Monday, December 19, 2011

New Blog!

  Decided I needed to create a new blog and leave this one behind for a nice change of pace. Sometimes we need to find a new way to rejuvenate us in our journey and I thought this may very well help. Check out and follow me at my new blog.

http://over30andunder15.blogspot.com/2011/12/2012-another-year-of-progress-goal.html

The title of my blog is "Over 30 and under 15? Take a look to see why that is.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Recap: Savannah a city of running and funning

Cell Phone shot from Wayne Lamperski's Cell phone at 19.5 miles. LIFT OFF!

 Here is a recap of the weekends events in Savannah, Ga along with 24,000 of my other running buddies.



   I arrived into town on Thursday afternoon just in time to pick up my race packet and to meet my good friend Logan at the expo. Kent was still in limbo about actually attempting the race but after a 2.5 mile run that night it was pretty much decided there was no way he could do 13.1 miles unfortunately. After the disappointment of his run we hit town for dinner and then to some bars. Yea, I would say most of my runner crazy friends wouldn't go out 2 days before there marathon to have a couple tall boys.

   On Friday I had to wake up and deal with a few hours of work from the hotel room which began to stress me a bit, I was ready to race and get away from all of it. At lunch time I set out to get a fresh cut from the barbershop for race day and then Kent I found some hole in the wall Mexican joint. While sitting at the bar, I ordered a Margarita and it was awesome! The owner talked to us about how the race course would screw over Savannah and tourism because they ran it through the ghetto and we needed to pack heat while on the course, sweet!  Back to the hotel to wait for Karin and to enjoy the free wine in the lobby of kent's hotel, good for the heart!

  Race morning Karin and I woke up at 4:30am before heading to the shuttles which took us about 35 minutes to ride into town. We were worried to say the least after we were about 4 miles from town and we saw a sign on the interstate that said "6 Savannah". Made our way to Kent's hotel to drop off a few things and prepare for the race. Off to the start, I grabbed a 5hr energy and popped it back for some reason, not the best choice on race morning since I never use them ha.

   Spotted Joe Lanser quickly in the 1st corral and  then it was "oh was that the start gun?" and we are off. Joe and I kept the pace kind of all over the place for the 1st few miles for some reason, the 1st mile was slow but I could care less, we had 25 miles to make up for it! Joe kept picking up the pace and I had to remind him of the 6:05 pace we agreed upon and after 7 miles miles I think that Joe really was getting to antsy to stay back with me especially after finding out we were in the top 12 or so for the marathon.  He took off at 8 miles with some foreigner and he sailed away from me while I settled back into the prescribed pace. I tried chatting with other runners on the course but I could never get anything out of them, except fleet feet Savannah's Chris Ramsey. As the half marathon split off I was pretty much running solo minus one guy in front of me. The whole race I knew my stomach didn't feel great and after an attempt at taking a gel at 12 miles my stomach really bothered me and as I approached the 13 mile mark I started eyeing any porta potty I could find. Just after 13 miles I found one, hopped off of the course into a parking lot and took care of business then hit the streets again.

  I picked up the pace quickly as I had two sub 5:50 miles while I was trying to make up the time I lost with my pit stop. I could see people ahead of me from a distance and I kept the pace steady from then on. My calves were getting very tight at this point and it scared me a bit so I continued to hold back, even though I felt I had more to give. My stomach continued to bother me the remainder of the race so at 15 miles I took a sip of water and called it a day, Gel at 6 miles , then half a gel at 12 miles and that would be it for the entire day. We hit some mega headwinds for the marathon portion of the race, it was crazy how a back street turned into a corridor of wind and your pace quickly would slow. I tried sprinting 50-60 yards off and on in an effort to keep my pace steady but even running as hard as I could I could only maintain 5:50's on that 50yard stretch into the wind.  Hitting the highway I noticed there was a stream line of competitors ahead of me including Joe, let's go for it! I was fatigued and needing some fuel but I just kept grinding it out. Passing one, then another, I caught Joe just before 24 miles and told him to hang behind me and keep focused. I felt like all of the guys I passed were letting my block the wind but it didn't matter i felt pretty decent, I was determined to keep working to break them all.

    As we hits the last mile on the streets I was getting pretty tired and wanting to see the finish ASAP, I asked a cyclist who was riding behind me how far away the finish was. Usually you get a "man you are almost there, its around this corner" but this guy destroyed me. I passed the 40k mark about 4-5 minutes before I asked him and then he says "uhhh you have about 2 miles yea, bout 2." thanks buddy!! On my way to the end of the race I saw Karin, Jess, Anne Marie and my grandmother cheering me on to break 2:40. I knew it wouldn't happen on the clock but on my watch there was still a chance. As I made my way around the bend I gave it everything I had while looking at my watch 2:39:40,41,42....2:39:52 at the line on my watch, I knew I in fact broke 2:40 with my actual running time, I am happy with that!

- That night we all hit the town to celebrate, good times for sure!


  All in all I was very happy, I was dancing on the course, literally through some water stops, yelling at the people to get "hype" and to "put em up", I was fan favorite for sure amongst the leaders. Looking over my logs, my plan to use local races as speed work really paid off. I never really had any marathon training minus a few long runs and one attempt at MP for 4.5 miles on the green way.  NYC 2012 may have me shooting to chop a few minutes off of my mark and maybe go into the Paul Mainwaring range of 2:35, who knows. Special thanks to Mary Jane, Stan and Wayne Lamperski for coming out and supporting me along the course!





