Monday, August 31, 2009

ITU dominican style

Alright everyone,

Just did my first ever ITU style race (drafting allowed on the bike) and also first ever race in Santo Domingo...

Here's how it went...

Gun went off (20 min late as is the latin american way) and the small herd rushed into the water. Apparently the national team doesn't spend 10 hours in the pool here a week for nothing because the lead group was shot out of a canon and shelled me before I could even blink. I was left working with the chase group to limit our losses. I swam pretty well and the water was clean as can be. You should see some of the stretches of ocean here. It is like an enormous garbage milkshake so I was worried.

I transitioned onto my old trusty (read rusty) trek 1000... and after riding my BMC tt02, felt like I was taking the 3rd world thing too far... Caitlin simply stated that it was time for me to get back to basics... (she has no idea how much she sounds like a triathlon coach sometimes)

Anyway, got onto the bike and there was a group of four people soft pedaling up ahead. I couldn't believe it... soft pedaling in a race?! I yelled in broken spanish at them and one guy jumped onto my wheel as we tore off after the fish who had smashed us in the swim. As I was the only one intent on catching, I was doing 75% of the pacing. We quickly caught a loner who had been stuck in no man's land and he hopped on the pain train as well. This guy refused to do any work. I yelled more. Still no work as he had designs of running quickly.

No time to work on my Spanish to reason with him that it wasn't acceptable to race for 5th, I stuck at the front but couldn't for the life of me figure out where the leaders were... It was a 4 lap course... we should see them (the reason is at the end)?! Anyway, I tested the legs of the two behind me with a couple attacks on the 4th lap to see if I could dislodge them before the run. No luck as I have very little punch on the bike.

Transitioned onto the run slowly (no speed laces and a t shirt instead of tri suit=back to basics)

We dropped the guy who had pulled a few times right off the bat. Then it was me and freeloader. I took out the first 1.5k @ a good 5:40min/mile pace to see where his running legs were. In this heat (89 deg and 80% humidity on the day) 5:40 is pretty painful. He shadowed me but his legs sounded heavy. I did some investigation by dropping the pace and waiting for him to pull up to my shoulder. He ran to the other side of the road and I followed... I looked at him and he was touching his side and showed a bit of a grimace. The move was made and I shot off as fast as I could.

I heard a yelp (literally it sounded like a wounded animal or a quiet chewbacca cry) and within 500m I had 15 seconds on him. The rest of the run was spent running through people which made me really happy as I have been running a lot lately. I caught 1...2...3...4...5 people and ran my way into third.

After the race freeloader came up to me and explained that we added mass distance to the bike, we had missed a turn each lap and thus added 2k each lap for a grand total of 28k en vez de 20k. How nice.... in short, I think I could have biked/ ran down the fishies had this not happened... This is why after the first lap we never saw the leaders again. I think we ended up adding about 12 minutes to our times.

Free loader also told me there is another race in three weeks... entonces

el proximo

Saturday, August 29, 2009



So I had my race meeting for the first EVER triathlon in Santo Domingo. It was absurd and the way it is set up is almost ensuring hilarity and disaster. It is an ITU style race with only beginner triathletes... To clarify, it is a multi lap bike ride (4 laps) with drafting, or riding in packs, allowed. This presents problems if people aren't familiar with riding bikes because people crash... Also, the race takes us through the transition area 4 times.... each time is a potential crash with people finishing the swim. I am going to love this for sure. I'll keep you posted.

In the mean time, check out these old clips of Greg Bennet, Chris McCormack, Shane Reed, and Greg Welch... this racing format is amazing. You should watch both races because the finishes are incredible.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Lance to Kona?

I love triathlon pretty much to the point that I will watch anything related to it... I have been watching a bunch of old tri footage and I found this old old clip that is pretty cool because it is Lance before he was a 7 time whatever... He is a monster at age 15

Any thoughts on Lance at Kona?

Sunday, August 23, 2009


Yes bloggers and bloggettes... It is that time of the year again. Festivus is upon us. For those of you who find trees with tinsel distracting and unseemly, break out the pole. I am now going to start with the airing of greivances... I've got a lot of problems with you people... and NOW you're gonna hear about it.

