmill is a nice choice as it's ~ 500m.  Forum drive is also OK however I reckon it's only 400m (however it's a good place to start these)

The workout "hill-and-a-halfers":
* Warmup:  1mi easy run
* Mainset:  
    - you sprint to the top of the hill, then jog down 1/3 of the way.... then IMMEDIATELY turn and SPRINT back up to the top.  That's the "halfer" part.
    - then, you jog back down to the bottom.  It's an "active recovery" window, as you jog to the bottom.  Don't walk these!  Your jog down to the bottom is each recovery interval!
    - As soon as you reach the bottom, you swiftly turn and sprint up for the next one.   No lag, no waiting, no hesitation.   Just hammer each one.  
    - How  many should you do?  
        * less experienced runners:  do 4 repeats.  You'll run these as fast as you consistently can, target < 8-10sec variance.
        * more experienced runners:  do 6-7 repeats.  Target < 5-8sec variance 
* Cooldown:  1mi easy run

Consider what your heart rate data would look like...
* warmup.... a nice flat line between 65-70% of MHR, about 10-11min duration
* mainset... 5 bell-shaped lines that have 2 peaks (one big peak that's 85-90%+ MHR, and a smaller peak that's still 78-84% MHR)... about 17-20min duration
* cooldown... a nice flat line that's 70-75% of MHR... about 10min duration

Bon apetit!

Happy running!

Toughen your speedwork

Does the following describe you? You love the Thursday Starbucks runs however you feel you’re in a rut – always the same run, same distance, same pace. To be sure, this weekly run is a lot of fun to meet the group, chat, laugh, and do some aerobic endurance miles. However, maybe you’d like to get more out of this workout over the winter.  Shake the trees a bit. Mix it up.  Let's say you’re an experienced runner who’s done a few half marathons in the 2:05-2:15 range, and you're targeting a sub 2hr half marathon in Spring. Here are 2 good choices to consider to improve the quality of your Starbucks run over the next several weeks.  
Option A:   “Pick-up Intervals”
*  Warmup:   1/2mi @ easy run pace
* Mainset: 
o   3min @ 8:30min/mi pace
o   3min @ 9:00min/mi pace
o   3min @ 8:30min/mi pace
o   3min @ 9:00min/mi pace
o   3min @ 8:30min/mi pace
o   3min @ 9:00min/mi pace
o   3min @ 8:30min/mi pace
o   3min @ 9:00min/mi pace
* Cooldown:   1/2mi easy pace back to the coffee shop
* Comments:   there are no pauses in the mainset – the 3min @ the slower pace is an active recovery window.   By comparison to the faster 3min, it’ll feel terrific.   This assumes you’d run out-and-back to ~ Ravenscroft or so.   Consider that the return leg back to SBX via Strictland is a gentle grade upward, which will make those last four rotations a veritable kick in the pants.
Option B:  “Indian run”
* You’ll need to round up 3-4 similarly paced peeps for this.   I think there’s enough sidewalk to handle this workout, provided that everyone is looking for cement cracks, curbs, over-taking other runners, single file spacing, etc.
*  Warmup:  1/2mi @ easy run pace
*  Mainset:
o   You run for 20min as a group in an indian format.  here's how that'll look
o   Your group is single file, spaced 5yds apart, the whole time.   Keep that 5yd spacing the whole time – it’s key to the workout!
o   The person at the back of the line sprints to the front and moves into the lead
o   At that same moment, the new person at the back of the line sprints forward and moves into the lead.  And so on, and so on.  
*  Cooldown:  1/2mi easy run pace back to SBX for coffee and camaraderie w/ the peeps
*  Comments:   20min is a good target to achieve during the mainset.   Folks, this is an intense workout, so the mainset isn’t especially long.   It’ll feel like a LOT of brief “bursts”.   Key is to find 3-4 folks of similar pace however we have many folks who are comfy running in the 1:55:00-2:10:00 range for a half and this is a great workout for them.   This assumes an out-and-back route on Strictland, however it’d be more fun if you ran through the neighborhood as you’ll have more space.  I would highly recommend that vs the sidewalk.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

The Cookie Parable: Smart Core Conditioning for Endurance Athletes

Hi folks - as all of our Runnerpeeps program alums know, I'm an evangelist of regular core strength conditioning as regular part of your run, swim and bike training.  Every training season, I provide an education seminar on this topic for the program.   I also incorporate this into every training plan I provide.  And, I often ASK each you about this topic during 1:1 discussions.   Simply put, it is imperative to your endurance training to also spend time each week tending to your core strength.   

