Monday, December 26, 2011

New Zealand/Australia Vacation

While I've arrived back in the US after a two month journey through parts of Australia and pretty much all of New Zealand.  I took over 3000 pictures, but went ahead and put them in this slide show.  So enjoy the show!  Here is where I visited over the 2 months in order:

Sydney-Canberra-Snowy Mts.-Wilson Prom-Melbourne-Auckland-Hahei-Raglan-Waitomo-Maketu-Rotorua-Taupo-National Park-Blue Duck Lodge-Wellington-Abel Tasman-Greymouth-Franz Josef-Queenstown-Invercargill-Milford Sound-Queenstown-Mt. Cook-Rangitata-Kaikoroa-Wellington-National Park-Rotorua-Auckland-Bay of Islands-Auckland-Brisbane-Byron Bay-Sydney






The Big Trip Australia/New Zealand from RJ Maguire on Vimeo.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Friday, October 21, 2011

More Sydney

I have really been enjoying my trip so far in Sydney. The weather has been fantastic and the city is beautiful. I understand why so many people love this place! You have city life but can easily get away to the beaches. I still have one more day here and then I begin a tour down to Melbourne on Monday. I even found a place to sample various Aussie beers!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Sydney!

Sent from my iPhone

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

On Board

Relaxing in Sky Club

Packed and Ready

I'm packed and ready to go to Australia and New Zealand! Let the adventure begin!

Friday, October 7, 2011

Planning the Trip

Guide books, notepad, calendar, and the Internet!

The Big Trip Australia/New Zealand




I am getting the chance to take a trip I've always wanted to take! I'm going to Australia and New Zealand from Oct. 18th till Dec 19th! It should be 63 days full of fun and excitement. I'll be exploring new places and meeting new people along the way. I will be traveling solo on this trip. I plan to spend the majority of my time in New Zealand, but will spend the first part on the trip in Sydney and then work my way to Melbourne, before flying off to New Zealand. I plan to leave Melbourne for New Zealand on Oct. 31st and then return to Australia around the 8th or 9th. Finally leaving Australia on the 19th.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Degray Olympic Triathlon and Trail Run

This post is an update on the last four races that I completed. Since my race in Buffalo Springs, I have completed 4 races. I did the Olympic distance race in Arkadelphia and 3.4 mile trail run on August 20th,

Arkadelphia Races

Olympic Distance Triathlon 1500m swim, 39k Bike, 10k run

Pre-Race
I arrived pretty early in the morning to setup my gear. I knew this would be a small race, so I was able to get a pretty good spot at the front and also being a small race allowed for enough room for people to spread out. I went out and got a short warm up swim before the start.

Swim/T1
The swim is always my weak point so the goal was to swim as smoothly and quickly as possible. The swim was a two loop in water swim. Both loops went by fairly smoothly. The only I noticed was that I was droping my legs and not keeping good body position. T1 was smooth with no issues

Time - 35:48 swim
T1 - 1:36

Bike/T2
The bike course is an OAB on roads that run along the rim of Lake Degray. The course is overall uphill on the way out and downhill on the way back. Each OAB section does include some rollers that allow you to pick up speed and get up the next hill! The roads are smooth and recently paved which makes for some fast and smooth riding. I was feeling pretty good on the bike even though my HR was a little higher than I would like, but the goal was to push the bike. I've been working on the bike all year and wanted to get a good time. I came into T2 feeling pretty good about my time. Transitions are a little slow but not to slow.

Time - 1:13:14 19.8mph
T2- 1:27

Run
The run was the hardest part of this race. Once you leave transition it is straight uphill the first mile followed by downhill to the second, uphill to the 3rd/4th, and downhill pretty much to finish. It was a tough run especially on a day when the temperatures were approaching 95F. I think with hitting the bike hard and the heat. I was not able to get the pace I wanted. I was looking for a 8:00 min/mile, but ended up with a 8:29 min/mile. I was passing a lot of people on the run though, so I was happy about that.

Time - 52:34 8:29 min/mile
Overall - 2:44:41 6/8 AG

Degray Trail Run

DLT events started a trail running series in Arkansas this year. This run was supposed to be in March, but keep getting pushed back due to mother nature issues. Well, the series finally is here on the same day that I did the olympic distance race. I was second in my AG, so I figured that this would be a good run to finish the day with. I wasn't sure how my legs would respond.

