Tuesday, November 17, 2009
It was pretty overcast today, a little breezy, high in the mid-70's; a perfect day to paddle, I thought. At the launch there was an otter swimming around and staring at me unload my boat. I started W, hanging about 30' off the beach. About half a mile into the trip I heard this low, deep, guttural growling sound coming from the bank nearby. I couldn't tell if it was coming from the woods or the tall grassy swampy area in front of the woods. I stopped and listened and it kept sounding every 20 seconds or so. I didn't know what the hell to make of it; bear, bobcat, what? I spun around and paddled slowly in the direction of the noise, staying mindful of my distance from the treeline should a bear come flying out of the brush. When I was about 20' from the tall grass, something low lurched quickly and noisily forward, indicating a gator. I never saw it, but I backed off and headed on my way. I had no idea they could make that noise. A little research online returned this video:
That was exactly the noise I heard. This is the wrong time of year for mating displays, so my guess is territory. Thing is, I've seen plenty of alligators, large and small. One friend suggested that I'm getting a little blase' about them. I've never heard this noise before. I didn't even know they made noises. It came from other places as well; either there was an echo on the lake or other gators were responding to this one's call (rather disconcerting). I saw a pretty big one a little further down, and the wind picked up enough to slap little waves into my beam. The combination of wind, chop, gloomy cloudy skies, and my perception that there were multiple large alligators all around me that were growling diminished my desire to carry on alone enough for me to call it quits. I know that it was probably fine, but no point in tempting fate and a possible future as alligator shit. I stroked back and loaded up. I spent the afternoon improving the garden and reading; very comfortable.
Tuesday, November 3, 2009
Sunday, November 1, 2009
Sunday, October 25, 2009
Second, after paddling today we went to the local paddle shop, The Wilderness Way, which was quite conveniently located just a couple miles from the launch, where I purchased The National Audubon Society's Field Guide to Florida, which should help me ID the random plants and animals I come across in my wanderings. It's an overall sort of deal ("birds, animals, trees, wildflowers, insects, weather, nature preserves, and more"), so not too specific, but enough to get me pointed in the right direction in our new environment. N FL is different enough from NC to necessitate some ecological education.
Finally, I got us both USCG approved whistles, which makes us legal, and safer. I read recently of a Wisconsin man who went missing while kayaking on Lake Superior. He was apparently both skilled and experienced, which should serve as a reminder for the rest of us (http://www.northlandsnewscenter.com/news/local/65917347.html).
The wildlife was great. There were a couple of broad winged hawks in our backyard this morning when I was loading, which I took for a (very non-superstitious) good omen. Just before we got to the launch we saw a (live) deer on the side of the road. This is a great birding river; we saw double-crested cormorant, anhinga, pied-billed grebe, osprey, eastern kingbird, great egret, great blue heron, little blue heron, yellow crowned night heron, piliated woodpecker, american crow, turkey vulture, misc. gulls, and even a bald eagle circling high overhead (unmistakable white head, black wings, white tail, and HUGE). There was an alligator or two, and raccoon on the banks. The highlight, and real reason for choosing this trip for today, were the manatee. The first ones we encountered a mile or so down from the launch, feeding on grass beds under water (there were two). They seemed completely unconcerned about us floating just a few feet overhead. Every once in a while they came up to breathe, and then went right back down to keep feeding. Another guy was a little further down. He had a tracking buoy attached to his tail and was easy to spot because it floated a few feet behind him when he was close to the surface. He swam along with us for quite a while, practically serving as our guide for the better part of a mile. A few others popped up to breathe once in a while. It was so cool. They were only a few feet away.
My paddle blade in the frame, which indicates how close this big guy is.
We finally reached the takeout, where my bike was still safely locked up and untampered with. Aimee hung out and read while I pedaled 8 miles up the bike trail to pick up the truck. It was a nice ride. I'll definitely be doing more bike shuttles in the future. It was a great day on and off the water, and now I'm about to eat dinner (chicken stir-fry) and relax. Cheers.
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
First was Graham Creek, which can be accessed right under CR 65 in the forest. It's a small blackwater (quite literally, the darkest water I've ever seen) creek on the edge of Tate's Hell State Forest that snakes through fascinating cypress/tupelo swamp on its way to the East River and then the Apalachicola River further downstream. The banks aren't really visible (though water was pretty high); there's just a tree-line that forms the edge of the creek. Michael said that when the flowers on the tupelo trees are in bloom you can hear the bees from a half mile away. The only wildlife we saw was a gator. He was big enough and moving fast enough that he made a wake. This one will be worth seeing again in the winter when all the leaves are off the trees and again in the spring when the trees bloom and the bees are in. We didn't go far because we wanted to spend the bulk of the day at the next spot, so we were on and off the water again in about an hour.
