UIStackView is a beautiful thing

Using UIStackView in auto layout to arrange four buttons is a breeze and the outcome is fewer lines of code.

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Nice refactoring using UIStackView

 

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Four button laid out using a UIStackView

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2017 NYRR 18 mile Marathon Tuneup

I headed into this 18 mile tuneup race with the goal of holding MAF pace for the duration. It turned out that I held MAF for the first 2 loops of the 3 loop Central Park 6 mile course. The last loop I pushed the pace over MAF to finish. Now I’m able to comfortable register for the upcoming Steamtown Marathon a few weeks away. Post Ironman Kalmar I wanted to test my remaining fitness into a standalone marathon.

 

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2017 NYRR 5th Avenue Mile

I had a personal best at this year’s NYRR 5th Avenue mile and felt great. I was able to increase and be comfortable holding my pace throughout the run. Finished at a 5:50 pace.

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Christiansborg Rundt 2K Swim

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Race cap and packet was picked up on Race Day in Copenhagen

 

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4262 Ready to enjoy the Christiansborg Swim

This week being in Malmo which is close to Copenhagen we decided to venture to Denmark’s city for some sightseeing. One of the quickest ways to explore a city is a tour. In Copenhagen with all the waterfront’s historical sites we choose a boat tour as the obvious path – hands down one of the best ways to see all of Copenhagen’s harbor.

Close to the conclusion of the tour, the guide mentioned to us that there would be a 2K swim race on Saturday. Oh yeah! Sign me up!

After some decision making to see if its feasible with our schedule I signed up. Anh didn’t have a wetsuit so we weren’t able to do it together. This would have been great if we were able to partake in the Christiansborg Rundt together especially with two Grandparents to take care of the kids. Christiansborg Rundt literally means swim around Chrsitiansborg in Danish. The 2K swim is around the buildings of parliament which includes the Christiansborg Slot or Castle. A castle that apparently burned down twice in its history.

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Christiansborg Slot (castle) waterfront side along the swim course

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Christiansborg Slot (castle) street side along the path Anh walked

The swim is an all day event which consists of over 12000 participants of all abilities. At the time of registration I was able to sign up for heat 42 at 2:40pm as earlier slots were already taken. However the time was perfect for a vacationer. With such a historic swim and this being my first Christiansborg Rundt by no means would it be a race. It would be 2000 meters of swim sightseeing fun.

Copenhagen’s harbor has been slated as being one of the cleanest, contrary I have done some swimming in New York’s Hudson River so any cleaner venue is welcomed.

The Christiansborg Rundt route is walkable for spectators so Anh, Miles and Norah (in stroller) were able to maneuver around easily catching me in quite a few spots along the way. I stopped waved to them and Anh took a few videos and photos.

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One of the many times I stopped to wave to my family and get some photos

I’m very glad I was able participate in the Christiansborg Rundt 2000 meter swim.

The water was a bit chilly but perfect for wetsuit swimming at 19C. I opted to use my tinted goggles. In retrospect I could have used my mirrored pair as heading pass the 1000 meter mark the sun’s glare was a distraction with sighting. There were meter markers at 600, 800, 1000, 1800 respectively.

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1000 meter mark. Half way to the finish.

An event I would recommend for anyone who is around in this time frame of the event ~ August 26th or participated in IRONMAN Kalmar like I did or Copenhagen.

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Very enjoyable swim. I would do it again without hesitation. Highly recommended.

 

enjoyed swimming around you

Thanks for the swim

 

anchors away

Could as well set our anchors in Copenhagen. Great city

 

medal

Beautiful medal

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Christiansborg

 

After the Christiansborg Rundt we walked over to Copenhagen Street food.

Race Report: IRONMAN Kalmar

Prelude

Last year while on our trip visiting my wife’s parents in Sweden we went to Öland and Kalmar to spend a few days. While driving over the Öland bridge from Kalmar I knew this was a place I aspired to ride my bike during an IRONMAN. The Öland bridge at one time was the longest bridge in Europe. If anything else biking over the 6Km Öland bridge would be one of the highlights of the IRONMAN Kalmar for me.

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Doing a shakeout pre race swim. Öland bridge in the background.