1. I hate running around Santo Domingo and worrying about stepping on chickens. This is a city and the chickens should act like it and get the hell out or make themselves useful and fry themselves up with spices to seal in the juices.
2. Taxi drives struck a huge blow in our ongoing war by coming up with a creative excuse for overcharging... apparently gas prices had increased between 10 am and noon to the point where cab costs had to reflect it. Not happening.
2. The triathlon team punk'd me and told me the wrong time, meeting place, or something. I walked up to the normal place and I have become aware that if a man is sitting in front of a building in fatigues and holding a huge shotgun, generally the place is closed. This was no exception... so plans were drastically altered which leads to .........

1. My best run yet was had today... a paltry 6.5 miles... but when it is 90 degrees and 75% humidity the game changes... I am experimenting with a walk run protocol and it is going very well.
2. I also found out that santo domingo on domingo (sunday) is like a ghost town. I don't know where everyone is but the traffic goes from making LA look like north dakota to .... well... north dakota. It was nice and I got to bike all over and found a park that is 4 miles long and closed to cars. Excellent.

Thursday, August 20, 2009


So I have huge news! we'll start small and I'll list my latest small victories then hit you up with the pure excitement. Get ready for a roller coaster blog that will make you laugh, cry, and pee yourself with delight. If you play the final countdown while you are reading this, your heart might explode so read con mucho cuidado.

First, I have been having mass problems with my computer charger. This would be really no problem if I were in the US or if I had more than a well behaved dog's comprehension of spanish. Sadly neither was working in my favor. I made myself look like a huge idiot a handful of times but I navigated my way around 2 malls, a taxi ride, a technology store, and a bus and made it back with a charger that solved all the world's problems. I used a ton of shit spanish but it is definitely coming along.

Second,  my friend and MSU triathlete, Matt Inch, is about to do his first US age group nationals. He is ready to go about very fast and certainly sub 2 depending on the day which should put him in great contention for both the overall and the win in his 20-24 age group. The reason this is a victory for me is because he is one of my best friends and I have had a huge hand in teaching him about this sport. I have made a ton of mistakes and I try to prevent him from doing the same. We have made mistakes together and made each other way faster. It is great to see him kill it and watching him figure out how to race and train is really cool for me. I'll let you know how he goes but he should put the screws to the field.

Finally,  my main victory was finding a triathlon team in the dominican. I hooked up with the dominican u23 national team completely by accident today. I was dicking around in the pool doing more flopping than actual swimming and a huge storm rolled in. Everyone abandoned the pool but a group of about 15 guys. They had some run gear and looked like triathletes so I asked in broken basset hound spanish if they were triathletes and the coach said yes. I talked to him for about 40 minutes (all in spanish!) and he asked me if I wanted to train with them! I am so pumped as i had 0 expectations of finding a team down here. I love stumbling into these situations and it also reinforces my mantra of never plan anything.

Thug Life,


Saturday, August 15, 2009

Golpe De Calor

It's hot again... Just to get a feel for it.... here are some of the STRENUOUS activities that have resulted in my profuse sweating...

Sitting in a cab
Making juice
Eating a peanut butter sandwich
Hanging up dirty clothes
and my personal favorite...
Taking a cold shower somehow made me sweat

My sister warned me that this climate was a surefire recipe for Bacne so I am trying to stay clean and cool but I fear the worst. Next time I write, my back may look like a pepperoni pizza. Pray for me.

Next on in agenda.....
In the never ending battle against cab drivers, I have seen a chink in their armor. They are constantly trying to over charge me based only on my gorgeous freckles and milky skin. I am fighting back against this profiling, however flattering it may be. A guy tried to over charge me 2 dollars yesterday and another guy tried to get me for 3 the day before. With my marginally improving Spanish, I fended both off and stole the second guys lighter accidentally. The tide may be turning and soon I may be charging them to take me around town.

This picture makes me feel so good inside. Sort of like when I watch Hugh Grant movies.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Brian Damage

Hello again to all my friends,

I'd like to take this opportunity to share with you a most.... unpleasant and unfortunate event. It would seem my life has become a comedy of errors and a most predictable one at that.
I have been hit by a car, I have run over a rattle snake, been circled by a shark, electrocuted and now this....