The second trip was on Kennedy Creek, another blackwater creek a little further up CR 65 and deeper in the forest. The launch is from a place called Cotton's Landing (there's signage) a few miles down dirt forest roads. Somewhere along the way to the Apalachicola River the flora shifts from the cypress/tupelo swamp seen previously on Graham to cypress/tupelo/pine/willow mixed forest more typical of other regional rivers I've seen so far. Near the mouth of the creek there are a few houseboats. We went into the river looking for sandbars to lunch on, but the water was so high (from all the recent rain in GA) that they were all submerged. We managed to find a spot on the opposing bank where we ate and rested for the trip back. Out and back was 12 miles (on Michael's GPS). A few birds: little blue heron, green heron, great egret, hairy woodpecker, red-bellied woodpecker, piliated woodpecker; I'm sure I'm forgetting some. A good trip and worth another look.
Despite being over twice my age and having children older than me, Michael's pace is fairly grueling. He called our pace today, "a little slow." I thought we were moving along pretty well. He's got a crew of like-minded paddlers that I'm hoping to join for a few trips, if I can keep up. We'll see.
Sunday, October 4, 2009
Thursday, October 1, 2009
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
One of the little guys
Monday, September 7, 2009
Aimee and I paddled the upper section of the St. Marks River this morning. The put-in/take-out is just beyond the Natural Bridge Battlefield State Park. The spot we used was immediately past the park, but there's a better one just a little further up. The trip is supposed to be 2.5 miles upriver to Horn Springs and back, for a total of 5 miles, but we weren't able to get to the springs due to rather large trees that have fallen across the river. We portaged around the first one (somewhere around 2 miles up), and quickly encountered another. We were looking for a short easy paddle today (thus the choice of this one), so we decided to call it quits and float back. Someone suggested that the hunting club that owns the adjacent land cut a few trees to limit access by paddlers. It's going to take a good bit of work to get all the way through. Next time I'll take a handsaw so I can at least clear some OK portages and deal with brushy blockages, but the trees aren't coming out of there without a chainsaw and a lot of hard work, so I'll let them be. Despite not making it to the springs, we still had a nice time. The river isn't very wide, ranging 15'-35' across, running through remote cypress/pine forest with dense undergrowth (a lot of palmetto). We didn't see any wildlife besides a couple of birds, but there were a lot of animal droppings where we portaged and it was very undeveloped, so the potential is there. I want to see a bear. It's a nice spot for a short paddle, but be prepared for the portages/haulovers. I'm going to wait for cooler weather to thin the vegetation and then see if I can get all the way up. There were lots of spiders strung up in the overhanging branches. Cheers.
Sunday, September 6, 2009
The rest of the day was spent putting tricolor sage, silver thyme, and garlic in the herb garden, reading, cutting my hair, and hanging with Aimee. Tomorrow we're paddling the short upper section of the St. Marks River from the Natural Bridge to Horn Springs. I'll post the results. Cheers.
Wednesday, September 2, 2009
Read it. It's quite digestible and informative. Here's my quick synopsis:
Diamond is an evolutionary ornithologist who spends a lot of time in New Guinea. An indigenous New Guinean man asks him one day why Diamond's people, meaning people of European ancestry, have so much cargo (stuff), while his people (and by extension the rest of the colonized or formerly colonized world) have so little. He thinks about it for twenty years, and this book is his attempt to answer the question. In a very simplistic form, his answer is this: geography. Eurasia had the good luck to have an east-west orientation in which there is less climatic variance than is found on north-south oriented continents (the Americas and Africa). Additionally, Eurasia possessed abundant natural resources which included plants that were both nutritious and domesticable, large mammals that were domesticable, and the minerals that could be manipulated into metal tools and weapons. Plants that could be domesticated and were nutritionally rich enough to supplant hunter/gatherer lifestyles led to settled and semi-settled populations and a food surplus. A food surplus frees members of said society from the otherwise constant duty of feeding themselves and allows them to become specialists in other things, which leads to innovation (in things like metal tools, weapons, and writing). East-west orientation means that new knowledge in farming is easy to transmit over a landmass because the climate is more constant and in Eurasia there are fewer geographical barriers (like the Andes or the Isthmus of Panama) to inhibit the flow of information and technology. Settled populations with access to domesticable mammals learn to use those animals and therefore live in close proximity to them, which leads to the germs that infect those animals eventually learning to infect humans too (which is where we get the flu and all of the other modern and historical epidemics). Those humans develop resistance to those diseases. So by the premodern period we have cultures in Eurasia (like the Spanish, English, Dutch, and French, among others) who have the good fortune of centuries, millenia, of information passed along to the from the trials and errors of their ancestors, writing to pass information along with, a host of diseases and resistance to many of them, metals that have been shaped into swords and guns and armor, domesticated horses to ride into and out of battle or to carry information quickly over long distances, and food enough to supply (with varying degrees of success) long open ocean voyages of discovery. Transport those people to other parts of the world, where large mammals succumbed to quick extinction upon the arrival of humans that they hadn't evolved to fear and thus were easy dinners, and were therefore without animal borne disease or resistance to it. Diamond estimates that 95% of the pre-1492 population of the New World was killed by disease before they every saw a white man. They had much less advanced metallurgical technology with which to defend themselves, and thus the survivors of the sicknesses had to contend with guns and steel swords and armor with wood and bone weapons. This is why the Incans were subdued by the Spanish rather than the other way around. Diamond expressly dismisses any notion of racial superiority. He points out that people, the world over, have become adept at surviving and even thriving in the geographical and natural situations in which they have developed. Most of us would die if we were suddenly dropped in the Congo or New Guinean rain forests, where those respective peoples have managed to live for thousands of years.