Saturday, November 5, 2011

Back in Action! Savannah 26.2 Miles to Rock N Roll



   This is my 1st time posting since my return back into the states and it is an exciting post to say the least.  I am sitting at my work station at the Hampton Inn in Savannah, Ga just a couple hours before I turn in for a good nights rest before my extremelly early 4:30am wake up before venturing to the Savannah Mall to take a shuttle in to town for the Start.

   For those who do not know I signed up for the Rock N Roll Savannah Marathon months ago while still in Australia hoping for maximum fitness by the time I arrived back into the US. My surprising brush with death that ended with a shattered arm, expensive bills, and a pretty slow recovery is where I am at right now. My comeback has been pretty good as my miles haven't been over the top as sometimes I GO FOR IT and increase my mileage rapidly to get my fitnesss caught up, but this time I didn't.


    The game plan for the morning is to drop into Kent's Hotel room before the race for a quick bathroom break and to drop off some clothes before snaking my way through 24,000 people towards the front. Say my goodbye's to Karin before I start my long journey and hopefully find Joe Lanser in the crowd. Either way by the mile, I should see Joe as we plan to pace together as long as possible. My hopes are that we can maintain sub 6:15's and then pick it up as the race progresses. My training has not pointed to those results for the Full Marathon but I have foolish hope and optimisim that i will be able to out something fairly decent with my lower mileage weeks.


     Karin is also running in the half marathon, fresh off of a Half Marathon PR in NY but unfortunately after the race in NY her PF problems caught up with her. She is running the race for fun, but I wish her the best and hope that she can truly enjoy the Rock N Roll experience. Look for the both of us as well as Carolyn Maye, Dalena Custer, Michelle Hazelton, and Alex Wernikof out on the course with I freshly printed "TrySports" black and white team singlets!


Special Thanks to TrySports for providing some awesome racing gear, The Running Centre in Perth, WA for providing me with some Sweet Saucony Racing flats and to Mary jane, Stan and Wayne Lamperski who traveled to Savannah to cheer me on!


Monday, August 15, 2011

16,000 Miles to Home: Part Deux (Going back to Cali)

SAN FRANCISCO
   

    After departing New Zealand and anticipating the arrival back into my home country, once the plane landed the next few days of my life would change. Here I am in a suit, pulling 2 very large suitcases, I have a backpack filled to the brim and another satchel draped over me while trying to figure out the easiest way to get into the city to finally rest in my hotel room. After paying for my BART transit ticket, I was nearly to my hotel, I could feel the soft bed just in thought, since I had not slept very much on the plane. Onto the tram, "wow" I thought, there are a few more people on this thing than our light rail back home. This is just the beginning!!!!!!!!!!!!
   
     As I am standing up on the BART, basically occupying 3 spaces, people begin to file in at each stop. I am sweating through my suit now, people are all around, this is insane, I need to click my heels and get to Kansas. Well I evaluate the situation and realize a lot of people have rainbow shirts and even face paint with similar colors. The final piece to the puzzle was a teenage whom entered the tram with his friends in some strange outfit with "Gay" written all over his face. Holy Ish, it's the one weekend out of the year I randomly book a flight to California for a surprise early return home and its Gay Pride Weekend.

Wow

View from Hotel Metropolis

   It was an insane experience for me wondering the streets and seeing naked people just walking around. San Fran is slightly different than the conservative south I am used to. The culture is so open especially on that weekend, I do not have any bad feelings towards lifestyle selections at all, but it was just a culture shock to me, it blew my mind! I took a couple pictures from my hotel room (which was on the parade route) before I closed the curtains and passed out for 2 hrs. After my Friend Glenn arrived later in the night to the city we went out to grab a bite to eat. While waiting around I walked the streets a bit to just get a better knowledge of my surroundings and found a hole in the wall Mexican joint. It was amazing to say the least but we had an interesting experience waiting in line because the ghetto girls in front of us were the rudest people I had ever came across my life!

Fisherman's Wharf
   
    After checking out the sights and sounds of the city for a few days, Mr. Carroll and I set off for the Muir woods and Yosemite National forest in our Ford Focus rental car. We slammed the car with all of our luggage from our stays in Australia and New Zealand. Exploring the Muir Woods was pretty impressive especially for being just 15 min outside of the city. The trees were huge, the surrounding bush was bright green and the sun was peaking through the tree towers. Since Glenn has plans to establish himself as a professional photographer, we took a lot of time to take pictures.

 
   Since we had the rental car, I decided to make it my own Indy car through the rolling turns and tires screeched every 15 seconds, it was exciting, to me anyways haha. After taking some great pictures we hit the road for a long night drive into the Yosemite national forest. Once we arrived into the park around midnight, we stopped shortly after to sleep on the side of the road in our trusty focus. This car was beyond jam packed with 2 grown men,  several extra large suitcases and sports bags. This trip was sure to have a stench by the end of it! This was the worst night of sleep ever, I had to hope out of the car 4 times to pee and I at no point was comfortable to sleep. At 6am I woke Glenn up eagerly to move into a different area with the possibility of finding a spot to take a nap.

   After venturing into the Yosemite National Forest living quarters, we realized how many people came through the same week as July 4th. Car upon car filed through but thankfully we were able to get most of our sights and pictures taken before it was shoulder to shoulder with people on the trails.




    In a short summary of the Yosemite forest trip I found out that Glenn. who keep in mind is an Eagle Scout, thought that Yosemite was pronounced "yo-se-mite" as in rhymes with "gross might", on my 3rd night without showering as I was washing my feet off in the frigid cold river I felt like Jesus, and I realized that in certain circumstances I do not need a large soft bed to sleep in after all. One of the adventures from our explorations was the small crack in our windshield that literally grew across the entire window by the end of our trip. We also had a very interesting last night in San Fran as I took the BART to the airport because our rental car was blocked in by another car and Glenn decided to take it in the AM before his flight left. While I was attempting to sleep at the airport under a bench, I realized that I in fact had the keys to the rental car and all of the trains were stopped until 2 hrs after my flight left.  After all the stress I found an Asian gentleman whom barely spoke any English to promise to take the keys to the hotel for $10 and if he didn't do so I would track him down and kill him.

