Sunday, November 26, 2006

3rd Annual Slowtwitch Turkeyman Virtual Triathlon/Duathlon

It began with an innocuous posting on Slowtwitch's Triathlon Forum:

Ok all, the Third Annual Slowtwitch
Turkeyman will be from 11/23 to 11/26.

Distances are:
Tri: 500m swim, 20k bike 5k run.
Du: 5k / 20k / 5k.

Divisions are: Men’s Tri, Mens Du, Women’s Tri, Women’s Du

Easy to enter: No entry required except posting your times by the cut off.

No entry fee: that’s right absolutely free (beat that IMNA)

Awards: will consist of bragging rights only, given the cost of entry that seems fair.

The rules: (note anyone caught breaking the rules will be banished to the Lavender Room)

1) Have fun.

2) Race may be completed anytime between 12am 11/23/04 and 11:59pm 11/26/04, in other words anytime during the Thanksgiving weekend.

3) Rule change from previous years, events may be completed in any order and at anytime as long as they happen during the holiday weekend.

4) Swim leg, 500m please keep accurate track of your laps, I suggest having someone count for you or using some device to record laps. Immediately after you complete 500m STOP!!!

6) The bike, 20k, try to be as accurate as possible. If using a trainer you may set the tension as light as you like but the wheel must touch the tension device. Remember that your computer will not register if the magnet is on the front wheel. If you stop or get off the bike the clock keeps running.

7) The run, 5k, either treadmill or outside. try to be as accurate as possible. I will open a separate thread to be used to post times only, use this thread for comments. That way I don't have to wade through the comments to get everyone’s times. If you have your splits post them, if not overall time is fine include gender, and whether you did the tri or du.

8) Transition times should not be included in any way.

9) Drafting on the bike will not be tolerated; drafters will be forced to view every picture Tom D has ever posted on this forum

10) Above all see rule #1

The above bears no responsibility in any way shape or form for any injuring to person or property suffered during this event. Triathlon is a dangerous sport, any risk of injury or death is solely the responsibility of the participant. is in no way affiliated with this production.

D’wife had to work Saturday morning. We had a full day planned so if a workout was to be done, it had to be done early. As was my custom, I woke up, did my stretching / punk-yoga and was up, out and back, just before she had to leave at 8AM. The rest of my morning was consigned to baby-sitting … Or, as other call it: “parenting.” Parenting, plus running the Laundry Train.

She got home from the bank just about 1:30. D’Kid’s godmother came by at two o’clock to take her to the movies. They went to see “Happy Feet” … something about penguins.

I know what you’re thinking … Home alone for a couple of hours, D’Kids at the movies, what are we to do???

“Wanna fuck for a little while???”

No, see we plan things a bit better than that, our daughter’s a sound sleeper, so we don’t have to struggle and scramble for time to get “nekkid” [Tuesday and/or Thursday, and Saturday and/or Sunday]

So, with a couple hours to spare, we went for a bike ride.

The original plan was to go to the gym together, but that’s not really a “together” activity … when I go to Bally’s I run on the track then ride the bike … D’Wife prefers a workout on the elliptical trainer, some time on the recumbent bike, then a swim. We’re not really be at the gym together, just at the same time.

With the temperature pushing into the mid sixties and a sky of calm high clouds, we departed on our mountain bikes [a cruel joke of a name for people who live in mostly flat South Jersey].

I pretty much knew where she wanted to ride - she’s not the one to say “where does this go?” – I took the lead out of the development. After traveling only a few hundred yards I realized something very important … while I want to get as many miles in as quickly as possible [some may say “race”], she wants to take a more leisurely ride. This will require me to go slower, look back often to see how far behind me she is, and, in extreme cases, circle back behind her for her to take the lead for a while.

All of which, flies in the face of the “I’ll meet you at the bottom of the hill” mentality that I usually adopt once I strap on my helmet. She knows that and is pretty tolerant. It usually only takes me a couple of miles to remember we’re riding together. This is not a wedding and you are not the bride … no showing off [or extreme hats].

The ride out was pretty simple; this was basically the first couple miles of my commute, with a little detour back out to the main road; a detour which I had driven once, and run twice during my failed ½ marathon training. If she was taking out where I thought she might, we were looking at an eight or nine miler … no sweat for D’Wife, who completed 45 of 60 miles on the American Cancer Society Ride in July on training that would have translated to 5-10 miles a week for a marathoner [i.e., ridiculously little, yet successful just the same].

Getting up on wheels, I noticed that there were a lot more exits off the main road into the woods; the sweet New Jersey sugar sand called me to explore.

“Hey, where does this road go?” I asked, popping over a stack of railroad ties. “Look, deer tracks!!!”

