Thursday, June 26, 2008

Ladies and gentleman, presenting...

I know you've been waiting with baited breath. Have a breathmint - the waiting is over.

The BIG announcement I talked about.... is officially open for perusing.

Although will continue to be a source for race reports and sponsor shout-outs, the new website is going to feature a ton of free fitness, nutrition, and wellness content, product reviews, triathlon coaching advice, podcast interviews, exercise and workout videos and bunch of other content for weight loss, performance, and holistic wellness.

Check it out and subscribe today for free!

Please, please, please - do me a huge favor and add the new blog to your list of favorites and share it with your friends. I promise to offer entertaining, fun and useful content every week. Let's get this new site all over the world wide web!

Monday, June 23, 2008

By the way...

Clarification after getting inquired earlier tonight...when I say "win a race", I'm talking about us among little age grouper dudes. I don't fancy myself anywhere near fast enough to do it in a pro field! Just thought I'd elucidate.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Ironman CDA Race Report

After elbowing my way to the front of the crowd on the beach at 7am Ironman morning, I had one specific goal:

Win the race.

The swim started strong. My plan was to swim consistently, and leave myself fresh for a solid bike. Although it felt like a 56:00 swim pace, I glanced at my watch coming out of the water and it was closer to a 59:00. I thought maybe it was because I only drafted for about 20% of the swim, but later that day, I spoke with a couple pros who were convinced that every swim was slower that day due to a strong current heading out towards the Spokane River. And we all know that pro triathletes are freakin' all-knowing, all-seeing gods, so this must be the case.

After about a 4 minute transition, I hopped on my Specialized Transition Pro and took off. My legs were really popping. I didn't even feel like I had a chain. At the Higgins point turnaround, I counted myself at 19th place and 6 minutes down from the leader, and knew I would catch most of the cyclists ahead, as they looked like swimmers.

And I did.

By mile 85, I was 90 seconds down on the leader and in 3rd place.

Then my world started to go black. I've never bonked in Ironman before, and at 350 calories per hour, thought it would be impossible. But my body immediately started craving solid food, so I pulled over to the mile 90 aid station, completely stopped, and ate 2 bananas, although what I really wanted was a Chicken Crave form Pita Pit, which avocado, and hummus, but no falafel. Light on the tzatziki sauce, please.

Sorry, back to the race...I was wavering back and forth standing at the aid station. It took about 5 minutes for the banana sugar to hit me. On pace to bike a 4:55, I was a bit annoyed at this interruption, but figured I could still make it back in around 5:00.

The legs never really felt right after stopping, and I rolled into T2 at about 5:06. I must say that my legs were shaved and shiny, so at least they *looked* good at this point.

Still, all I had to do was run a 3:09 marathon to win. In all my training runs, I've easily held a 7 minute pace, so figured the race was mine for the taking.

But once again, that's why they call it Ironman. After clicking away 12 to 13 miles at my desired pace, my IT bands gave out and never returned. They died and went to IT Band Heaven, leaving me here on earth to run with my big toes and groin muscles. My pace slowed by nearly a minute every mile, and I managed to drag it into the finish line with a personal record 9:46, somewhere as 12th overall age grouper and 3rd in age group. Top 25! I qualified for Hawaii, but I will be annoyed for weeks that I could have taken the race if I hadn't flubbed up with a couple silly mistakes. Big kudos to the smarter athletes who beat me, including locals Brian Hadley and Troy Nelson. You guys rock.

You know what irks me? Having a race in my grasp and letting it slip away. You know what irks me even more? The fact that I can't sit down to take a crap today without flailing all over the bathroom trying to stabilize my IT-bandless body. Irk.

Hey - big thanks to all my sponsors. Check 'em out on the right side of the page. Next stop, Lake Stevens 1/2 Ironman in two weeks, after a few serious massage sessions and some icing. I'm also going to be trying to win Lake Stevens, so it should be good, and I promise some cool fireworks and fast splits.