    The trip across the world was quite the success was worth every minute and topping it off with my trip to California made it even more memorable. There is so much that I could elaborate on but you will just have to ask me in person if you run into me. To top everything off I ended my Independence Day in the luggage section of my childhood friends SUV covered in a tarp while he spoke to me mom. She opened the hatch and I popped up much to her surprise, tears were shed by my sister and my mom, it as great to be home and to completely surprise my family on such a big day. It was great to see so many people once again whom I had missed while away. Seeing my Granny and pappy also made me happy after all that they have done for me while I was away. One thing is for sure, I have a lot of special people in my life!!!

Enjoy some other random pictures from My time in Cali!

 
     

Aquarium in Fisherman's Wharf


San Fran from the Bay

G$ and the Focus after our 1st Night in Yosemite
View into the Valley from the highest overpass in Cali

Friday, July 29, 2011

16,000 miles to home: part 1 (NZ)

Mt. Ngauruhoe summit. IN THE CLOUDS!


Auckland Sky Tower
   After plotting out my trip back across the world months ago I was able to explore some fascinating places, many of which I couldn't even comment on because it would give away the surprise that I was in fact coming to town the weekend of July 4th as a surprise. While away, I was so fortunate to visit some pretty colorful sights and enjoy the sounds of some interesting personalities. All in all, I traveled from Perth, Western Australia to Auckland New Zealand, to San Francisco, California. My time in New Zealand and California consisted of nearly one month of not working and bumming around mostly, a rather eye opening experience as a back packer.

   My friend Glenn (aka G$) traveled all around the South Island of New Zealand, complete with stops at the Rotorua thermal pools, Lake Taupo (IM NZ site), and the Tongariro Crossing. Most of the time it was overcast while visiting and it got pretty old honestly. One of the coolest things we were able to do was to Summit Mount Ngauruhoe on the Tongariro Crossing, which was one of the most difficult things I have ever encountered in my life. Once hitting the top of the Volcano with its perfect cone we set around and had a few beers to soak in the sights. On the way down, I thought I may literally die, after getting past the initial ice covered peak while sliding down at a very uncomfortable, potentially deadly speed, we had about 5,000ft ahead of us to reach our van. The night before our incredible journey, we arrived at the base and as I looked up, I saw the most amazing thing, stars covered the sky like a blanket, BRILLIANT!.

Rotorua Mud springs
  One thing that was a new experience for me was back packing and living in hostels, most of which were inhabited by people who barely spoke English. The last hostel I was fortunate to sleep in consisted of 12 people in one single room which was about 15 x 18 in size, what a smell! On my last day in Auckland I hooked up for a long run with Josh Rawlinson, the guy who blew my doors off at the Run Auckland 10k. This was my 4th run in 4 weeks and surprisingly I was able to knock out 2hrs and 9 minutes without falling to pieces. Thanks again Josh, it was great to meet you and your wife, good luck on your quest for sub 1:10 in November!

   Dreading the long flight ahead to San Francisco, I was so fortunate to sit in premium economy on the top deck of our 747. The guy who set next to me was awesome, a very well traveled person who was going to san fran for a bachelors party, so we had a lot to chat about. The food was great and the service was incredible, I think I had 4 jack and cokes, 1 gin and tonic and 2 glasses of wine in the 1st 2hours of the flight! (and champagne on arrival to my seat). Those of you who know me, know I can't sleep on planes so I figured why not just drink myself to sleep, well it still did not work! My adventures and pictures of California in part 2, enjoy some additional pics I took while in NZ
Sleeping Arrangement!

Rugby!
   


You read it yourself


View from the Rotating Sky Tower at Night


Monday, June 20, 2011

BLOODY NEW ZEALAND! Tales from Auckland

You can't see the outer layer of my leg is missing along with my right butt Cheek scared up!!!



Three weeks ago I signed up for a 10k road race in Auckland, New Zealand, just excited at the chance to race in another country. I didn’t know about the course or the people that had previously raced it, but I knew that the winner had run 33:59 in 2010 so I had a chance at winning. As the day would unfold I would be able to add running up a volcano twice, running through rain and mud, and having a session with medical workers to my list of things done while in New Zealand.
                The day prior to the race I decided it would be best to run from my hostel, to the race site so that I knew exactly how to get there the morning of the race. Sun was actually shining, I had just awoken from a nap and I hit the road in route for “western springs park”. After making it about 2.5 miles the roof just opened up from above and the rain just came by the buckets. All in all I ended up running 7.6 miles in order to find this park and run back in the torrential downpour. The night prior to the race I would once again wake up at 4am and fail to fall back asleep. After my flight through the night directly to Auckland from perth, I managed to not even catch 1 minute of sleep and go right into the Auckland morning. I had been lacking sleep critically, as I have been laying down around 11pm and waking up between 3 and 4am every night. The night of the race was no exception, in fact I just decided to go downstairs and have a small breakfast before the udder fatigue just begin to set in.