So that's the meat of it. I just reduced a four hundred page book to a few hundred words, so of course you can poke holes in it. But Diamond makes a good case for his theory while recognizing that he is, himself, spending 400 pages on the whole of human history, and thus necessarily simplifies. On the whole, though, I'd say he's got it right. In any case, you'll learn a lot about the world by reading it.
Sunday, August 30, 2009
Locust menage a trois
Saturday, August 29, 2009
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
After the trip I stopped at The Wilderness Way to inquire about a guide book to help trip planning. When I asked the proprietress, Georgia, how tidal the St. Marks River is, she replied, "very." I had launched on a mid falling tide, and thus fought the worst of the current as the force of the normal flow of the river coincided with the pull of all that water trying to get to the Gulf of Mexico just a few miles further downriver. My return was all with current, but it had slowed substantially as the incoming pushed against the normal outward flow, and was thus not the torrent I had expected to carry me home. Still, my return took half the time as my ascent. Next time I'll start the trip with the last hour or so of the incoming tide and return on the falling. The book was out of stock, but expected in later this week, so hopefully I'll have one soon. It's a good paddle shop and I'll be happy to get information and other paddling needs there.
Monday, August 24, 2009
Sunday, August 23, 2009
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
Thursday, August 13, 2009
So now I'm in N FL. I'm very sad to leave my friends and paddling partners and waterways of SE NC. But in the trade I get a whole new set of creeks, rivers, and open water (the Gulf this time) to explore. I hope that those of you who were kind enough to leave nice comments or check regularly will continue to do so, even though you don't stand to learn anything new about paddling in the Cape Fear region. Maybe you'll learn some of the same things I'll learn about paddling and biking here in the panhandle of Florida. So far it's pretty good, though I've been too busy unpacking and getting settled and starting a new job to hit the water yet. I've got a couple of trips planned though, and I'm stoked to meet people and find new water down here.
I know it might seem like a bit much, but Aimee and I decided that the easiest way to keep friends and family abreast of us is to make a new blog about the house and what we do with it. You can see it at 4032elderlane.blogspot.com.
Here's a photo of our new hanging herb garden:
Parsley, Chives, Spearmint, and Basil
Thursday, August 6, 2009
And here's a photo of a baby monkey:
See the family resemblance?
Sunday, July 26, 2009
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
Thursday, July 16, 2009
Find some people whose company you enjoy and share some good food and drink with them.
Wednesday, July 15, 2009
It was hilarious when it happened, because it went something like this:
Wildwoman: My grandma's pound cake is the best ever.
Josh: No it isn't, because my grandmother's pound cake is the best.
Wildwoman: Everybody in (insert god-forsaken little rural NC town) knows that my grandmother made the best pound cake in the land.
Josh: Well they're all wrong, because everybody in my town knows that my grandmother's pound cake is the best.
Wildwoman: Well I guess we'll never find out, because my grandmother is dead.
Josh: Then I guess I win, because mine isn't. (Don't worry, it's cool, we have that kind of friendship.)
The customer who observed this exchange was thoroughly dumbfounded. It was really funny.
So, not that I love to kick the shit out of dead horses, but my mom's pound cake is better than my grandmothers. Therefore, my mother's pound cake is better than Wildwoman's grandmother's.
My logic is Fort Knox-like, no?