P.S. My next blog post I will officially unveil my special announcement I keep talking about.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Razors, Hacksaws and Ironman Coeur D' Alene 2008

Stay tuned just a *little* bit longer for that big announcement I mentioned in my last post - it's coming! Hint: it involves a boatload of free training and nutrition content from yours truly.

So anyways, before I layout the itinerary for Ironman Coeur D' Alene 2008, I promised I'd elucidate my plan for carrying 9 GU Roctane packs on each half of the bike loop. I'm using a Profile Design Razor bottle that I viciously assaulted with a hacksaw and a roll of duct tape. Here are the gory results:

Geez. That worked out pretty well. Let's look at this just a bit closer.

and yes, that's a perfect little tube-shaped portal in front for my salt tablets. Isn't that cute?

Total cost: Two hacksaw damaged fingers and $70 (yeah, that's a special little expensive carbon cage necessary for the Razor bottle).

For you doubters, I've performed ample beta-testing on rough and undulating terrain with varying amounts of GU Roctane tucked inside, and no casualties to date. And yes, that is one of the fastest bikes in the world - The Specialized Transition Pro, sans Zipp wheelset, courtesy Wheelsport East of Spokane.


OK, moving here is the official itinerary for those of you who want to know where I'll be on the course and when. Of course, you can also track me on (my race # is 78).

Swim Start: 7am.

Show up early. Parking is tough. The pros start at 6:35, so if you hear a cannon boom around that time, don't freak out and think you missed the age grouper start. Just keep your pants on and hustle to Coeur D' Alene City Park, where us age groupers will be shuffling out to the beach. Bring your stilts, as it's tough to see over the teeming masses, but if you get there on time and get a good seat, it's worth it. I'm the guy in the light blue swim cap and the Blue Seventy Helix wetsuit. It's like playing Where's Waldo, but every person on the entire page has striped shirts and reading glasses.

I'll slam 1 GU Espresso Flavored gel just prior to race start and then swim hard. I'll swim pretty consistently both loops, but push harder on the way out, because there's a bit of a current that brings you back in.


Swim to Bike Transition: I plan on coming out of the water around 7:50 to 7:55AM. It will take about 5 minutes to strip my wetsuit, suck down 200 calories of GU Roctane and slam a bit of water and Hammer Gel Endurolytes. I'll be munching on 1/2 of a Powerbar as I go easy on the first 5 minutes of the bike, then I'll bump up the intensity and be taking a GU Roctane every 20 minutes. Pretty straightforward. I've got CeeGees aero bottle full of clear water from which I take in 24-28oz/hr, refilling with water from aid stations.


Bike: First loop should take me around 2.5 hours, putting me rushing back down through Coeur D' Alene sometime close to 10:30am to start the second loop. Use your cell phone or laptop to find me otherwise, the tracking system is pretty good. If you really want to triangulate and GPS the hell out of this race, then estimate that I'll be traveling 21-23mph.


Bike Special Needs at 56 mile mark (Higgins Point), around 10:50AM: I'll grab a little baggy with 9 more GU's (the extras are in case I drop any out on the course) and another little canister full of salt tabs. Also, some pain pills for my back if I need them (I threw it out last week and it's been acting up).


Bike to Run Transition: Should be rolling into City Park again and off the bike around 1:00PM. You'll know I'm on pace if that's when I arrive! I'll take another 3-4 minutes in Transition to change into my Avia racing flats and grab a flask with 500 calories of GU Roctane in one hand and a bottle of salt tabs in the other hand. My goal is to finish off much of those 500 calories by taking a small 50-65 calorie sip at every other aid station and chasing it with a bit of water (I put extra calories in because it's hard to squeeze the last little bit out of that flask). I'll be taking E-caps at the other aid stations, so it'll be a gel sip at miles 1, 3, 5, 7, 9, 11, 13, and a salt capsule at 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, 12. That will come out to about 230-300 calories per hour and 4 E-caps per hour.


Run: Should be about 1 hour and 30-40 minutes on that first loop, so I'll be running back by city park sometime about 2:30 or 2:40 in the afternoon. It'll be just under 7 minute miles, hopefully. At special needs, halfway through the run, I'll grab another flask of GU Roctane and another tube of salt tabs.