                Arriving at the race most likely looking aged by 10 years I had a nice warm-up and the “Run Auckland” set up looked pretty legit surrounding the start/finish of the race. I tucked away my track suit behind some tents and made my way to the starting line realizing that I could not remember the last time I had actually put on deodorant because of all of this back and forth traveling haha. The gun blast off and people all fly out in front of me, but I take my time to aim in on the 2 front runners who have distanced themselves from the pack and pursue. We hit our 1st kilometer in 3:12 which was all gradual uphill, just a bit too fast for me but I was able to tuck in fairly comfortable. We passed 2k in a slower 3:19 distancing ourselves from 4th place by a good margin. I took the lead and began to push the pace just as we turned a corner to look at the wall that soon we would be running up. The course was on/around a dormant volcano so basically we had to run straight up the back side of this volcano twice for the 10k!!! After managing to get pretty heavily into oxygen debt the top 2 runners hit the 5k mark just in front of me while I was happily surprised to be a 16:53 with that climb.
                Now for the juicy part of the days racing! I had 2nd place in my sights as the eventual winner just broke both of us. This time we had to run around all of the 5k runners who were released 15 minutes after our race, what a chore! These people blocked the sidewalks completely so it was a zig zag for literally 5k which slowed all of us down and drained any extra energy that we could have had. As I approached the climb once again, my spirit was broken from the fantasy of winning, I could hear some foot steps behind me, then I heard breathing. Breathing from a little boy or a girl, holy crap! I knew that there was a local woman who had been winning some of the races overall in some pretty fast times but I didn’t think it could be her, it was of course. She just flew up the volcano with her short choppy strides while I looked like a freak extending my legs a bit too long and eventually I began a nice walking pace.           Once I got to the top the woman was almost out of sight, I passed the 2nd place guy who was bent over at the top of the hill and then heard someone quickly approaching. I found a heart somewhere inside and convinced myself to dig a little deeper and begin with some surges. I was making my way through the hundreds of 5k runners or walkers should I say. Jumping in the grass, sinking my feet into the wet muddy grass then back onto the sidewalk for a few brief steps before 2 more women completely blocked the sidewalk we were racing on. “Ok just 2k or so to go lets rock it man, don’t be a P^$$y, MAN UP!”. I am running downhill between all these people, I glance at my watch as the 9th k clicks and I am going 4:41 mile pace at this point, woooo. Now to just plan my maneuver ahead between the 5 women half walking and running on this slippery wet surface. “I can make it between them before I hit the power pole, Oh Sh*t, I can’t make it”. So I take a sharp cut right as if I was Barry Sanders and then that’s when all hell broke loose for me.
                I am bracing myself for this mega fall down hill on this rocky pavement, BOOM SKIIDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDD. I am sliding on my right side just ripping into my knee and then I basically collapse into two women from behind almost knocking them over. They are in a panic, screaming, “oh my god are you ok, oh no, oh no!!!”. The only thing I am thinking is, “this is going to hurt later but I am not going to lose my 3rd place, get up Chris!”. I pop up the best that I can and yell to the concerned women, “I will sort it out later!” and continue my onward drive to the finish. The guy behind me of course passes me on this stretch while I am gathering myself again so I pop in behind him. We hit the last 600m and we are running on wooden planks that can carry at the most 2 people wide and from all of the rain, the volcano surface has turned into mud and washed down onto the planks. We are slipping and sliding, at the verge of a fall at any moment, trying to dice between other 5k runners. We both slip off of the little wooden deck into the swampy mud but catch ourselves for one last blast to the finish 100m away. I know I have a lot more left in the tank so I roll past him to the line and wrap up my 3rd place.
                After the race I look down and see blood running down my leg and people begin asking if I am ok. The medics luckily were on hand and took me inside the ambulance to begin cleaning my wounds and wrapping them up. The outer skin layer of my anterior tib was pretty much removed completely and my knee has a few nice slices that will be some sweet war wounds to talk about in the future. After waiting around for 90 minutes for awards, they do not give anything out and I may point out that they provide no food at the finish, only one bottle of water! It was a long 3.5 mile walk back to my hostel with my leg all banged up and the on again off again showers. What an experience!!!! Up next is a hiking adventure over some snow capped mountains, hopefully I can stay on my feet!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Australia: Home or Holiday?

          As the time has quickly approached for my departure back home with stops in New Zealand, then San Francsico, I have had a lot of time to reflect. When I arrived in Western Australia, I was so excited to meet the people with the funny accents, to see some beautiful beaches and check it off on the list of things to see. After a couple months of gathering an understanding of the culture a bit, I hit the Triathlon season with a furry and my life was consumed to finally put forth the work in order to come out on top at the end of the season at Busso 70.3. Post Busso’s unfortunate happenings after the culmination of hours of sweat, fatigued, pain, and suffering, I have been able to take these last few weeks to reflect on life; life in Australia and the thought of a lifelong stay in Australia.
            Spending much of my time in Australia on a bike, running or swimming, I have met so many unique people, people whom will stick with me until the day I die I am sure.  These unique people sacrifice many of the facets in life that I really appreciate including nightlife, especially hitting the dance floor as many know. One thing we all have in common is the fact that we want to push our individual limits while motivating others along the way. As previously mentioned, I am leaving for New Zealand in less than 1 week time, where I am sure I will meet a few other interesting personalities, but for some reason I am not sure it will top my Australian experience. As Cody began to set up my “Farewell Party” or as Cody calls it “1 Less Bogan” (“1 less redneck” for the Americans reading), it truly hit me that I will undoubtedly miss this place. Thinking about the people I see on a daily basis who approach me with a smile, a handshake, or a hug makes me a bit sad.
            While living abroad and attempting to create opportunities back home in the US, I have realized it is certainly difficult, especially with the time difference for communication. While I have dropped the bomb that I am leaving to many of my aussie friends, they asked me when I was coming back, as in coming back for good.  Hmmm that’s an interesting thought to say the least, live in AUSTRALIA forever? What is holding me back, why shouldn’t I? It sounds like pure bliss sometimes, I can’t lie, but the fact of the matter is that I really miss those people who share my blood line and have the same surname. Perhaps there will be an opportunity to come back to my 2nd home again in the future but for now I am concentrating on arriving back to the states in the coming months. Wait a second, home?
 