When we got back to New York and registration for Kalmar opened up I immediately registered. Knowing that accommodation around the transition area (where the race starts and bike is racked along with all needs including bike bag, run bag) for race start would be selling out quickly so we went ahead and browsed Airbnd for potential spots. Kalmar is a relatively small in comparison to urban settings so there are few hotels. We booked a small cottage in Kalmar about 12 mintues walking distance from transition.

bike tools

Bike tools I used to break down and rebuild my Scott Plasma.

bike with bubble wrap

Even with some padding in my SciCon bag I went an extra step and bubble wrapped and boxed the bike between 2 sheets of polystyrene foam. Piece of mind well worth the time.

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Odd Size baggage, a look of concern on my little mans face. Could it be he’s worried about customs handling?

At this point race registration and lodging was done. My last and only IRONMAN was 6 years ago in Lake Placid, NY so I would need to work on my base again for the 140.6 distance (2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike, 26.2 mile run). It would be a 36 week training block. I started training for Kalmar last December. My peak week of training was 18 hours. I averaged approximately 10 -12 hours of training per week. During my training I completed two century rides. The first was to Montauk lighthouse – 127 miles and the second was to Orient State Beach park – 109 miles.

spotted my name

On the list of 2700 athletes

my little coach

Bag upgrade from my IRONMAN in Lake Placid 6 years ago where we only got a drawstring bag.

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Photo op with the family. 2 days to race day. Swim finish in the back

ironman bracelet at sign

It’s happening!!!

tri kit setup

Swim – Bike – Run Setup

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Race bib. I had to hand fill the Saint Lucian flag as IRONMAN left it blank

miles at ironkids

IRONKids superstar

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Mandatory Bike and bag checkin with my IRONKid finisher

Race Day (August 19th, 2017)

The day I’ve been working towards for the past 9 months is here. Race start for Age Groupers was 7am. The swim was a rolling start (self seeded start) as opposed to the past being a mass start (where everybody started at the same time). This is called swim smart and was started a few years ago by IRONMAN to keep the swim safer. I got up at 3:30am to start prepping and have an early breakfast.

My family planned to meet me at the start at 7am but it was pouring outside when I got up. I told Anh if the rain continued I would rather them be dry and stay home then catch me on the bike when the rain cleared up. Summer is Sweden up to the point when we got there was said to be very wet as described by residents. Up to race day contrary to it being wet most days as they reported we had very favorable weather.

I prepared my bike nutrition the night before and refrigerated it. I switched my bike nutrition flavor a few weeks ago to lemon-lime since the race organizers were providing orange flavored electrolyte drinks throughout the bike and run.

nutrition

Bike Nutrition

Race evening we checked in our bike and run bags which is mandatory. I made sure to pack my Smith Podium TT aero helmet in its case as to protect it. I was okay with losing a few seconds in transition to protect my white stylist helmet :-). I did a simulation walkthrough the bike and run transitions to get familiar with bag positions and bike rack. Being at 6’3″ I always seem to have bike rack issues. The racks are always too short for proper racking. I was able to get a velcro strap from a race captain to secure if from falling.

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Pano of Bike Transition. My bike is racked in J with black background

Wind forecast called for 20-25mph gusts. It would be definitely be a windy bike.

It was pouring so much I decided to walk the 12 minute walk from our rented cottage to transition in my wetsuit. It was actually quite comfortable. I left my phone at the cottage and took Anh’s temporary Swedish phone number as I wasn’t taking any chances with all that rain and damaging my phone. We had purchased sim cards in Sweden as we wouldn’t opt for ATTs $10 US a day roaming charges. We went with local phone provider, Comviq which provides coverage throughout Europe at very reasonable prices. Anh’s family is in Malmö which is only a short hour train ride away from Copenhagen, Denmark, so we would be visiting there for sure and also needed phone / data coverage.

When I got to transition I pumped my tires to 120psi as I do in training. I made last bike checks, placed all my bike nutrition on the bike including 6 gels in the frame storage. The rain at that point had stopped.

It was now 6:30am. Age Groupers were all making their way to the start as transition was closing up. A triathlete supporter was kind enough to let me use her phone to call Anh and let them know the rain had stopped and they could make their way to the start.

We would miss each other but knowing they were close made the start that much more fun.