Run to Finish: Second half of the run, I'll be pushing for closer to 1:30 than 1:40. About a 6:45 minute mile. Same plan for fueling, although for that last 10K, I'll start grabbing the flat Coke from aid stations, just because hey, it's Coke. And it's flat. What a tasty treat.


So that will put me at the finish line sometime close to just after 4pm. Best case scenario 4pm. Awesome race 4:05-4:15pm. I'll be happy if I roll in around 4:15 to 4:30pm. If it's gets too far after 4:30, keep looking for me, but it means I'm probably struggling a bit. Unless something goes very wrong, I'll for sure be there by 5:00pm. Same as the starting line, get there early or you might miss it!


It you still need a Team Greenfield t-shirt, let me know. I can probably hook you up with one sometime Saturday (I'll be around Coeur D' Alene). Thank you to all my sponsors, friends, and family for their support. Time to go kick ass.


Tuesday, June 17, 2008

But I'm not a little bitch.

This could be close to my last blog post on this blog ever. That's right. It's gonna be shutting down.

And getting replaced by something much, much bigger and better.

You'll just have to wait around and keep checking back to see what that much bigger and better actually is.

Anyways, so I know the picture is blurry, but that's because I'm going so fast. So fast that the only person who had the time to snap my photo was the the person with the good reflexes but the crappy camera. Way to go, kung-fu cameraperson with the disposable Kodak.

This race was a chance for me to test out my speed and swallow a little intensity pill before the big Ironman on Sunday the 22nd. Part of me thought it might be stupid to go race like a madman the week before Ironman Coeur D' Alene, and the other part of me thought, "What the hell...remember the days of the Bud Light series and the retro Scott Tinley and Dave Scott who raced every weekend, you little bitch."

So I raced.

Entering into the elite wave, which was the first of the day, I smeared Greyhound Juice all over my body as a test and threw my B70 Helix on. The swim was a bit ho-hum for me coming out, and I didn't really snap into action until about halfway through. Sometimes that happens, and it makes me think I need to warm-up longer, or just smear some freaking hair on my chest before the starting pistol. Geez.

Swim: 20:55, 11th overall

The 40K bike was, as was the case in my previous two races, friggin fantastic. I smoked the entire field, except the ultimate winner of the race and my good friend Roger Thompson (who must've had more air pumped into his tires than me). Thanks to Specialized for the Transition Pro.

Bike: 0:56:58, 2nd overall.

I came out of the 10K run knowing I had to put some time into Roger, and completely oblivious that there was another guy behind me who didn't start in the same wave as me, but had swam like 18 minutes and change. I think he rode a JetSki. I ran a 38:13 (yes, the course was slightly long), ended up with a total time of 1:59:19, won my division, and go tthird overall - beaten by Roger and some hairy Grizzly Adams looking dude who somehow swam despite all that hair on his face (Jeffrey Hendersen).

For my physical prowess, I received a medal and a yellow flashlight made in China. Damn, why did I not stick to tennis.

This was one of the bigger races in the Northwest race series, so I was happy with a 3rd and now I'm resting my legs for Ironman.

Hey, a huge thanks to all the sponsors listed on the right side of this blog. Please check out their pages and give them some business. If I had to give a particular shout out to anyone in particular for this race, it would be TN sunglasses, because I don't want to tell you how many people I rode by out of the first transition who were wiping fog off their glasses from the swim water. You can check out the TN's on the link over there, somewhere.


P.S. Remember, could be the last post. The big announcement is getting close now.

Friday, June 13, 2008

How to Stay Warm and Tingly During the Ironman Coeur D' Alene Cold Water Swim

I swam for about 35 minutes in Lake Coeur D' Alene at 53 degrees today, and did a little experiment. This stuff called "Greyhound Juice" is purported as a highly potent warming salve, traditionally used by cyclists to warm their legs in cold weather.