While I may have the best pound cake in my family, Wildwoman has a respectable advantage on the homestead farming front. Check out her blog at: http://bluefieldacres.blogspot.com/
As for the future of this pound cake discussion, I'm quoting Julius Caesar upon his crossing of the Rubicon on his way to becoming the head of the Roman Empire: "Alea iacta est."
Do your worst, Wildwoman. Do your worst.
Sunday, July 12, 2009
Wednesday, July 8, 2009
Monday, July 6, 2009
Sunday, June 28, 2009
Swim 1 (375 meters): The water temp is a very comfortable 80 degrees. The wind wasn't bad, and the Frying Pan Shoals buoy predicted 2' at 7 secs, so I planned on decent swim conditions. Despite this, there was a fair amount of chop on the water, and the waves were 2-3'. I still had my best race swim yet though. I was in the second wave, which started at 8:04. My coworker Covi and I stood at the back of the pack to avoid being run over by better athletes. At the buzzer we all ran out into the water and started pushing through until it was about waist deep, which was a bit out. I think there was a little bit of a rip, because before I knew it I was rounding the first buoy. I still sidestroked a lot, but there was more crawling than previously, so that's good. I eventually made it back onto the beach, where I dragged my ass through the soft sand to the TA, dropped my swim cap and goggles in my water bucket to await my return, and put on my running shoes.
Run 1 (1.5 miles): I'm a slow runner, especially after a swim. My legs felt like dead weight. It got better the further along I went. There were lots of nice folks standing on their lawns (the run went through a residential area) cheering us on and spraying hoses into the street for anyone who wanted to cool off. It was a very hot run. Volunteers did a good job distributing water at 3 or 4 points on the run course. Covi and I ran the last half mile or so together. Arrived at bike TA and slapped my helmet on.
Bike (20k or 12 miles): The bike course was almost perfectly flat and smooth and very fast. It ran out and back in 3 mile legs, and so was done twice to get in the full 12 miles. Heading out there was a little headwind, but not bad. Covi and I jockeyed for position. A lot of people passed me. I drank my bottle with electrolyte replacement and snacked on GU Chomps. Overall the bike went pretty well, but there isn't a lot to say about it. I checked my computer when I got home and I averaged 19 mph (its probably a little higher because my ride to and from the TA and any walking around with the bike is included in that average). The bike is still my favorite part. Into the TA, racked the bike and stowed my helmet.
Run 2 (1.5 miles): Out of the TA and back to the water the way we came originally. Not far into this run I had to stop and stretch my legs for a minute, which wasn't good for the rest of my race. Second run was hotter, because the sun climbed higher while I was biking, and there wasn't much breeze in that neighborhood. Finally got back to the beach, stripped the shoes and socks and picked up my cap and goggles, which I put on as I ran up the beach to the swim start (about 250 yards on soft sand, brutal).
Swim 2 (375 meters): I kept telling myself that the last swim would go fine, and mostly it did. It felt sooo good to get in the cool water. Once again I was around the first buoy in no time at all. I sidestroked very little this time, I think because my nerves were settled and I was almost done. Usually the swim is first and I think I get psyched out by the fact that I'm racing and swimming in the ocean. This time I relaxed and just freestyled along at a comfortable pace, breathing every other stroke and checking my heading every now and then. I felt cramps looming in my legs, so I trying not to use them too much. They set in after I rounded the second buoy and turned towards shore. At first it hurt a lot, but it didn't really matter because part of my swim training has been with a float in the pool so that I don't use my legs at all and I use my upper body to pull through the water. But when I got to where I could put my feet down I did so because I was exhausted, which exacerbated the cramps. I bodysurfed in as much as I could, but I had to run up the beach about 20' to the finish line, which was very hard and very painful because my thighs were locked up in a continuous cramp. Still, I managed across and just got out of the way and started rubbing the muscles to relax them. I hobbled over to a water table and sat down and kept massaging my thighs and drinking water until I could walk.
Then I was done. I got my stuff and packed up and drove home.
Friday, June 26, 2009
Good luck to folks paddling around Bald Head tomorrow. I'd join you if I weren't racing the next day. Cheers.