Swim

Right at the start of the swim I was having an enjoyable race day.

I may have seeded myself a bit optimistically but the water space was pretty wide to allow for easy swimming but still people were not too aware of their swim surroundings and zig zagging across each other. I got into a smooth rhythm as in my long training swims and just kept progressing and taking the experience of swimming in the Baltic sea all in. After all my last and only IRONMAN was 6 years ago.

The water temp in Kalmar was about 62F or 18C. I had a test swim 2 days earlier so I knew this temp wouldn’t be too bad especially with my wetsuit.

water thermometer

Thermometer shows 62F. Very comfortable

As we began to approach the swim finish we made our way through some tight spots where there were spectators on either side cheering us on. This was a definite highlight during the swim. The last half of the swim I was able to increase my swim tempo and really felt great. Despite finishing the swim in 1 hr 22 minutes (6 minutes slower than predicted) I had absolute fun and it was a great swim.

swim finish

Swim finish

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Swim Course

 

Swim Stats

Finish time: 1:22:38

Transition 1 (T1)

Contrary to some North American IRONMANs there weren’t wetsuit strippers onsite here in Sweden, this was ok. I took my time running into T1 to be able to spot my family while stripping off the suit. I was super psyched when I was able to see them. I took time to make physical contact with them then continued on to my bike.

I made my way to my run bag and change tent. There I did put on my arm warmers, helmet, compression socks and chamois butter.

Bike

The 112 mile bike took us into Öland. There we would bike approximately 66 miles or so. It was surely a very windy day on Öland and Kalmar. Thank God for my windy bike training days back home. Also opting not to use disc wheels and just sticking with my 55mm HED wheels was the perfect setup. The plan for the bike was to stick in an FTP range of 200 – 225 watts while keeping track of my pFe (perceived exertion) in the case I can push a bit more or need to ease back. There were some occasions where the crosswinds were so severe I thought my 195 lbs body would be flown off the bike course.

During the race briefing the officials went over the rules of the bike which included the obvious non-drafting rules and blocking. The one warning I was issued on the bike which made me even more reserved during the duration of the bike was touching the dashed lines on the left. The official rode up to me on his motorbike and told be this is a warning to be careful in the future. But I swore I still thought I had gotten a penalty and even later stopped at the penalty tent to verify. However the officials at the tent don’t get real time information about offenders. They told me I’m okay as long as I wasn’t presented a card (yellow. blue, red). What happened was I was attempting a pass and due to the winds some riders weren’t hearing “on your left” calls from the back. This rider was also trying to make a pass so I was forced to ride 3 a breast to pass him.

The course couldn’t have been better supported. There was a bottle exchange / aid station about every 20 miles. My hydration bike setup was an aero bottle on the down tube, a between the aero bar bottle and behind the saddle bottle. So at every aid station I would either exchange the water bottle out back or the electrolyte out front. Along the aid stations was also banana and bars.

aid station food

Aid Station products

Despite the winds this bike course could be very fast making for a bike personal best.

My fuel strategy was to take in my race specific nutrition like salt tablets, gels at every hour. At other times I drank water or my concentration of accelerade / maltodextrin drink from my aero bottle.

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Anh’s family made the trip up to support as well. I felt very blessed to have them there.

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Rocking the bike in Öland among crosswinds

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Bike Course

 

Bike Stats

Finish time: 5:41:46

Avg Speed: 19.9 mph

Avg Cadence: 81 rpm

Avg Power: 181 watts

Avg Heart Rate: 131 bpm

Transition 2 (T2)

Legs felt quite loose off the bike even with my last 10K TT effort to attempt breaking sub 5:40. I took off my aero helmet then carefully packed it back in the case, put my run shoes on, race belt and made my way out of T2.

Run 

My goal on the run was to keep a heart rate of 147 or below and let my body dictate the pacing. At mile 3 I had to intentionally slow down because pace was a minute faster than my intended race pace. The Kalmar run course is a 3.2 loop course of about 8 miles each. As expected the first loop was okay with no physical pain, effort or issues. Having done close to a dozen marathons I know the initial adrenaline and effortless running will fade during the latter part of the 26.2 miles, during lap 2 this was already becoming evident.