Well, Greg down at Greyhound Juice in Portland, Oregon shoved a few samples my way to try out, and they arrived this morning.

Being a highly scientific research-minded individual, prior to my icy swim I smeared my entire Right leg with Greyhound Juice, and let the Left leg go virgin.

Lo and behold, upon finishing, my Right leg was hot, tingly and warm almost in a kinky, sex-toy kind of way, while my Left leg was like a cold wet fish.

Final verdict: I am probably going to be smearing most of my body in Greyhound Juice 30 minutes prior to Ironman Coeur D' Alene.

Get yours here, at a discount (I used the Original Formula) and tell them that Ben Greenfield sent you. If you have any left over, it may be useful to spice up the bedroom with your significant other. Just don't burn any body parts off.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Not the World's Greatest Championships, eh?

Welcome to the official, unofficial, semi-official coverage of the ITU World Championship Triathlon, er, Duathlon, in Vancouver, British Columbia....

Just to give you an idea of what it's like to travel with two newborns, I am sitting in the driver's seat typing this entry with the computer in my lap, as we go on 2 hours parked in line at the USA/Canada border...River is screaming in the backseat and Jessa breastfeeds Terran. We'll switch soon. Jessa will write and I will breastfeed. There are some Japanese people playing soccer in the border-crossing park, and they may want to take a turn also.

People kept telling us we were brave to take an international vacation this soon with the two little guys, but I thought they were talking about the dangerous child kidnapping rings in Canada, not the fact that traveling and sleeping in strange places makes babies think their perfect little world is falling to pieces. But they'll learn.


The journey began out of Washington at 9am on Thursday morning. Driving to the Canadian border was fast and smooth, with a couple feeding stops for the kids. Here are the little guys crossing the border on their first official road trip:

That little white monument is the an ancient Canadian child sacrifice temple. How quaint.


We arrived at our bed and breakfast soon after crossing the border. I didn't get any pictures of the place, but it was a gorgeous, perfectly decorated Victorian style mansion, with immaculate cleanliness and a very sweet but insistingly neat hostess named Anne, who immediately recommended that we remove our shoes, and then followed us along, blotting drips of water from the floor and picking up tiny grass clippings that our shoes left by the door. She definitely raised an eyebrow at the kids, but what the heck, I thought. I warned her we had babies in tow.

She recommended dinner up the street at place called The Locust. It was tasty. Once again, as if on cue, the waitress approached our table, eyed the little guys, and said, "You two are SO brave!". What, for ordering the Ahi medium-rare, or bringing a baby into a restaurant? It's not like they're badgers. They're not going to gnaw your legs off if we let them out of their little kennels.

We had her snap a picture of us with the guys:


The next morning, we awoke for a French Toast breakfast, prepared by Anne, complete with gluten-free, non-preservative bread, organic fruit, and a lecture on probiotics and the benefits of soaking and sprouting beans. And I thought I was a health nut. After breakfast, I hopped on my Specialized Pro, sporting my fantastic new gear from Avia, and headed down to the race venue to check out the course and register.

Upon arriving at the race expo, there appeared to a be a slight amount of disorganization. Not only were most of the expo tents completely empty, with vendors deserting their booths because of the torrential downpour of rain, but when I inquired to a race organizer where I might find bike tech to change out my brake pads, they simply shrugged and said, "I think I saw some guy running around here earlier, but they don't have much. You should go to a bike shop."

May I insert here that this is the freaking ITU World Championships and the athletes have literally paid AN ARM AND LEG to be here and compete. We are supposed to be pampered with team doctors, massage therapists, chiropractors, bike mechanics, and guides, none of which seemed to exist when I showed up. They remained ghosts the entire weekend.

So I cycled around Vancouver, found a bike shop, changed out my brake pads in their wrench room, and went out to ride one 10K loop of the 40K bike course in Stanley Park. After finishing my ride in the rain-soaked conditions, I met up with Roger Thompson in the registration tent, and we headed up to the Team USA meeting.