           Home where I will be faced with the daily pressure from our corporate society and looked upon as a failure if I choose to enjoy life as opposed to working an infinite number of hours at an office? Wow, I can’t wait to get back to the rat race and worry more about the type of car that I am driving as opposed to opening my horizons with time spent next to my loved ones.
 
            Recently I had a very interesting chat with a couple other “foreigners” who now call Western Australia home and I could just feel how passionate they were about living here. This place just does something to make you free, free in spirit and in mind, maybe it’s just the change that some of us need to reach our state of NIRVANA? Either way, I can see how this very laid back, coffee sipping, cocktail slurping culture can draw people into its web of natural beauty. The people I have encountered make my Australian experience the most grand in so many ways. My friends truly make training apart of their lifestyle in every way and the great thing is that their families/partners openly accept their dedication to improve upon themselves through sport. I have been in relationships myself where my companion just could not quite grasp the concept of leading a life of ambition to push the boundaries of my mind and body, but it appears as if most people are switched onto that notion here.
Northbridge Piazza
             
              As a reference to how ideal this place is for me, I will simply state “NORTHBRIDGE”. Northbridge is the mecca for the nightlife in Perth, as it has more than enough to offer a person who enjoys getting out and socializing to the pulsating sounds of music. Pubs, eateries, clubs, even an outdoor movie area in the middle of the square, this place is what Charlotte’s “The Epicentre” wants to be. Minus the normal weekend occurrence of some drunken fights and a few glassing incidents, this place is pretty awesome; I just wished I had been here when I was about 19 and it would be absolute heaven! One thing I dread when heading home is the guys that sit in the toilet on a stool, bumping gangsta rap and asking for a tip to hand you a paper towel, it just doesn’t happen here. In fact I have recently experienced the comedy scene that Perth has to offer, then several different stops which many of my friends like to call their home base, each one just great and perfectly suited for the area.
             
                Home? Home is where the heart is? Well is my heart here or there, another wrench tossed in my plans of course. Well my decision is final, this place is GREAT, and it’s certainly almost like a heaven on earth in several ways for me, but my heart is with the people who have been an integral part of my life, well, forever, FAMILY. I have been to some incredibly breathtaking places while being abroad and at times it hit me how much more fascinating it would be to have my mother or my little brothers here to share it with. Taking the biggest leap of faith and moving to Australia, even for the short amount of time I have been here, was the best decision I have ever made. Obstacles in my future have been knocked down just that much more, now knowing that I can succeed to the far corners of the world.
            I can NEVER show enough appreciation to those who have taken me in as family since being in Perth. The Angell family has been the guiding light to get me through the dark, pitch black cave of life and out on to the bleached white sands of optimism.  The gang at the Running Centre have been amazing as well, kudos to Raf Baugh for letting me grab some of his extra confidence, Jason Nuttman for giving me just a bit more swagger, Nathan Doig for finally enlightening me to something called style, and the members of Club Helena Valley for flogging me on those 2hr runs through the hills, then degrading me at the IGA for being a soft yank, I LOVE YOU GUYS!.  I could, and perhaps will, write a book about my experiences here, from the amazing dedication that my coach Paul Mackay revealed, to the inspiring words from 2:13 Marathoner Ray Boyd provided me(poof), or perhaps the in depth conversation with Australian 1500m record holder Ryan Gregson about the state of my home NBA team the Charlotte Bobcats. So many memories, so many people; young, old, insightful, on the piss, flogged, and intense, in every fashion thought possible. In closing I can say without a doubt in my mind, I WILL BE BACK!!! I may not be coming back “for good” but expect a visit in the next 2 years. 
Going to miss running along the river daily


IF YOU ARE READING THIS, THANK YOU FOR PRETENDING THAT I AM COOL ENOUGH TO TALK TO YOU WHILE IN PERTH and if you are ever on the East Coast of the US, message me, mi casa es su casa!

-        
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Sunday, June 5, 2011

HBF: Run for my Lung 4k

HBF Run for a Lung 4k

CL, Microwave (marc), and Cody

After two weeks of attempting to stuff myself with ice cream post Half Ironman, I decided it was time to race. Since I coach a group on Monday evenings who was preparing for the HBF Run for a reason 14k, I decided to sign up. At the last minute Cody convinced me to sign up for the 4.5k race, because I could most likely win some $ for a top 3 finish. Well I can go around and call myself a dreamer because that was far from the case!

I attempted a short speed session just 3 days out from the race to see if I could get my legs to turnover at all and it was minimally successful so I had a bit of false confidence heading into the race. Since January I had been training specifically for the Half Ironman and of course the half marathon distance, which did not include sessions of short intervals, so the 4.5k was a bit over my head. The goal was to line up with Thomas Bruins and Marc See, run on their heels as long as possible and to hope for the best to get 3rd place. Marc and Thomas had both recently over 1500m with times of 3:44 and 3:49, so naturally I thought I could hang with these guys(buzzer sounding reeeeeeeeeennnn).
Not the case, as we warmed up together I realized Chris Dale was also doing the 4.5k, as was Ben Green, all of whom are accomplished track runners to say the least, as well as they have an extra 8 years of fresh leg turnover on me.  Just before the start I unveiled my best Raf "Radar" Baugh impersonation, with his 10 year old EMBROIDERED singlet that said "RADAR" on it, everyone had a laugh.


Marc See pushing the pace in front of Risely, Gregson and Roff at Nationals!