Some of you may smugly say, "oh, no, not me, Jeffries.... I have the core strength of a titanium anvil -- firm and strong.  My gluts put Kardashian to shame.  And, I look terrific in my saucy LuLu Lemon capris.   No worries."   OK, great.  Well, for the rest of you, take this simple test.   Simply hold a plank position for as long as you can, without breaking form, and in proper position the whole time.    No need to tell me your results.   Just use this as a benchmark.   This'll be a discussion point in our base training phase over the Winter.

My belief is...

* if you hold plank < 1min, you need to spend much more time each week developing this strength.  You have the core strength of a jelly donut.    Make core strength improvements a priority!

* if you hold plank between 1 and 2min, you are in OK shape, but not fabulous.  Your core strength is like a jelly tot cookie... sorta crusty on the outside, but squishy and soft in the center.  No attaboys for that.    Make a commitment to improve this to +2min by end of the Spring season.  See workout recommendation below.

* if you hold plank between 2-3min, you're OK... while you're not titanium, you do have decent core strength.  I declare you an oatmeal cookie.   I ask that you simply maintain this goodness each week. 
* if you hold plank >3min, you are doing well.   I declare you a pretzel -- hard on the outside, hard on the inside.   It is my highest compliment. You are the pinnacle of cookie firmness :  )  Keep it up.

Here are some Q&A about this training, compiled by our crack reporting staff:

 Q:  Jeffries, I really think coconut maroons are an underrated cookie. 
A:  That's good information, thanks for sharing.  However it isn't in the form of a question and non-germane to the topic.  Next question. 

Q: Jeffries, my core is ridiculously fit.  Pilates instructors gawk in jealousy.  To showcase my fabulous abs to the world, I often wear a jog bra to church.  Do you do that, too?
A:  Um, no.  I’m Unitarian.

Q:  Jeffries, I have a sassy leopard skin unitard and matching yoga mat -- should I wear those for these workouts?
A:   Rock the unitard.

Q:   Jeffries, these workouts make my core ache.  You stink.  I hate these workouts.
A:   A bit of aching is fine to me… keep it up.  And, thanks for the kind words!

Here’s the 20min training routine I recommend – happy training!

Thursday, October 30, 2014

A terrific strength & conditioning workout for endurance athletes

Here's a great workout that I often prescribe for endurance runners and long course triathletes to improve overall strength and conditioning.   It's a ~ 45min session, and addresses total body conditioning.  I created this years ago and have refined it over the years, talking to fellow coaches and specialists in strength conditioning, yoga, pilates and plyometrics.  

The guiding philosophies are:
* high reps @ low weights
* equal and opposite muscle groups
* big to small muscle sequence
* heaps and heaps and heaps of routines done in an "instable work surface" like planks on a ball, bicep curls while standing on a bosu, etc
*  perhaps ~ 40% of the workout is pure core work!  that's how critically important I see core conditioning as the foundation to a successful long course athlete.

You can download the doc below.   Hope this is helpful :  )

USAT Level I Coach
USATF Level I Coach

Saturday, January 11, 2014

My race report from the 2009 Beaverdam Olympic distance triathlon :  )