The meeting was a bit of a joke. In a hotel ballroom stuffed with about 300 Team USA athletes, the Team USA officials held up barely legible handdrawn posters explaining the race course and map. All that was missing was little stick figure runners. Not only was the course slightly confusing, but c'mon people. This this the World Championships. A 6th grader could have figured out how to broadcast a Powerpoint.

BIG: We found out at the team meeting that due to low water temperatures, they decided to shorten the swim from 1500m to 900m. Hmm. Not happy about that. I'm a swimmer. Grow some hair on your chest or drop out of the race if you can't swim in cold temperatures. It's part of the competition, people.

The meeting ended with an invitation to the Team USA party, with the caveat that if we brought *anybody*, they would need to pay 50 bucks. Nice.


I met Jessa after the Team USA meeting and we grabbed some lunch, then went for a walk down to the beach, where I decided to check out this whole frigid water temperature thing. Throwing on my Blue Seventy Helix wetuit, with no cap, gloves, or booties, I headed down to the Pacific Ocean and jumped in.

Compared to Liberty Lake and Lake Coeur D' Alene, the water was B-A-L-M-Y. I immediately thought, "Are you kidding me? They shortened the swim for this?". Seriously, it was actually warm once I started swimming hard with the wetsuit on. I think of myself as a decent swimmer, and much stronger this year than previous years, so I was disappointed about getting robbed of 600 meters of the swim. That immediately steals away a few seconds of my advantage, which, in a race this brief, quickly adds up.

I also brought my bicycle over to bike check-in. This also appeared to be some kind of a weird joke. The ITU has pretty strict rules on bike geometries and equipment. But what appeared to be a twelve year old girl with braces and a ponytail took a glance at my bike and waved me on through. OK...glad to know they're policing this thing so carefully.


Despite not having payed the exorbitant Team USA shuttle bus fees, Jessa and I managed to sneak onto the Team USA bus and catch a ride back up to the host hotel later that evening, so we could avoid a 3 mile walk back to our car. It's amazing what you can do with twins in tow (Bus Driver: "Hey, nice babies!"; Us, "Yeah, boy are they ever excited to hop on this bus, well we better hurry!"). I felt slightly guilty, but the bus had about 30 extra seats, so what the heck.


I shaved my legs that night. I'm know for being the hairy legged caveman at the races, but research does show I'd shave a few seconds, which doesn't matter in Ironman, but in this race, could come in handy. The bathtub had alot of hair in it. Yes, that's right, matted hair and blood, everywhere. I emerged victorious from my battle with the razors, legs freshly shaved and madly burning.


The next morning, I woke at 6:15, hurriedly gathered my race belongings and head down to the race start. It was a blustery day. After weaving through the crowded downtown streets of Vancouver for 15 minutes, I thought, "I wonder what water conditions will be like today?". A second thought immediately followed, "I wonder why I left my WETSUIT hanging in the SHOWER back in the BED AND BREAKFAST?"

With the kids hooting in the backseat, we flipped a U-Turn and gunned it back to the B&B, grabbed the wetsuit, then headed back to the race, arriving at the transition area in a nick of time (each wave start is assigned specific times to "check-in" to transition, and a barely made it). This was just the beginning of a very weird day.


Quickly, I threw together my transition area, squirmed into my wetsuit, and sprinted to the swim start, which was *nearly a mile run* down a concrete path. You would've thought the ITU would have prepared athlete shuttles or perhaps a more proximate swim start, but this wasn't the case.

In retrospect, I should have brought an extra pair of shoes.

Already, several waves had started their swims, and as I danced down the gravel-laden path, I watched athletes fighting against the swells in the Pacific Ocean, created by strong winds in English Bay. FUN. I was stoked. I love difficult swims and was excited to potentially come out of the water in a strong place.


Breathless, I arrived at the swim start. Just as I was preparing to jump into the ocean and begin warming up for my start, a voice came booming across the loudspeaker, "ATTENTION ATHLETES, DUE TO INCLEMENT WEATHER CONDITIONS, WE HAVE POSTPONED EACH WAVE BY 1 HOUR."