The course was a forest service roads with some single track. The course was not technical for a trail run, but it was up and down for the 3.4 mile run. The first mile was uphill, followed by a rolling 2nd mile and downhill back to the finish. I finished the run in 26:33. I was out sprinted in the last 100 yards. I would have finished third in my AG if I could have pushed a little more! I was surprised that my legs were able to respond so soon after a race earlier in the day.

Time - 26:33 - 6/15 OA - 4/4 AG.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Returning to Post

I've neglected this for about 2 months now. I have some updates on one race and will have a race report from the Toad Suck 33 and sprint that I will be doing this weekend. Other than that, I've been busy with work/life.

Monday, July 4, 2011

This crab stands no chance

Seattle/Portland

In Seattle area this week to ride the STP the weekend of the 8th!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Buffalo Springs 70.3 Race Report 2011

I have conqured another 70.3 in Lubbock, TX, Buffalo Springs 70.3. The race took place on June 26th at Buffalo Springs Lake just outside of Lubbock. I knew from watching the weather during the week that it was expected to be hot and windy. The forecast called for the high to be 110F with 20mph winds out the southwest. The course is a single modified OAB bike and an OAB run. There are spots were the course is flat and then downhill back to flat, back uphill, back to flat. The total elevation climb is about 1400 ft on the bike and 400 ft on the run.

I came into the race feeling great and new my training was much better than it was last year. I was hoping to beat my 5:55 time from last year and hopefully get under 5:30.

Pre-Race

A couple of events happened even before the race started! I woke up around 3:30. At this time I noticed that my back tire was flat! I know a tubular should hold air for a couple of days! I thought well maybe the valve stem is a little loose, so I decided to tighten it up and pump it full of air. It was holding at that time. I loaded everything in the car and headed to the lake. Event #2 happened when I was walking my bike down to transition. As I was walking down, the Garmin cadence sensor I have got caught in the spoke and then split it half! I’m thinking to myself at this time what else can happen! I was able to get some band cutters to cut off the zip ties. No big deal, I didn’t need a cadence sensor really. I get my transition area setup recheck the rear tire and everything is ready to go!

Swim

The swim is by far my worst event. Even though it is hot in Lubbock, the lake is spring fed which means it is usually wet suit legal race. This year was no exception. They had moved the start times forward and condensed the waves in order to get everyone in the water faster and hopefully out of the heat. My wave was the first AG wave to go. It was 50-54 male/female and the 30/34 males. I’d have to say it was on the larger wave starts I’ve been in. I was swimming well towards the first buoy but just after the turn I started to have a little anxiety. I thought to myself just keep swimming and everything will be good. I made the second turn and started to settle in and by the time I was heading back towards the west and then south towards the finish I was feeling good. My goal was under 40 minutes for the swim and I was able to achieve that.

Time

2011 - 37:36, 478/710 swim OA, 54/70 AG

2010 – 45:41, 857/862 swim OA, 72/74 AG

T1

Usually there is not much to say about transition, apparently this year had other plans. I got out of the water picked a wetsuit stripper and off the wetsuit went and me running towards my bike. Helmet, sunglasses, shoes, race belt, and off! I’m running down the aisle and my lens pops out of my sunglasses! Look around for it, finally find it and off on the bike!

2011 T1- 3:16 – stupid sunglasses!

2010 T1 – 2:06

Bike

The bike is one area that I’ve really been focused on since deciding on this race earlier in the year. I’ve been able to complete more longer rides than last year and been working on more intensity. The wind this year made the ride tougher than last year. The course runs in all directions, so at times, you had tailwinds, then crosswinds, headwinds, and rinse wash and repeat. I was feeling pretty good going into mile 40, but I knew the last 16 miles would be tough because it be a headwind back into the transition. I was able to push my way into T2. I was consuming water and Gatorade during the bike, but I did not consume enough because it come back and bite me on the run! I finished a 24 oz bottle of Gatorade, 24 oz of the front water, and then whatever I poured into at various times at aid stations and water bottle underneath. It was probably another 24oz. Consider the 3hrs I was on the bike, I should have been consuming probably closer to 30 to 40 oz per hr.