Inside the WACA at the finish
The gun goes off and so does the lactic acid throughout my body as my lung began to collapse. Holy crap, we are flying and I am, maybe…in 10th place about 1/2m into this run, “this was a mistake” and then “come man, focus” were thoughts going through my head with thousands of people on my heels. I hit the 1k mark in 3:02, then I caught up to Greeny finally at around the 2k mark, thinking my patience had finally paid off. Just as we approached the last mega hill, he just crushed me! My arms felt like I was carrying a baby on each side while I was running and my upper back was in pain, it almost made me forget that I also was not breathing ha-ha. Before I knew it we were entering the stadium and the finish line was just in front. Thank the lord it was over and done with but, come on, really, that was 4.5k? Greeny came over to me as I crossed and said we did like 12 minutes mate, that HAS TO BE SHORT. So here I was, running a race that was way out of my fitness and it was even worse because it was shorter than advertised, it was 4k!



Lesson learned, if you go into a race with expectations but you know what you have been doing (in my case, NOTHING) then prepare to feel the pain! I was 5th overall in 12:30, I was actually pleased with my time considering but at NO POINT was I relaxed or settled into a pace. What reason did you run for?Video<

After a month or two of consistent running the hope is to be able to run sub 16 comfortably again but at this point, I have decided to take a very non critical view to my training regimen. Next up is a 10k in Auckland, New Zealand, more my style at this point.






Wednesday, May 11, 2011

"Dance Floor" Lamperski's trials and triumphs at the Ironman

2011 Busselton 70.3 Winner


Trash Talking the day before
    It’s Thursday around lunch time and the mystery remains the same, “how am I getting everything to Busselton for the race?”. The last thing that needs to be on my mind is how to arrive at the race, but that’s the only thing that concerns me for obvious reasons. Thankfully some friends offer to assist me, my bike leaves with the Angell family on Thursday, I am set to leave with Lisa Seen on Friday morning and Katrina “the hurricane” is my race wheels, aero helmet, suit and computer. It may sound like a lot of stuff but after all, it’s an ultra triathlon event essentially and I opted to take more than enough for the trip.

 
     Friday afternoon we arrive at the race expo extra early, hang out a bit with everyone who set up retail shop at the race. Hit the water for a solo 15 minute swim to make sure the wetsuit is fine and everything is just right. Katrina arrives sooner than expected and I go for my 20 minute shake out run while she moves her car so I could grab the remainder of my goodies. The Specialized bike mechanic transfers my cassette to the Zipp 909 disc Justin Ghosh let me use for the race, accompanying the Cosmic Carbone front wheel I swiped from Troy Main, thanks guys! Bike is checked in, wow this event is legit, and there are so many bikes in transition that have mega price tags! The event tops any triathlon I have ever done with the organization, maybe even better than the Duathlon World Championships that I competed in 2 years ago.

Busselton house backyard
Lil Wayne
    Night comes, we all arrive for the “mandatory” meeting in which they mostly discuss the new drafting policy which has been extended to 12 meters, something of which everyone has been discussing for months anyways. I am freezing my butt off and head home for the final checklist of items, lining up my nutrition for race day then it’s off for a good night’s rest in my bunk room. 5:30am text from Raf wishing me luck and I am up, eating toast with cream cheese along with one perpetuem solid and 3 glucose tablets. Janna, J-murda and I pack the car, hit the road and arrive at 6:15am to hit the transition before the 6:45am closing time. Macka, Johan, and Sean O’Neil start at 7am with the Pro’s and the open field including Bean, Lajos, Big Brynt, Matt Illingworth, Katie Gibb and Rachel Smith leave just 2 minutes behind at 7:02. It was a huge boost watching my training partner/coach Paul Mackay jump out of the water in the top pack of pro men in 24 minutes, my focus was centered to understand my fitness levels and to finally rise up.

Macka
     Its 8am, time to jump in the water for a quick splash, take a few pictures and then to start the race. Jason Rhine darts out in a blaze of glory as someone yells and he mistakes it for the horn, no worries J, I won’t DQ you! The horn sounds and we are off, guys throwing blows left and right, it’s a mass of chaos, I am swimming over people, I am getting kicked, it’s crazy. After about 400m, the waters clear a bit more and I begin to finally press on and make my way up my group a bit. At one point I could not tell if I was way off course or not as the buoy seemed directly ahead but I appeared to be the only one taking the same line, except the one guy who keeps zig zagging, bad mistake #1. I hit the beach and look down at my watch, 31:01, ahh not too bad, I had hoped for about 30:00 but it was my new best time by over 2 minutes for the distance anyways. Time to show the work I have been putting in on the bike, I remove the wetsuit, grab all of the nutrition in my helmet (flask, extra gel and powerbar) toss it in my tri top, toss on my helmet, sunglasses and rush out of T1. Everyone is stopped at the mount line with no forward progress, so much for my stellar running mount that was planned. Nonetheless, I am on the bike and moving finally, passing people right and left.