The previous IRONMAN I did in Lake Placid I made sure to walk all the aid stations while taking in nutrition, Kalmar would be no different.

At the aid stations it was open bar and buffet for all, there was red bull, coke, electrolyte, water, pickles, banana, gels, oranges. As with the bike essential nutrition I took in salt tabs every hour.

The last lap was where I would have to really get the shovel and dig deep to resist walking away from the scheduled aid station walks. The marathon wall was built at about mile 17-18 and I really had to chisel it out to make gains. Being experienced I continued to put one feet in front of the other to make forward progress.

Pickles became my food of choice during the latter part of lap 2 and the duration of lap 3. I chewed on them and spat out just to get the juice in. The walk / eat strategy at the aid stations would work because I began feeling better for the last 6k and was able to get the run pace closer to goal pace at that point.

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Kalmar City was very energetic

 

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Run course – 3.2 laps (approx. 8mi each)

 

3 run lap bracelets

Here with my 3 run wrist bands and registration bracelet. We received a band on each of the 3 loops

 

Run Stats

Finish Time: 3:58:03

Avg Heart Rate: 139 bpm

Avg Run Cadence: 80 spm

Avg Pace: 9:02 minutes / mile

Conclusion 

bike setup at pickup

2nd IRONMAN in the books. Picking up my bike. Notice the hydration setup. Race supplied bottle given at the aid stations in the back and front still in place

My feeling after this IRONMAN was one of pure exhilaration. I really felt I did the best my training had to offer on the day. I laid it all out on the course during each of the triathlon legs and left no space for what ifs?

finisher

Smile says it all!

medal at kalmar slott

Finisher medal at Kalmar Slott

Finisher Certificate

Official time: 11:17:11 (Personal Best)

 

Finish Video shot by my Sweetheart. I had to soak it all in. Who knows when I’ll toe the line again at an IRONMAN

 

my ironphans

My IRONPhans, could not have done it without them!

Highlights

  • biking over the Öland bridge
  • spectators cheering you on during tight portions of the swim
  • the energy during the Kalmar City portion of the run
  • the vastness of the Öland landscape
  • extremely well supported
  • did I mention the energy of the Kalmar community is enormours?
  • lots of places to do pre race swimming on Kalmar and Öland

Cons

  • lacking diversity
  • can’t claim special needs bag after the race like in some United States IRONMAN races
  • no wetsuit strippers – not a deal breaker by any means
  • athletes dinner for family members is over priced, do the “mandatory” briefing, but you can surely skip the dinner and head to a Kalmar restaurant
  • arrive early to the athletes dinner as being mandatory the tables all fill up and you’ll be left standing if late
  • restaurants tend to close pretty early – sorry a bit spoilt from being a New Yorker (city that never sleeps)

Bike to Sunken Meadow State Park

Weather went back and forth with 60% chance of rain during this bike ride to 0%. I was looking forward to somewhat testing my aero helmet in rainy conditions but a dry ride is always better.

85 miles out and back from Sunken Meadow while encountering 25mph wind gusts.

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42 miles away from home

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Short clip of an empty Sunken Meadow beach due to the weather

 

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Continuing the day with a run to the pool

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Did a straight 30 minute swim.

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Enjoying post training grub. It’s a training day wrap

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Run to Long Beach

Last week I ran to Rockaway beach which was a 2 hour and 30 minutes run. This week I needed to log in a longer run, preferably 3 hours to conclude my peak week of training heading into the last 4 weeks to IRONMAN Kalmar. After browsing google maps and planning a run around a family event I decided to make the destination Long Beach. That was a distance of about 19 miles, if I needed to add on more miles the boardwalk would be ideal. Also Long Beach was within 30 minutes of the party.

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Run to Long Beach – 20.2 miles

A next perk of running to the beach was the fact that there were showers on the boardwalk so I would be able to change into clean clothes there.

My nutrition was a 24 ounce bottle of my goto mix of maltodextrin and accelerade. When running in an urban setting there are plenty of delis, supermarkets along the way to stop and make a hydration purchase.

The earlier part of the run was quite familiar but some sections like Jamaica, were not. Those sections were not entertaining whatsoever to be frank. The city desperately needs to clean up the pedestrian stretch of Rockaway Blvd that leads to the beach.