Time

2011 – 3:02:14 327/710 bike OA, 43/70 AG

2010 - 2:59:13 439/862 bike OA, 45/74 AG

Run

The run is where you can make or break a race and this year was more of break. I started off the first three miles feeling pretty strong but felt a cramp started to build in my leg. The plan was to walk all the aid stations and then decided on walking the large hills when I got to them. After the 3rd aid station, I knew I would be walking the first hill. It was a good time to try and “cool” down and walk off the cramp building. It was a tough 3.5 miles after that. I was walking/running all the way to the turnaround point. I was putting ice down my jersey, water over the head, and taking in Powerade. I got to the turnaround and finally able to run. All the way to mile 11 I was able to put in around 9:00 miles! The only time I didn’t was walking up the last hill back to transition. I got to around mile 11 and the wheels came off again and pushed myself to the finish as much as possible. The whole time I felt I was in the zone with a little tunnel vision! I crossed the line and finished and was happy to finish my 2nd BSLT 70.3 even though I didn’t beat my time from last year or make my goal time.

Time

2011 – 2:17:46 OA??, 43/70 AG

2010 – 2:05:16 406/862, 34/74 AG

Overall Time

2011 – 6:03:15, 248/505 Male, 43/70 AG, OA?

2010 – 5:54:07, 335/615 Male, 46/74 AG, OA?

Takeaways

Not all races and even courses are created equal. Some courses are different on different days. This year at BSLT was one of those days. It was hot, windy, and dry on the run. I didn’t take in enough fluids on the bike which really affected my run. Had I been able to run a little faster I would have equaled my time from last year on course that was a little harder this year. The overall times last year was 5:55 and this was 6:10. I learned a lot from this race and hope to take it into future races. My best takeaway was toughing out the swim and finishing in a great time for me! I didn’t finish towards the bottom this year.

Post Race

I crossed the finish line and felt a cramp hit my left calf, but went away quickly. They had medical people all around and one walked to me handed me water and asked if I was ok. I felt ok, but could barely talk and asked if I wanted an IV or to sit in the medical tent. I wasn’t sure, but she said why don’t you just go sit down and see if you feel better of course once I sat down, they asked are you sure you don’t want an IV it’ll make you feel better! It sure did because after 2 bags of fluid later, I was feeling great and ready to go again!

I got back to my bike and noticed that again my back tire was flat, so I was lucky that it didn’t go flat during the race. I had a spare and some pit stop, but wanted to save them until it was absolutely necessary. Of course packing up my later, I then found my front tire down also. So BSLT, you took two tires and one cadence sensor. I still beat you though!



Friday, June 24, 2011

Enough Numbers

So do you think there is enough numbers here! Bike, helmet, swim cap, wet suit, race jersey, number belt, and tattoos numbers! Of course the tattoo numbers have to be removed with baby oil or rubbing alcohol. Forgot to bring that!

Buffalo Springs 70.3

Went to the start area this afternoon to get a short swim in. Even Lubbock is hot during the summer the lake is still cool! Well the water didn't disappoint today. I think the water is colder than last year. I got in and swam for awhile and then decided to swim with my wetsuit. The wetsuit felt great and hopefully the race will be wetsuit legal.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Flying with a Bike

Yesterday I decided to go ahead and begin to pack my bike for the trip to Lubbock to race. I haven't taken it apart in year so I gave myself a little extra time. The only issue I had was taking off the pedals. Other than that it is wrapped and ready to go.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Up Next Buffalo Springs 70.3

This weekend brings Buffalo Springs 70.3 in Lubbock, TX. I have been working towards this race since the beginning of this year. There have been ups and downs in training but I feel my training has been progressing nicely and hope to have a great race this weekend.

I completed this race last year and people ask what's the course like. Well the course, is pancake flat in spots then you drop into a canyon climb out, back to flat, and do it a couple of more times while biking. Of course, mother nature will also throw in some wind and heat also. The run is the pretty much the same except with some small rollers at the beginning and ending of the run. Nothing to hard! Below is the weather forecast as of today at 9:18. Looks like it will be a hot and windy day.



With the wind out of the south/southwest there will be some fast sections of the bike and some slow sections of the bike.