I woke up feeling brand new...
I was thinking about the beating my knees had taken in their relatively short life and musing that I probably would be relegated to a wheel chair within a decade (DRAMATIC IRONY). Anyway...I thought to myself, "probably should go for a run." Just as that thought crossed my usually blank mind, the heavens opened up and a torrential downpour began. I set out anyway, thinking it was my first chance to run in a somewhat normal temperature as the rain would cool it off a bit. The run was brilliant and I was getting some serious stares. Normal stares are reserved for gringos. When gringos do strange things, the stares go from curiosity to condescending repulsion very quickly.
I got lost and shot out onto a main road. I was running down the sidewalk and the drainage in Santo Domingo isn't exactly a marvel of modern engineering. Needless to say, I was splashing through a lake. Just as I started really enjoying the run and a smile crossed my face, I DROPPED INTO A MANHOLE! In the middle of broad daylight. Completely submerged in 3rd world water, I thought, "this can't be real... I can't believe this is my life". My entire body into a drain... *shakes head in exasperation* I pulled myself out and gasped at the polluted air in shock. I crawled out, much to the surprise of a bus full of dominicans, and took stock of the damage. Bloody hand, giant welt on quad from hitting the curb, and busted knees (of course) from hitting as I fell face first down the manhole. I looked at the water... haha. well, look for yourself.

I limped back home. Bloody. Dirty. Badly bruised. Incredulous.

Moral: If you put your faith in puddles, you will get your heart broken. Even if it seems like a nice puddle that you would take home to your parents, think twice bloggers. They are all the same. Dirty liars.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

THUG is just one letter more than HUG :)

I am about to smack you in the face with some real talk so sit down and callate.

Here is what happened to me recently that is funny to me. We'll see if it cuts the mustard and is interesting to you too.

  • First things first... I traveled to a place called Las Terrenas (mass white sand beaches and thieves and junk) with 2 friends and Caitlin
  • We spent the wknd on the beach and Caitlin almost got robbed which was funny.
  • I found a knife and hunted coconuts (I learned to climb palm trees and which ones were ripe and effective ways to gut the cocos) I was like Tom Hanks in that boring movie where he talks to that volleyball the whole time.
  • We stayed in a Mansion for some reason ( friend of a friend of a friend lives there) for 15 dollars a night
  • When I was climbing one of the many palms, I failed to notice a wire that was hooked to a light and I got electrocuted BIG TIME. I got shocked off the tree when I was halfway up. It also caused my arm to pink up like a salmon steak. It was hilarious and I felt like a stupid dog running into an electrical fence. Life lessons.
  • I might have gotten a job as a permasubsitute teacher at an english school. THUG LIFE!
  • I also found out where the triathlon federation de dominicana is located and they will be visited shortly by a certain bear that everyone knows and few bearly tolerate (PUN).

Love you and post comments if you think this was cool or really boring (be harsh because I want this blog to be all killer and no filler like the opposite of a limp bizkit album or something)

Fred Durst out.

Monday, August 3, 2009



So I am in the dominican republic as we speak (actually you aren't speaking... I am writing... so pipe down and listen). This is my third day here and I am locked in an apartamento ahora.... I will get back to that. Oh also, get used to spanglish because I am learning espanol and it may come out like word vomit.

This country is pretty cool from what I have seen and not nearly as third world as the US stereotype dictates from what I have seen. Caitlin and I have been wandering around looking for food and other items. The food is excellent. But food is pretty much excellent everywhere. The dish that sticks out is MOFONGO. El Mofongo es hecho de platanos y la piel de puerco. En igleis, plaintains and pork rinds. It is amazing. Mira esto.

It is how you get obese on a budget. Speaking of which, nothing is cheap. In fact, quite the opposite. The cost of living, foodwise, is more expensive than california. Porque? Yo tengo ni idea pero asi es la vida.

Also, we saw a dead dog on the side walk. It was a shock to the system. It was quite dead and I think it had been shot in the head. I don't want to see it again.

The heat and humidity is effing loco and I am sweating profusely as I write and gumming up the keyboard. I wake up in the middle of the night dripping like a hot dog on a rotisserie. I am hoping I will get used to it pero no estoy seguro.



ps. I am locked in an apartment because things lock from the inside as well as the outside. Good for ensuring that you have the keys but bad if you don't have the keys and want to escape.