There were areas with much higher grass than this. At 6’3″ like I am

The best part of the run was about the last 8 miles or so. Upon reaching the pedestrian path in Lawrence it was photo op every step thereafter.

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Lawrence, NY – for the next 8 miles it was fun scenic running

The run route also took me through Atlantic beach which has some beautiful houses along the way, this made for a very enjoyable run.


I stopped at Atlantic Beach Bagels for water. There I took in the SIS nutrition sample I got earlier in the day from a Science in Sports ambassador. This was the caffeinated option. I have to say being low on energy at that point it really did the work as promised by the label. It gave me fast energy, alertness and concentration to get a much needed boost.

SIS (Science in Sports) nutrition samples were handed at a CRCA race


Note here, if you want to access the beach at Long Beach, meaning step from the boardwalk to the sand/water there is a $15 charge per person. In my case I was just making use of the boardwalk and shower so no charge there.

Long Beach seems to have plenty to offer beachgoers as per concessions etc.


Getting to the boardwalk my legs felt an immediate relief as opposed to the asphalt the last 15 miles or so, this added more zest to the run. Having this new found adrenaline in my stride I pushed the last 3 miles at tempo pace and felt awesome.


At the end of my run I was able to relax after a shower on a picnic bench and have a lemonade from one of many food trucks that were at the Riverside Blvd entrance.

Great run day and peak week. Concluded the run doing 20.2 miles. Looking forward to the 2 remaining race specific weeks of training then it’s taper time 😀

Bike to Orient Beach State Park

Now that I’ve biked to the southern most easterly part of Long Island, Montauk, this particular ride would be to the northern most easterly part of the Island, Orient Beach State Park.

Ride to Montauk – 127 miles

 

Bike to Orient State Beach Park – 110 miles

The ride distance would be 110 miles (2 miles shy of the IRONMAN bike distance) so I needed to allocate sufficient calories for at least the first two-thirds of the ride. I packed 6 gels (100 calories each), a bottle mix of approximately 1000 calories of accelerade and maltodextrin. Enough salt tablets to consume 3 every hour and Gatorade in my behind saddle bottle cage.

I opted for the aero helmet to keep up to race specific gear choice.

Last week I went to ACME Bicycle for a fit tuneup (included with the fee of the initial bike fit) since I was having a slight back issue in aero. Jonathan Blyer, owner and fitter extraordinaire swapped out my spacer stack on the aero base with a more specific 40mm option.

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New Spacers were installed

We did some testing on the trainer and the back issue seemed to have been corrected. However the true test would be on this ride.

In contrast to my 127 mile ride to Montauk which ended at the lighthouse and doesn’t have a designated beach area, the ride to Orient Point would conclude at the beach. So that would be perfect to have a cooldown recovery swim.

It had rained the night before and the weather for the day would be perfect with zero chance of precipitation throughout Long Island.

Most of this ride or at least two-thirds of this route I have done before on my rides to Montauk, Splish Splash and Harbes Farm. I was looking forward to new riding territory.

Calverton – home of Splish Splash

I packed my run shoes in the car as Anh would be joining me with the kids at Orient Park. I needed to do at least a 20 minute brick run off this ride for more race simulation.

It was a very humid day so I ran short of hydration early. At mile 80 or so I stopped and bought some needed fuel. I bought some refreshing coconut water, an organic ginger/lemon drink and a litre of water which I distributed in my two aero bottles and drank the rest before remounting the bike.

The endless farms and small family owned restaurants always gives me the urge to pull over and indulge. However one of the perks to having someone meet you is the urgency to be on time. (one day I very much look forward to just planning out and having a tour out East with Anh so we can leisurely enjoy all Long Island has to offer – including the North Fork winery trails 😀)

Orient Park Entrance

At the pay booth to the Orient beach there is a 2 mile stretch of just beach which couldn’t make for a more scenic beach entrance.

From here on 2 more miles of nice beach front to finish the ride off

I got to the park and did some light spinning then relaxed at a picnic bench awaiting the family to arrive by car.

Orient State Beach Park provides quite a bit of amenities, including bar-b-que grills, playground facilities for the little ones, lockers, showers, concession. Whether you bike, drive to Orient Point you won’t be disappointed while enjoying a full day of beach and relaxing fun.