Here's my race report for Beaverdam int'l distance triathlon, last Saturday @ Falls Lake.   The events are retold as I remember them, however my memory can be awfully sketchy and cloudy.  
------------ -
All week leading up to the race, my nerves were building ... Beaverdam would be my first triathlon in 2yrs.  Lots of concerns swirled in my head -- the 62 degree chilly water, my inconsistent training the past few months, rusty cycling skills, lack of running base, general stress.  The list goes on.  Oh well, I told myself, I would simply do this race, no matter how slow I would finish.   I arrived on race morning, racked my bike and set up my transition area.   I had my shiny red Quintana Roo time trial bike, fresh from building it last year.  It sparkled.   Edde at IOS helped with much of the parts build -- he's a bike maven, incredibly helpful, and I highly recommend his skills and the IOS folks to anyone.  Beaverdam was the first time I could use my ultra-spiffy race wheels --  some deep dish carbon fiber blades that promised to slice through the wind.  Gadzooks, if my bike were any indication, I surely Looked like a fearsome triathlete.   Well, maybe some years ago I did.   Well, maybe not.   Whatever.    What great memory flashbacks I had as I carefully arranged all my transition stuff, thinking of all the races I did over the years.   It was great to be "in the mix" again.   My buddy Pat was nearby, his transition neatly arranged, and ready to go.  The dude was so relaxed; I could never be that calm.   My own transition area wasn't so tidy; I think I stepped on a goo packet, then bumped into some Suzy Spandex nearby who groused at me.   I sheepishly diverted Pat's attention by talking about coastal fishing, a mutual pursuit he and I share.   I walked around, fidgety and nervous.  I saw my pal, Margo, a few minutes later, then Tommy with her.   Hard to believe, but those cats are getting fitter, fitter and fitter every year they get older.  Wow.  Mega fit.  I'm waiting for that to happen to me.   Well, Tommy gave me a silent look that said, "wow, now there's a true road hazard".    He clearly remembered what a horrible roadie I was/is.   How true his sage glance would turn out to be.
Time passed.   There was only 20min to the start, so I suited up in my wetsuit.  Putting on the suit is a 10min affair that's a lot like putting an octopus in a string bag.    I wretched around awkwardly in the transition area, folks swerving to and fro, to avoid my thrashing.  I finally wrassled that wetsuit into submission, clearly the victor, although the devilish device tried to pinch my skin as I pulled the zipper up the back.   Bastard.  Jeffries 1, wetsuit 0.   I felt exactly like a sardine.  Lots of them.  Precisely, I felt like 1 of 1,375 sardines, stuffed tightly in a Campbell's soup can.   I didn't feel like that fearsome triathlete anymore.   I waddled down to the start, chest heaving. I felt like a doughy version of the Michelin Man.   Amanda and Diane were there getting ready.   Very cool to see my pals.  This was Amanda's first international, which made the day great.    We all griped about how cold the water was, although Amanda smiled broadly.   I asked what was so funny, and she replied with a grin and explained that her sole pre-race strategy for a mile swim in 62 degree water was quite simple:   just pee in your suit.   She kept grinning, and peeing presumably, so I decided to check out the course.   Diane decided to take a practice swim, then came leaping out of the water faster than a flying mullet.  Shaking like a leaf.   I noticed that her arm -- the muscles on which are more defined than mine are, was, or ever will be -- was twitching, as she shivered.    I reached out to touch her hand to feel the water temp and her handshake was like the grim reaper.  It was an icy cold, chilling grip. Diane smiled bravely and strongly, though she was blanched white with cold.   Yikes.  She's a tough cookie, Huis.  Noted to self:  don't ever shake hands with her again.  She'll break something.  Seriously fit.
My swim wave started and off we all went.  The course was laid out East/West, so the sighting lines were actually simple.  I proudly stayed on course, though I swam as slow as a rotten tree stump floating aimlessly through a still country pond.   The water temp really wasn't so bad after a few minutes, as most folks just focused on covering the mile.  I smiled between breathing as I caught glimpses of folks swimming waaaayyyyy off course, their little yellow caps get further and further away from the race and going to errant tree snags or muddy banks.  I had to laugh, as in years past, I had many many triathlons early on where I swam in wild patterns around the course, sometimes covering hundreds of yards more than the other swimmers.  I tried to be open-minded about these yellow-capped folks.  Maybe they were marine biologists, I told myself.  Maybe they saw some interesting fish and decided to check things out.    I swam on.   The swim went well, I do enjoy it.   I wished I were quicker, but that'll come with consistent practice.    I got out of the water, and sauntered up to T1.   
In T1, things were lively.   Surprisingly there were a fair number of bikes still racked.   I smiled broadly.  Then, I realized my wetsuit was still angry from the ass-whoopin' I put on it while putting it on before the swim.  That wetsuit stuck to me like cement.  I pulled, heaved, cursed, jumped around, and balanced on one foot.  I cursed more, fell over, yanked the seams, and cursed.  I growled.    Ugh.   Wetsuit 1, Jeffries 1.   OK, that took too long.  I wasted nearly 4min just goat wrestlin' that wretched thing.  I hate wetsuits.  I finally got out, gathered my bike, helmet, shoes, and blitzed out for the bike split.  The air temp was great, so the bike split looked promising.