The run will throw a couple of climbs to you followed by a long out and back section that has not shade and the ability to see the turn point miles away. This part is flat which is nice, but you have to maintain the focus before heading back to the finish.


I'm excited and ready for this weekend. I know what to except for this course and ready to leave all out on the course!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Norseman Triathlon

This triathlon is said to be the world's hardest. I can only imagine! It would be cool to complete though. They say in 2005 only the winner completed the course. Now that is extreme.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Iron Moutnain Triathlon Day

This weekend I competed in the 1.2 swim that was part of the Iron Mountain Triathlon day. DLT events had a 70.3, sprint triathlon, open water swim, half marathon, and aqua bike all on the same day.

I competed in the open water swim. My goal for this swim was to be able to swim comfortably and hit a PR for the 1.2 mile swim. They had to change the swim on the day of the race to a two loop triangle swim. I started off the swim well and about half way through the first lap started to fill comfortable. I still did not have a great stroke through the swim however. Also, for some reason when I swim in the open water I feel I'm really trying too hard. I was able to finish the swim in 44:00. I was hoping for somewhere around 40:00. I love getting the experience in the open water. After I got back home, I even started looking for open water swims only. The only way to improve is to continue to tackle the open water.

After the swim, I watched other people complete the 70.3. Congrats to everyone who finished. It became a hot day that's for sure and would have been one tough race. I talked to some people after the race and they said it was good course. The course contained some rolling hills on the ride and then an uphill on the 3 loop run that you ran up at the beginning at each loop, but at least it was downhill towards each finish of the loops.

Two weeks until Buffalo Springs 70.3!

Friday, June 10, 2011

1.2 Mile Swim this Weekend

This weekend begins with a 1.2 mile swim down in Arkadelphia. I'm just doing the open water swim because I have Buffalo Springs 70.3 two weeks after that. Open water swimming is my slowest part of a triathlon. I'm going into the event relaxed and hopefully keep my focus on swimming smoothly and slowly. This will hopefully allow me to swim quickly. After the swim, I'll get to watch other people I know finish the 70.3 and sprint triathlon that are going on at the same time.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

3-Way Street

I can't believe no one got hit or hurt while they were filming this intersection. No wonder car drivers hate bikes, bikes hate pedestrians, pedestrians hate cars/bikes or at least until they get in their car or ride their bike. You would think we could all respect each other and the rules of the road. I guess it's not that simple. Enjoy the video.

3-Way Street from ronconcocacola on Vimeo.

Friday, June 3, 2011

August Already?!

It already feels like August out there! Its going to be a warm and humid next couple of days. Saturday morning I will be riding in the Ranch Ride. At least it starts at 8am.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

How I spend my time in the air

How about a book, a cup of coffee, and some piece and quiet. I love the Amazon Kindle now more worries about carrying around books & download new ones quickly!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

South Central Florida

There is nothing in the middle of Florida except for farms and flat land. I drove west from West Palm Beach to Ft. Myers to head to Sarasota.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Memorial Day Weekend

A good three day weekend has come to a close. I was able to have a relaxing weekend. I got a couple of runs and bikes in and ate some grilled food!

I ran the Rock Run 8k on Saturday. The race starts at Murrary Park in Little Rock. The course follows the river trail. It is a flat and fast course. There is a slight uphill towards mile 3 and then back up towards mile 4. I ran this race last year in 37:28. Thus year I was hoping to beat my time. I started out fast and was able to hold around 7:14 min/mil till the 3rd mile when I started to struggle. I finished the 3rd mile in 7:54! I was able to pick it up at the end finishing the last mile around 7:30. My total time was a 37:08. I'm happy with this considering I really felt myself fading at the end.

I closed the weekend out with a long ride on Sunday. I took the route around Lake Maumelle. This was the first time I rode this route. It was a hilly route with some good climbs in the Wye Mt area and had some ups & downs on Hwy 10.

Now I'm ready for the short week by starting out heading to Florida for work. I will be exploring the East Coast of Florida from Daytona to West Palm Beach.

Sent from my iPhone

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

3rd Dan Certificate

I received my 3rd Dan certificate last night! It's interesting to see on all the black belt certificates how many people have achieved that rank in the organization. I'm the 160th person. Someone else received their black belt last night and was 1989. It takes persistence, initiative, and commitment to continue further along in the organization. Good luck to everyone training out there and keep up the hard work.