It was true. My 9:15 start suddenly became a 10:15 start.

Hundreds of belated swim start athletes how huddled in the "Athletes Lounge" (basically a big circus tent), wrapped in silver space-age warming blankets and waiting to swim. Meanwhile, the other athletes in the waves who had already started were out racing on the course. This was turning into an interesting scenario.

Jessa was already at the swim start ready to watch me begin, and now was stuck in the athletes lounge with our two crying, hungry babies. We found a corner of the tent and a chair, and set-up an area for her to feed while waiting for the delayed swim start. What'll it be, a powerbar harvest bar, or a boob?



Hell broke loose.

Six hundred athletes huddled in the tent now rose as one body and began trampling each other in their haste (excitement?) to go back to transition. Seemed alot of the non-swimmer skinny athletes with tiny shoulders were especially happy about this scenario. I was amazed at the number of people who seemed *relieved* not to have to swim! Are you kidding me? GROW A PAIR. If you can't swim, then go home. There's a reason the sport is called triathlon. Sure, one cool thing about triathlon is the fact that anybody can compete, but at the World Championship of Triathlon, you don't make exceptions for weak swimmers. That's why it's the World Championships. These are supposed to be the best of the best, in all 3 sports.

Later, I found out that lifeguards were also complaining about people getting blown towards shore and ending up on rocks. So maybe part of it was the lifeguards. Either way, I was royally pissed about not getting to swim. Guess I could have left my wetsuit at home after all.


I slammed a bottle of Nuun and a Bumblebar for my "second" breakfast and headed back down to the original transition, Jessa and twins in tow. My wetsuit was warm, so I kept it on. Good for something. Thanks, Blue Seventy.


Finally, close to 2 hours after the originally scheduled start, I was standing in line with 109 of the best 25-29 year old age groupers in the world, waiting for the 3K run start. Scores of countries were represented, including Mexico, Brazil, Canada, New Zealand, Great Britain, USA, Australia. No longer needing a wetsuit, I was now clad in my official Team USA uniform.


There goes the starting signal and we're off!


Granted, none of us knew where the hell we were going. The race officials simply pointed and questioningly said, "That-a-way?" Somehow, during the one hour postponed swim delay, the ITU had thrown together some haphazard 3K with randomly placed timing mats and cones. It wasn't until after the race and looking at the completely muddled computer results that I found out how "thrown together" the whole thing really was.


I'm not a duathlete. Don't claim to be. I hate running "cold", meaning prior to my swim-bike. My 3K legs felt stale and I stayed "middle-of-the-pack" throughout. I think I was about 39th heading into bike transition, which was a complete cluster because we all piled into bike transition within about a two minute time span.


Once again, similar to my last race, the bike felt fantastic. I'm riding the Specialized Transition Pro, from Wheelsport East. Here's how my bike splits progressed (thanks to Phaedra Cote for sending this to me):

1st 10k bike: 9:56 39th place
2nd 10k bike: 24:17 gross time 15th place
3rd 10k bike: 38:15 8th place
Bike finish: 51:57 (1:41 back from leader) 6th place

As you can see, I had one of the fastest bike splits of the day, passing 32 people in my division. I FLEW. If my bike feels this good for Ironman Coeur D' Alene, and I think it will, my race will be dynamite.

I had 300 calories of tasty mango-flavored GU Sport Drink in my aero bottle, but I barely touched it. I was too busy trying to steer.

This was because the bike course was another cluster. About 1200 people were packed into a four lap, 10K bike course that was poorly marked and poorly officiated. Drafting abounded. There were large packs of riders everywhere. Several times, I came across riders completely wiped out on the side of the road.

At one point, as I climbed a gradual grade on the backside of the course, an ACTUAL OFFICIAL ON A MOTORCYCLE ordered me to move to the right because, GET THIS PEOPLE, there was a *pack* of riders coming up behind me. Are you kidding me? This guy is supposed to be officiating the drafting and he's actually "paving the way" for the packs. Unbelievable.