Just after my 100m warm-up
     I notice one of the guys that frequents the running centre and rides the hills with our group is just in front of me. I quickly pass by him and begin my assault on the course, or so I thought. 5k into the bike when I am finally settled I decided to go ahead and have a sip of my roctane flask to stay on top of my nutrition so that I can actually negative split the course as planned. Wait, nothing is in that pocket, S#*t!!! nothing is in that pocket either, what happened? I lost ALL OF MY NUTRITION at some point between T1 and the 5k mark apparently, what to do now? All that races through my mind is the video of Luke Bell at Ironman Hawaii when he dropped his nutrition bag and continued anyways, ultimately passing out and being rushed to the hospital. Should I keep attacking with just water or scale it back? Ok, just stay with these guys at a safe distance, then try the E3 sports drink offered on the course at 35k, check. On the way back my average jumps since we finally don’t have the mega headwind, thank the lord! I hit the E3 station at around 35k and take a big swig of the bottle. This stuff sucks, I have never tasted it before but it’s my only option, another sip, 3 minutes go by and then it all comes back up. Sweet, I am vomiting on the bike, only have water and can already feel my glucose levels starting to plummet. The 2nd loop is a forgetful sight, I was somehow passing people the whole time but I felt like a turtle, I had no cadence and just felt like I was in some insomnia daze just wishing for T2 to get closer.
Trying to finish strong

     Note to self, next time you decide not to tape extra gels on the bike, change your mind!!! All of those hard earned miles on the bike in the early morning hours, totally wasted, I cycled faster in my 1st half ironman attempt last year with one month of cycling under my belt! Staggering into T2, I knew the run could be very very iffy, so I Took my precious time to inhale a few glucose tablets I laid out “in case” along with some endurolytes. The lights are coming back on!!! Ok Chris, those long bricks you worked so hard at are going to come into play, relax and keep it consistent. Legs are burning a bit, lungs feel quite good actually, and energy seems to be coming around. I am afraid to look at my watch once the 1st K split beeps but I do anyways, “3:43”, wow, how did that happen? Keep it going buddy, maybe your race isn’t blown, you can still PR even though everyone is out of sight. As I pick people off on the course, I hear some remarks about my pace and how I will soon die, but it only motivates me. I fluctuate between 3:48 & 3:54 each K through 10k’s when I begin to slow a bit hitting mostly mid-upper 3:50’s until a random 3:46 at 15k which looking back was another bad mistake. After catching up to a younger guy who was a relay runner, he just tucked behind me to block the wind, I eventually asked that he perhaps jump up front since I had been racing well over 3hrs and he had been out there for 20 minutes but he refuses, so I drop the hammer for about 200m to break him, success, ahhhh yea that doesn’t feel so great now.

     Nearing the finish of my 2nd lap, I noticed Steve Gleeson up ahead and surge to catch him, he is rolling and I throw some encouragement his way and tell him to jump on board. Mr. Gleeson had a heck of a race and he rolled past me with 300m left in his race to finish very strong, but I had another lap remaining! As I make the final turn past the finish line, I turn back to look for my race rival, Jason Rhine, expecting him to be well behind me, he literally is about 60m back! Surge or slow down and let the race come to me? I kept pace for a bit then decided that it may be best to slow it back a bit and just push in with Mr. Rhine. 6k to go and we are swerving in and around people on this narrow path along the beach stride for stride. Stay relaxed, we are hitting low 4:00’s, not too bad but slower than I wanted. As I hit the 2nd loop I could feel my upper left quad really begin to cramp and I kept telling myself anything I could to not give up. “USA, USA, USA, come on brother!!!” Here Jason and I were having pretty much awful races for both of our standards but we found enough deep inside to give whatever we had left to test our limits.



Macka and I

     Several times I drop a surges thinking I would lose him but he always fought back stronger each time. Wow, this guy has some guts, I need to make sure I dig deeper than ever to pull this day off the best I can, hopefully winning this classic duel down under in Busselton while most of the athletes had no clue what was taking place. We begin to push the pace harder and harder hoping to break each other at this 4+ hr mark into our race but no one gives an inch. Less than 1k to go, come on Chris, all year this is one of the guys you have wanted to beat, dig dig!!! The crowd was fantastic, but as we approached the finish, many athletes were continuing on for their remaining laps and Rhine shot out like a dart when he saw his opportunity down the Shute as I mixed between people. I knew this would happen, but I also knew I had another gear I had been holding back and as we hit the grass I gun it. I was flying down the home stretch for my disappointing 4:30 finish, but in delight that I at least conquered one goal on the day. Somehow I was able to stagger home enough after my hamstrings massively cramped 5 meters from the line just in front of Jason. Looking back Jason and I dropped the pace from 4:11, 3:57, 3:49 and 3:43 on our last 4k’s in an effort to break each other, our own “Iron war”.

Institute of Sport celebrating
      What a day, it let me reflect on so much in general, here I was concentrating so much on this day and look what came of it. One tiny mistake, if you call it a mistake even, mishap, misfortune or bad luck, either way, one small glitch in the system and things shut down on me, crazy. After the race, I thought about how running literally was so much easier, no swimming goals, or long cycles, just running, it’s simple. You can’t flat, your goggles won’t break and you won’t need to pack a lunch in your cycling jersey to complete a day’s training. After a warm shower, some much needed junk food and a nap, I felt much better and prepared to take on the next goal. I am not done with this 70.3 distance until I have conquered my goals of finishing a race the way I should, solid in every discipline. Today’s race was an ultimate failure in so many aspects but two components were in place, I finished and I even finished with a 7 minute PR.
 
Men’s Top 10:
1) Tim Berkel (Port Macquarie, NSW) – 3:51:27
2) Matty White (Magill, SA) – 3:52:50
3) Tim Reed (Lord Howe Island NSW) – 3:53:59
4) Josh Rix (Glen Iris, VIC) – 3:56:05
5) Jamie Whyte (Auckland, New Zealand) – 3:57:10
6) Guy Crawford (Napier Hawkes Bay, NZ) – 3:58:15
7) Mitchell Anderson (West Melbourne) – 3:59:55*
8) Leon Griffin (Kangaroo Flat, VIC) – 4:00:09
9) Lajos Varga (Perth, WA) – 4:01:14* - Worked his way through the pro field
10) Paul MacKay (Wembley, WA) – 4:01:28 - cracked the top 10!