About 3miles into the bike, the course made its first turn, east onto Old Weaver Rd.    It was at that moment that realized that I hadn't tightened my front brakes that morning, while swapping on my oh-so-very-cool- and-zippy carbon fiber deep dish race wheels.  To install them, I have to open my brakes a bit and adjust the pads to seat properly.  In my nervousness, I forgot to close the front brakes.  Ugh, they were soupy.   Somehow I couldn't be bothered to stop and properly adjust them.  Keep pedaling.    That's a key detail because those front brakes were mostly my ONLY brakes.   More on this in a minute.   So, as the turn to Old Weaver Rd came up, I slowed well in advance and rounded well.  No worries, I didn't need much brakes.  Brakes are for uber-weinies.  I could do this.   What a relief.  All the turns'll likely be like that one, right?   The bike split continued.  Background to this is, I knew going in that my rear brakes were a bit suspect.   I've had difficulty for months keeping tension on them.   The rear brakes installed on the bike are a high-tech monument to prototype design -- a billet aluminum, custom-fabricated design positioned under and behind the bottom bracket.  Highly aero.  It's an extremely light weight design that Tectro made for this particular frame for QR.  They look awesome.   However, the design stinks.   The brakes can't hold tension well.  They are loose at best, and useless most of the time.   I realized then that Tommy was a sage --  truly Was a roadie hazard.   I knew that at some point before the end of 25miles, I would need to develop a means to come to a stop.    Oh well, why do today what you could put off until tomorrow, right?    The bike split continued.  The miles piled on.
The bike course was outstanding, lots of small rolling hills, some flats, etc.  A superb course, I highly recommend it.   We ended up on Six Forks Rd near 12miles, then over to New Light near 19miles, then out onto Hwy 98 heading west for a short stint.  It was there that I suddenly heard a hollow metal tinkling sound as something fell off my bike and into the grass.  I kept riding.   I looked down didn't see anything obviously missing, and thought I must have simply run over something in the road.   After about 500yds, I realized that my pedaling was rough.   I had popped out of my cleat.  What?!?   No, that Wasn't it.   My entire Cleat was gone.  Amazing, the entire circular head of Speedplay "lollipop" had just fell off.  Off.   Gone.   All that was left was a little metal tube sticking out of the crank.  I got sour in a hurry.   However, I was glad I at least had that little tube to step on.  I grumbled a bit, and started mashing that down, trying to keep a reasonable pedal rhythm.   I still had 6miles to go, climbing bitterly up a few hills and riding soon stunk.   My pedaling mechanics were goofy, as I tried to mash with one side, yet pedal an oval on the other.   I Definitely didn't appear fearsome to anyone, despite the cool wheels and glossy red paint.
I finally made the turn into Beaverdam, and cruised the final mile.   That last mile seemed to go very quickly -- I hadn't yet figured out how I was going to stop at the end.   I scrambled for ideas on how I was going to actually get off the bike, and not cause a disaster.    I squeezed both brakes, wondering if something had miraculously changed in the past few miles.   Nope.  Soupy brakes, nearly useless.  The front brake was loose, and the rear brake was altogether disconnected.  I could see its little metal wire, hanging down aimlessly behind the bottom bracket, almost waving at me in the breeze.   Bummer.  I made the turn into the parking lot, my pace still cooking along quickly.   Ugh.  As fate would have it, the final 200yds were DOWNHILL.    I had a quick inspiration, recalling some saturday morning cartoons. I'm a genius.  I did a Fred Flintstone and quickly stuck out my cycling cleat and jammed the top of my foot onto the rear tire.   It shrieked loudly, the shoe fabric heating up quickly against the rubber sidewalls.  Sounded scary.   Spectators clapping for their buddies and friends now looked my way, nervously.   I continued my fast descent to T2, my foot mashed against the tire, my teeth gritting, jaw locked.  I looked around quickly, wondering what I could crash into that would cause the least damage.  I saw a fat dude with a Bojangles bag.  Surely he could take the brunt.   Nope.  Then, I saw a pickup truck with some surface rust.  That would hurt.   Then I saw a huge curb covered with a bed of brown prickly gum balls.  That would really hurt.    In a fit of inspiration, I mashed my shoe even harder and the tires squealed to slow.   I finally dismounted, right on top of the timing mat.  The race organizer frowned openly at me.  She Was Not Happy.   Oh well, lucky for her I didn't plow into the entire bike rack.   Really embarrassed,  I quickly dismounted, scrambled over to my transition and bolted for the run.   Tommy's vision was true.
After those adventures, my run was thankfully uneventful.  I wanted to quit at 3miles, however in running with Pat, he called me a huge pansy for even mentioning it.  He was right.  I surely could slog along a few more miles.   I am now many years removed from being a swift runner.  The pacing showed.   But, I got there.   What seemed like a marathon was actually only a 10k.   I jogged in slowly to the finish at just over 3hrs.   Happy.   Really happy.  I had completed my first triathlon in 2yrs.   I love this sport.
- Jeffries