“I don’t know! Come back here. Stop playing around.”

Well, that was fun.

For a minute. She wasn’t in a playful mood … well, not in an X-Games dirt-jump sense anyway.

After exiting the fully-built / ¾-inhabited development, we were back to the main road and the newly installed bike path. After 3 miles traveled, the end of the path was only one and a half down the road. There were plenty of hunting and ATV trails, but she wasn’t having any of those … I couldn’t blame her anyway … anyone who thinks “Locals Only” is ONLY refers to beaches and surfers need to live in the woods for a while. EVERYTHING is “locals only” … bike paths, fire roads, gas stations, convenience stores, bars, churches, schools.

Heck, my neighbors [Mark and Nicole] moved out of our development seven years ago, but #9 is still “Mark and Nicole’s House” three owners later.

Even though she had a dual-suspension MTB [killing me with thoughts of “what could be done”] she wanted to stay on the bike path.

Then out of the blue …

“Let’s go down here.”

Granted, it wasn’t a soggy trail or a sandy fire road, but it was a departure from the known that I was looking for. Of course, it was also up to me to know where we were at all times.

“Um. Honey. I don’t have that GPS on my piece-of-shit built from trash bike I’m riding today. I also forgot to print up a Google map of where we were going today. Can you forgive me?”

Fortunately, I knew enough to realize that the street she chose would either:
a) Lead us to another road I know from my daily drive, or
b) Circle around and bring us out the same way we came in

Hoping for “A” [with a nice lakeside ride back] it, turned out to be “B”

Oh, well.

[It is important to mention that D”Wife was calling out mile markers every 0.4 miles or so … just because. We were at about 6.4 at this point]

We left the lollipop development [a street in, a circle, and back out … on a map, it looks like a lollipop] and back to main road.

“How far?” I shouted back to our “navigator”

“Seven and change,” she called back.

It felt like more, but that could have been because we usually cruise much faster on open road. We weren’t really rushing and would have covered much more ground if we hadn’t been “sightseeing” … after all this WAS the first Saturday after Thanksgiving, it was 60 degrees, and many of the McMansions were already in decoration mode.

“Ooh, look at what they’ve done!!!”
“Such pretty bows. Can you make those?”
“Blue and white? Must be Jewish. But still, very nice.”

“Is this where we go?” She tooled off to the left.
“I don’t think so.”
“It says ‘Georgia O’Keefe Way’. That’s one of our streets.”
“Yeah, but … I don’t …”

”I remember it … She’s the one who painted the shells, right?”
“Flowers mostly, but yeah.”

Only a couple hundred yards off the main bike path and the development had a much less than lived in look about it. There were many unmarked lots, some even un-cleared. It definitely had a “Phase II” feel, a Phase II that may not even happen, judging by the new home market. As we got further down the road, the road became less road-like. Many of the courts and cross streets were still sandy truck paths, with little use for curbs, driveways or pavement since there was no place to drive to yet.

After a couple missteps trying to get back to “Phase One” (an unmarked road would have taken us through the woods, over a bridge and back, but we [meaning: she] didn’t trust our [her] trail riding skills) we stumbled out and back to our familiar bike path.

We had ridden just slightly more than nine miles and were looking at about six more to get back. D’wife was getting concerned about the time – it was past 3 o’clock and the sun was creeping down into the trees.

“I don’t want to be out here in the woods at dark,” she panicked.
“We have plenty of time,” I assured her, “It’s not going to take an hour to ride five miles. We can walk faster than that.”

We rolled through the McMansions again, noticing some work had been done in the past hour, reindeers and Santas had been erected, lights had been clipped in, and so on.

As we passed the trail where I saw the deer tracks, we saw the deer who those tracks belonged to. That's the great thing about being outside. You're not going to find THAT at Bally's.

We proceeded past the farms and fields, past the cottages and bungalows of our old town and home.

Without even breathing hard we had covered 15 miles, in about an hour and a half.

As I hung Blackie up in the garage it occurred to me that I had completed two thirds of the Turkeyman, without trying (pun: sorry).

I maintained my momentum, and changed out of my bike gear and into my shorts and running shoes.

“Where are you going?” D’Wife asked.

“My legs aren’t thrashed yet so I’m going for a run. I’ll be back in half an hour.”

“Really? Well, good for you!”

It was the first time I’d run off the bike in … well, a really long time.

It took a few minutes to get the feet turning over properly, but I got the three miles done.

5K: 26 min

20K MTB: 1H 10min*
5K: 28 min

That was fun.

* I had done more than the 12 mile bike, so I “normalized” the time for that – i.e., I guessed.


See the bike route:

The results thread:
[Only three posted, so I finished third]

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Nice Duathlon Mr M