Enjoying with the little lady below.

Mama and the little man swimming around

Just chilling with the Iron horse


On our way back home we stopped in Greenport for dinner and dessert. A next town that has places to explore, wish we had time to stop by the carousel at the harbor with Miles. One can also take the ferry to Shelter Island from Greenport.

After some Latin dinner we had some pastries from D’Latte in Greenport

 

Run to Rockaway Beach to test Cold Swim Gear

After taking a day off for recovery after the SOLMAN half I planned out a long run to Rockaway Beach. The run would be 2 hours 30 minutes in duration. Then afterwards I needed to test the Blueseventy thermal swim cap and swim booties I bought in case of a cold IRONMAN kalmar swim in Sweden.

It was a hot day (89F high) so I made sure to put sunscreen on. Went out with my tentative racing kit (Castelli San Remo Short Sleeve skin suit). Also wanted to test how it feels swimming in the Castelli skin suit beneath my full wetsuit. Lots of testing in prep for race day. Goal is to eliminate surprises I can control.

The run was pretty uneventful and my legs despite being a bit sore held up pretty well at a sub 9 moderate pace to the beach. The furthest I’ve gotten to the Rockaway beach is the the Broad Channel bridge with Anh, during marathon training.


Getting to Rockaway Beach is approximately 12 miles from home, under the 2 hour run mark. So I needed to make up the remaining miles on the boardwalk.


I wasn’t sure how long the boardwalk was but after asking some locals they said it’s about 6 miles, base on the book of knowledge wikipedia it’s currently 5.5 miles. I ran to the end of the West end of the Boardwalk which is at Beach 126th Street then headed back to Beach 96th Street which is where I entered.

End of the Rockaway Beach West Side Boardwalk

I needed to finish at Beach 81st which is where I would meet up with Anh and the kids for a beach morning.

A quick break for a Plank shot

Continued running East on the Boardwalk then turned around Beach 50th and finished off the run at 81st as intended. The duration of the run was the scheduled 2 hours 30 minutes, a bit over 17 miles.

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17.4 miles of running

I am very content with how well my legs held up given my hard effort during the SOLMAN 8 mile run portion.


As mentioned I also wanted to test my cold swimming gear. So after recovering a bit on the beach with the family I did a short half mile swim to test the gear out. I did Emilio’s Swim Cap Sandwich and wore the Blueseventy swim booties as well. All tested fine and I barely, if ever felt the temp of the water which would indicate that a cold swim would be okay.

I’ve got Daddy’s Thermal cap and Swim botties on 🙂

A local also mentioned to me that there was a Half marathon yesterday. Now 5 weeks to race day………..

Enjoying a beach morning

Inaugural SOLMAN Half Triathon

Transition area all ready

After posting that I would be doing a self supported Half Iron distance triathlon on Facebook a friend of mine, Rahmin, decided to join in. That was immediately going to be double the fun of the event.

Breakfast of Champions

The format of the SOLMAN half, would be the usual swim bike run with a twist. The original plan was to bike to the pool using our road bikes which is 2.3 miles from my home, do the swim then bike home to transition to our TT bikes for the remainder of the 56 mile bike. However due to logistics we decided to run to the pool instead. So the day would consist of a run -> swim -> run -> bike -> run.

The weather heading into SOLMAN called for showers on the bike. The severity of the rain fluctuated between 10% precipitation to 90% leading to the morning of our event. Not ideal to bike in the rain, but again we both agreed to move forward with the date as training in the rain is an essential element you must be used to especially the fact that it could also occur during race day.

It would 100% by the time we got on the bikes

Run to the Pool – 2.3 miles 

The run to the pool was at a very easy pace. The intended workout here is the 1.2 mile swim. In my run bag I carried along: my sleeveless wetsuit, goggles and spare, swim cap and spare, lube for the wetsuit (to prevent chaffing – instant burn if you ever forget to put lube on) We got to the pool about 10 minutes prior to opening. Pool opens at 6am. So I used that time to put my wetsuit halfway on and switched my run shoes to flip flops.