I came into 10K transition pretty excited, because I knew I was flying on the bike and I had a chance to run in my sleek new black Avia racing flats. I slammed a GU Espresso Gel and came rumbling out of transition.

Unfortunately, although I ran a 37:19 10K (right around my anticipated speed), I was disappointed. The aid stations were completely disorganized, with untrained people nervously clutching cups of gatorade and water as 75 year old age grouper women stumbled through the aid stations clutching this way and that for water and 25 year old competitors sprinted past, trying not to knock them or the volunteers over. People weren't even letting go of the water cups, they were just kinda holding them as you tried to wrestle the cup out of their hands. The 10K was a confusing 3 loop course, again littered with random timing mats and confused race officials.

Get this: several people in my division didn't even run all 3 loops. They just did 1 or 2 loops (anywhere from 4K to 7K) and then sprinted through to the finish. Hell, the winner in my division appears to have run a 22 minute 10K according to the online results. Yeah, rrrright.

Of course, there was ONE solitary person standing at the Y between the finish line and the loops, with absolutely no clue who was going where or which loop anyone was on. It was a complete fiasco. I grew more and more disappointed during the run as I realized that nobody seemed to know what was going on.

This race was similar to shouting fire in a crowded movie theatre. Except the movie theatre was the stage for what was supposedly the most important race in the world.


I crossed the finish line in 1:44:02. According to the online race results, I was 24th out of 109. I don't know how many people ahead of me skipped parts of the run. I'd be happy if I was top 20 for my World placing, but we'll see. After the race I popped some Recoverease, iced up my slightly sore knees (hey, I've got Ironman in 2 weeks!) and met back up with Jessa and the boys.


We hung out for awhile and made a few feeble attempts to interpret the posted race results. While Roger Thompson and I stood in the tent scratching our heads over the completely messed up results (included 14 minute transitions?), a race official approached and KICKED US OUT of the athlete's lounge, because they need to have a race official meeting. Um...OK? Isn't this the ATHLETES LOUNGE? We hung out on the beach for awhile (in what turned out to be a gorgeous sunny afternoon) then headed back 10 blocks to the car which Jessa had parked after dropping me off at the race that morning.


We got back to the car and it wasn't there.

"Jessa, are you sure this is where you parked?!"



I spent the next hour calling police stations and towing companies in an attempt to track down our car, spending my entire month's mortage on the wonderful and generous 53 cent/minute international cell phone plan from ATT.

I spent the next month's mortgage paying parking tickets and towing fees after riding my bike across the entire city of Vancouver to retrieve our car.

Much thanks to Mark Hodgson and the Roger Thompson family for helping take care of Jessa and the boys, then feeding us after I hunted down our rig.

Wow. What a day.


That evening, the kids were grumpy from their long day in the sun at Stanley Park at the race. They squirmed and wiggled and screamed and cried there in the immaculate bed and breakfast room. They have thrush also, a type of yeast infection of the mouth. Jessa has been treating their thrush with Violet Gentian. It is like India Ink. Anything it touches, it immediately stains. The insides of their mouths stay purple for days after she applies just the tiniest drop.

While feeding the kids, Jessa accidentally elbowed the bottle of Violet Gentian and sent if flying across the room, where it splattered the walls, cupboards, bedside furniture and carpet of our perfect little B&B room.

We looked at each other in horror. It was late, we couldn't buy cleaning supplies, and we had no clue what we would tell Anne. I shuddered at what she would do upon seeing this disaster. We spent an hour trying to clean the mess, then decided to just let her know in the morning and hope we wouldn't get thrown in some kind of cruel Canadian prison.


So that's about it. Who know when (and if) we'll ever see official results from this race. Who knows if Anne can ever forgive us. I'll never again judge a race by its cover, or an innocent bottle of baby medicine by its label. I was excited for this race because I thought it'd be an amazing venue. But no matter the prestige or showcase nature of the event, sometimes it ain't that way.

We'll spend the next few months paying off parket tickets, towing fees, and room refinishing bills.

But you know what?

It's all worth it, because life is one great big adventure and we're living it.

Over and out,