Checking Up On Team Garmin
Call Me Vineman…or Call Me Crazy!
Hey Garmin fans! What’s up? It’s been a while since I have checked in on the Team Garmin blog and a lot has happened since my last post. After completing my second Ride the Rockies this past summer, I decided that I wanted to ride the Rockies everyday, so I moved to Colorado! A new job opportunity with the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association brought me to Denver, Colorado, in August. I enjoyed riding out of my driveway and into the mountains for several months…until the holiday blizzard of ’06 covered the roads permanently in snow and ice (at least it seems that way – we’ve had seven snow storms in the past seven weeks!).
So instead of cycling I have taken up a new form of physical activity – shoveling and snowshoeing! My wife got me some snowshoes for Christmas after I joked about needing them to get to the store. It’s a lot of fun…and it’s a great workout. Check out my snowshoe “tracks” that I uploaded to MotionBased.com above.
In addition to my own tracks, I have seen a lot of animal tracks – some of which freaked me out a little. I wouldn’t want to encounter a bear (they’re hibernating now, right?) or hungry mountain lion up here. As you will see on MotionBased, I don’t move very fast in these things!
The other big development is that I went off the deep end and registered for the Vineman 70.3 Ironman Triathlon, to be run on July 22nd in Sonoma, California. Call me crazy, because I probably am! But now that I live in the Rockies I needed a new goal to motivate me to get my butt out of bed in the morning to swim, bike and run. After all, I’m going to be 43 in May and have to work harder than ever to stay in shape!
The Vineman is one of the most competitive triathlons in the world – one of only four half Ironman distance triathlons where the top finishers can qualify for the Ironman World Championship in Kona, Hawaii. Don’t worry, mom, I don’t plan to qualify. My goal is just to finish!
Vineman (click on the map for a bigger view) begins with a 1.2 mile swim in the Russian River near Guerneville, California. I’ve never swam in a river before, so this should be interesting. The first half mile is upstream – against the current! Talk about being up a creek…
The 56-mile bike portion winds past hundreds of vineyards and dozens of wineries in the Sonoma and Russian River Valleys. There are a couple of good climbs on the ride. The biggest – Chalk Hill – a 385 foot climb that comes at mile 45 of 56. But the total elevation gain on the ride is only 1600 feet, so I’m not too concerned. My regular training rides around Castle Rock average between 2,000-4,000 feet of climbing in less distance. Actually, I’m really looking forward to the ride and plan to take it easy and save my legs for the 13.1 run.
The run is the leg I dread. I’ve never done a half marathon – let alone after a 56-mile ride and 1.2 mile swim! It’s an out and back course that turns around at the La Crema Winery in the Russian River Valley. My goal is to average 10-minute miles. That may not sound fast (and it’s not!), but that should get me to the finish line under 7 hours, which is my overall goal. And besides, I need to save a little energy to enjoy a little wine and a good steak dinner. Yes, I’ll be eating BEEF. After all … it’s what’s for dinner! And it’s loaded with the zinc, iron and protein my body will need to recover. (ed. note: Daren, you’re shameless!)
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