Sent from my iPhone

Monday, May 23, 2011

Memphis In May Race Report



My first race of the year is complete! I can say that it was pretty good race in which I was able to learn some things that I need to work on. Well let's get to the report.

I arrived at the Veranda Hotel on Saturday. The hotel and the race start were right next to each other, so it would make for an easy race morning on Sunday. The room at the hotel was nice. No issues there. After checking in, I went to packet pick up which was pretty easy. This was located next to the hotel. Following packet pick up, I went for a swim. The swim was in a lake behind the hotel. The water was nice. I wouldn't say that it was cold or warm. I was able to swim in my tri top and shorts comfortably.

The dinner options in the Tunica area are confined to the casinos. With recent flooding in the area, two casinos were still closed, Harrah's and Bally's. This left the Horseshoe, Road House, and Gold Strike as options. Also, the Veranda Hotel was having a buffet for $20, but it was BBQ and turkey with sides. Not my idea, of a pre-race meal. I ended up at the Horseshoe with some people that I know from the local tri club All in Multisport. We ate at Benions. It was a fairly pricey dinner, but it was great. I had the seafood pasta and hit the spot. The hotels also had buffets that were around $25. You could also drive up to Memphis or Southaven for food options. This would have been a 30 minute drive.

Race Morning
Woke up around 4:30 ate a clif bar, banana, bagel, and drink some Gatorade. I walked my bike down to the transition area around 5:30 to get a decent spot. The area were my bike was a pretty good location. The rack was located along the main in/out for swim/bike/run. Easy to find no matter where you put it on the rack. The great thing about the hotel being close is that I went back up to the room to relax after setting up.

Swim - 36 minutes 23 seconds

The swim is a time trial start with a person going every 3 seconds. You lined up by race number and waited your turn. They started about 7:00 am and by 7:15 was off in the water. The swim is not my best event. I started out with a pretty good rhythm, but then fell off that rhythm. I then kinda of struggled to find a good rhythm, but never really got there. I was hoping to finish the swim in 30 minutes, but didn't even get close! I finished the swim in 36 minutes!

Just before the swim start, I noticed some rain clouds moving in overhead. Was it going to rain? It started to rain while we swimming. It changed even more once on the bike!

The takeaway here is I need to swim more in the open water.



Transition 1/Bike - 1:11 transition/1:11:05 24 mile bike

The transition went smoothly and I was off on the bike. The course was a triangled shaped bike course with the first part heading west, then south, and finally back north towards T2. The wind was out of the SW for the day, so the first part was going to be slow followed by a fast back in!

The bike started off smoothly, but then the sky decided to open up! It started to pour. The rain was stinging and it was lighting. I just put my head down and rode hard. I also noticed that my Garmin had locked up, so I had to restart it. It took about 4 miles to get warmed up but once I did I was really able to push the pace.

The course was flat and fast and I enjoyed it even with the driving rain. The course was marked and managed well in my opinion.



Transition 2/Run - 1:45 T2/ 52:14 10Kish run

By the time I arrived at T2, I knew my shoes and socks would be soaked, but I put them on and off I ran. Not like, they weren't going to get anyways since it was still raining off and on.

I started the run off pretty strong, but my pace started to decrease by mile 3. After passing mile 3, we headed to the turn around point and just after that my watch hit 4 miles, before the marker? By the time I hit the 4 mile marker, my watch was 4.5 miles. I started thinking that my watch was off. I didn't think I was running that slow? After passing, the 4 mile marker. I was to able to again reduce my pace through the next 2.7 miles. I felt that I had a good push until the end. It turned out that the course was longer than advertised, but you have to prepare for the unexpected. It was 6.7 miles instead of 6.2.


The run course was flat and fast. The aid stations were well stocked and placed in good locations. If it had been hot, they would have served themselves well. The rain and clouds keep things cooler.

Overall I was happy with my bike and my run. I still need to work on the swim. I have another race coming up on June 4th were I will do a 1.2 open mile swim. It will give me a good chance to practice once more before Buffalo Springs at the end of June!

I would do this race again next year assuming it's at the same location.