Janna finishing
      The night was wrapped up with, a chance meeting with some stoners next door, then to Varga’s for a funnel entry, before heading to the awards ceremony with a fashionably late entrance to swipe up a hot plate of food from the buffet! Congrats to so many people who competed on the day, but most importantly to the Mackay Institute of Sport athletes Janna Angell and the man himself, Paul Mackay. Janna knocked out an amazing bike split of 2:50 in her 1st attempt at the distance, and Macka defied all the odds to wrap up a stellar season with a 4:01, earning him Triathlete of the year honors and 8th in the Pro field. Shout out to Matt Illingworth who took out another stellar field with a 2:06:09 bike split! After the awards presentation, the real party ensued with the DJ pumping the tunes for a few more hours. Everyone hit the stage including “Dancefloor” Lamperski himself, suited up, skinny tie, stunna shades and dancing shoes. It was just a blast to see so many hardcore athletes finally letting loose and having a blast. Some of the events of the night will never be forgotten, some may not be remembered but it was truly epic in every sense of the word.

Monday, May 2, 2011

5 DAYS FROM GLORY

     My race is for the people who doubt me, for those who might have seen a kid years ago who was seemingly brought up on the other side of the tracks and written off as worthless. This will be dedicated for everyone who has dreams in life, I may not attain my direct goals on the day but I would like to think I stand as a role model for hard work and taking that huge step to grab my dreams.




     It is upon all of us, just 5 days away from the race that many of us in Western Australia have been working towards, 70.3 Ironman Busselton. So many of my mates have spent countless mornings waking up while its pitch dark outside heading to the swimming pool for a squad swim or to the roads for a group ride. How many times did we pump up our tires the night before and lay out all of our gear ahead of time, thinking about the long day that would lie ahead. Hammer bars, roctane’s, shotz, endurolytes, shotz, lollies, everyone has had their fare share of nutrition to get them through those 4hr rides followed by a moderate run directly after, then maybe an open water swim in the late arvo.

video

     This race will show who has been putting in the hard work, as well who is fully prepared, physically, mentally and emotionally. I wish that we all put together our ideal race on the day but there are sure to be a few casualties along the war path. Pushing our bodies to these new heights really brings out the most amazing aspects in each of us. I would find it hard to believe that too many of us thought when we were kids that we would be out riding a bike for hours, then running for hours and also swimming for lengthy periods, but we are all doing it. Goals will be achieved and many will be at the finish line with the biggest ear to ear smiles as their goals were just smashed, meaning it’s time to nap the day away followed by partying the night away.

     For once in my life, I can say, I am not shooting to beat this guy or that guy, but I am aiming to perform to the best of my abilities. Time goals are always in play, but with wave starts, weather, and malfunctions of the wildest kind, sometimes its tossed out of the window. I am racing for myself and my loved ones on the day.

  
         Good luck to everyone who is competing at Busselton this weekend, may we have no swells, the wind to our backs and a light mist during the run. You will see me at the Awards/After Party, make sure you present me with a smile and the realization that each of us are blessed to have the health and option to even participate in such an amazing event.


PS: For those interested in tracking my results, you can go to Ironmanlive.com and there are updates along the way. I will post my race # on facebook once I check in on Friday.





Friday, April 15, 2011

Bravery: the truth in learning about existence

"If you are brave enough to leave behind everything familiar and comforting (which can be anything from your house to your bitter old resentments) and set out on a truth-seeking journey (either externally or internally), and if you are truly willing to regard everything that happens to you on that journey as a clue, and if you accept everyone you meet along the way as a teacher, and if you are prepared – most of all – to face (and forgive) some very difficult realities about yourself….then truth will not be withheld from you. Or so I’ve come to believe.”

---side note--- for those aussies who don't like actual content in a blog, you may want to skip the read.

    This is a quote from a book that I read while on my journey to Australia from way on the other side of the world. We all have phases in life in which we are truly trying to find out who "we" as people really are. What makes me tick, what are my true flaws that I have been ignoring?

    Yesterday I was fortunate enough to go for my 2nd run of the day just before sunset and reflect just a bit on the situations and outcome of my life thus far. To some, it would appear as if I am a lost soul wondering the world in search of my "existence" and yes this is true in part, but I honestly believe that my life has been such an amazing lesson. Everyday I attempt to absorb what is going on around me, the people, the sights and the concepts of success. At an early age I saw how my family was struggling and the #1 focus going into adulthood was making $ and plenty of it. Now, I have come to terms with the obvious necessity of $$$ but also the tortures it can sometimes bring with greed.


     Sometimes I feel as though I am wise above my years, especially based on my how old I actually look, when other times I feel like a rambling 16 year old kid searching for answers. I can see what is important in life, it's not training for a triathlon or beating this guy, it's relationships. Sure through avenue's such as sport or business we can mix with people and began to mold ourselves to understand the inner being of others, but the actual act is not important. It's the in between chatter amongst people, your friends, co-workers and loved ones. I have realized that I am in one of the most beautiful places in the world, its breath taking at times even, but it's missing something. On my journey away from those loyal friends, loving family members and caring colleagues, I have finally stumbled upon my existence, why I am here and what I am supposed to be.

    The day I arrive home and greet my family in the little 3br 1 bathroom house I grew up, I like to think I will feel on top of the world. I may not be on the white sands of some exotic beach, but I will be where I am supposed to be. Sharing my life and my experiences with my family. Traveling 16,000 miles away into a new life is all it took me to realize where I need to be. It's funny, as I am building towards one of the biggest races of my life, I have been less and less focused on the competitive nature of it all, but more so on finishing off a couple more goals before heading home to pursue my real goal.