Swim – 1.2 miles 

Rahmin is a faster swimmer, so I got an initial 4 minutes swim start on him. Being to the pool at opening made for a great swim as the lanes were not yet crowded. The Flushing Aquatic Pool is not strict on lane usage. So the fast lanes will have occasional breaststrokers just cruising along at a slow pace. Not today it was Rahmin, myself, a friend of mine, Janinie who is doing IRONMAN Lake Placid next weekend and one of those slower swimmers, he was never in the way. The swim was uneventful. I just kept it nice and easy for the first 1000 meters focusing on long smooth strokes. It would be the last 500 meters that I picked my swim pace a notch. We concluded out 80 laps of the 25 meter pool and transitioned back to our run gear.

1.2 mile swim done!!

Run home – 2.3 miles 

Again this leg was just a transition tool to get to out TT bikes. I made sure to prepare all that I needed the night before including nutrition, finding stuff in the morning only adds wasted time to an already time-crunched day. One of the goals of the day was to get to the Hilton Club hotel in the city to see Norah participate in the NYC Triathlon baby derby. Anh was slated to get there by 12pm for registration. If I was running later I would without hesitation cut my 13.1 mile run short to get there on time as the baby derby started at 1pm.

Bike – 56 miles 

Fresh Gatorskins – Race day will be 4000S II

We would undoubtedly encounter rain during the bike leg. The bike route would take us out East to Long Island and the turnaround would be at the 28 mile mark which would be in Woodbury, NY. When we started the rain was just a drizzle, not a big deal. I choose to wear a long sleeve jersey over my tri top because with rain it would be a chilly ride as well. I made sure to pack my phone in a waterproof pouch and a second spare inner tube. The night before I had received my order of fresh tires (Continental Gatorskins) and bought some inner tubes from REI (Qtubes 80 mm for just $6). So I was ready!

Garmin Extended Front Mount

Also added to my bike setup was a quick realease for my Garmin 910xt and a Garmin extended out front mount. All those would be ideal to test on the day. Then came the rain. Holy! Yes it was torrential downpours. As heavy as storm rains passing throught my home island of Saint Lucia. It was heavy. I wear contacts so the worse part of the rain was rain entering my eye. I choose to use my Road helmet with clear sunglasses due to the weather. But in retrospect I wonder if my Smith Podium TT Aero helmet with the clear shield would have worked better. Guess I need a next rain day test? On the day I ditched power numbers and just rode moderately hard on perceived rate of exertion (by feel). The test here was to evaluate how I can run off the bike pushing over 75% FTP which on the main segments of this ride I was clearly over glancing on occasion at my Garmin. At one point on the way back I encountered several deep puddles of water, one must have been a foot deep (could have been a good photo moment there). First time riding with Rahmin, despite the heavy rains the ride went on quite well. We took turns pulling from the front and kept mostly at legal race distance of 12 meters apart or so. Thankfully on the day the bike concluded without incident of mechanical.

Monsoon 56 mile bike completed ✅

Run – 13.1 miles 8 miles 

The initial plan was to run to the NYC Triathlon expo (home of the baby derby) then head to Central Park to add some more miles to make up the 13.1 miles. However due to the fact that I needed to get to Anh and Norah by 12:30pm I decisively reduced the run distance and opted to finish the run at the expo without the additional miles. Rahmin just qualified for the Boston Marathon and is an uber runner, we both decided to run our own pace since.  He would turnaround at the city side of the Queeensboro bridge and we would be able to catch each other on his way back. I felt surprisingly good running off the bike. Yes at that point it was only mile 1, but I was able to keep a very fast pace throughout, making sure to play close attention to my run form. I finished off the run averaging 7:41 minute / mile.

Running to baby Norah

It was a great and successful event of swim, bike run today and the inaugural SOLMAN half. I decided to opt for this simulation half distance as opposed to signing up for a race this weekend to save up $$$ for my “A” IRONMAN distance race in Sweden coming up in 5 weeks. In conclusion I would gladly do an event in this format again.  Friends you are welcome to join….

Baby Derby report: Norah would follow her brother’s footsteps – no pun intended and stay in position the duration of the race without moving a cm 🙂 Hey she showed up 🙂

Anh made me a goodie bag 🙂

Daddy is here…..

Yay made it to the baby derby

Happy Camper

Yeah I’m chillin’