Thursday, June 18, 2009
I got off work at 6, rode my bike home, and loaded my gear on the car for the 6 block drive to the launch (I know, driving 6 blocks is a little ridiculous, but it's too much to carry that far solo and I don't have a paddle cart). We were on the water a little after 7. Tide was about two hours into falling and the breeze was light out of the S. We paddled against the current about 3 miles up river to an old rice marsh and explored that a bit. The tide was ripping out of there, so the paddle out of the marsh was fun because we were really hauling ass. The grass in there is really high, almost double the height of cordgrass at the beach. At one point there was a loud noise, like something crashing through the marsh right next to us. I thought that a gator would come flying out at me at any second, but it ended up being birds lifting out of the grass. It's amazing how much noise little creatures can make (ever thought there was a bear running through the woods only to discover it was just a squirrel?). As we got out of the marsh and back into the river for the return trip, the last light was just disappearing, and we were soon in complete dark. It was really nice and the lights twinkled and the air was cool. There was almost no boat traffic. When we got back towards town we paddled along the edge of the riverwalk. Wilmington is a pretty town from the water. It was funny to watch people react to us. Due to current we were moving pretty fast, so to them it must have seemed like these two people in boats just appeared from nowhere, silently gliding by, and then disappeared back into gloom.
We got off the water around 9:30. We covered around 8 miles. It was a really good time and I'm looking forward to doing it again soon.
Sunday, June 14, 2009
We rode 26 miles all told, which was Aimee's biggest day yet. Bikes rock. It was fun to ride down, there's absolutely no headache at all to find a place to park, and it's free, both in respect to gas and parking (a whopping $1.50/hour and friggin' stupid).
It was a good day. I spent the rest of it reading and watching surf movies (Sprout, by Thomas Campbell, an old favorite for its art house eccentricity and admirable departure from the surf film norm of the same pros riding the same waves on the same equipment to the same pop punk soundtrack) and eating pork tenderloin braised in milk, bolognese style. Now I'm going to have a rum and ginger soda with fresh mint and beat Aimee in dominoes. Cheers.
Thursday, June 11, 2009
Monday, June 8, 2009
Sunday, June 7, 2009
Sunday, May 31, 2009
Aimee and I paddled with Colin and Barb this morning. Launched at about 9:30 into a light S wind from Jasmine Park on Harbor Island at WB. Tide was fairly low when we started, so we went up the fairway to the ICW to Shinn's and then into the old swimming hole behind on the Masonboro side of Hidden Creek. Colin and Barb chilled on the banks while I practiced my solo re-entries, cowboy and paddle float assisted. It's the first time I've done them since the end of last summer, and the first time period in my Tracer. Both went fine, though I could definitely use some practice and a little more grace. I suspect that had I been in rougher water (the kind that I'm likely to have problems in anyway), it would have taken a couple of attempts. Then we talked Aimee through the wet exit (roll over and fall out) and I talked her thru a T rescue while we were performing it. She's pretty lithe and slipped right in. Then I fell out and she T rescued me (still with me directing from the water and Colin and Barb coaching from the beach). The water feels great right now. I think with a little practice we'll both be pretty darn competent with 'em. Once the tide was sufficiently high, we paddled back across Shinn's and into Hidden Creek and back to Jasmine Park. We saw the usual avian suspects, like tri-colored heron, great egret, snowy egret, great blue heron, green heron, least tern, brown pelican, cormorant, osprey, american oystercatcher, willet, and other miscellaneous peeps.
After the trip they hosted us for a great Sunday lunch of quiche made from Lydia's local Bladen County free range eggs (super rich) with shrimp, sliced tomatoes tossed in olive oil and balsamic and sprinkled with parsley, mint, and two kinds of basil (all out of their garden, I believe), a loaf of good crusty french bread, sliced apples, Roquefort cheese, and Spanish olives. It was delicious. Killed the rest of the day reading and napping on the couch. A pretty successful Sunday in my estimation.
Saturday, May 30, 2009
In other news, a dude came by the shop this week on a bike that was loaded down as heavily as I've ever seen one, with Bob trailer loaded and modified to hold another rack. It was nuts. He says that he's been traveling continuously for three decades, on the bike for 14 years, and has 84 thousand miles logged by bike in that period. He weighed the bike at a truck stop at 300 lbs. He even had a cat for a while (though she never did get used to biking, damn willful animals). He has no address, just where he lays his head at night. When I asked him where he was from, he gave me the most interesting answer I've ever heard to that most common of questions. "I'm from Earth; I'm an Earthling." Then he started talking about the evils of personal property and national borders (I'm not entirely unsympathetic) and wanting to meet Douglas Adams at the restaurant at the end of the Universe. He also objected to having his picture taken, for reasons I didn't pursue (something about native peoples and souls and having rights to his own image, fine). A little odd, but perfectly harmless and very interesting. The free-est person I've met in a while (though I was in a crowd of similars last weekend).
Bicyle Super Tourist Kelly something in an unauthorized and clandestinely taken photo
Last night was May's Critical Mass. Had about 60 or so on the ride, including several friends and coworkers. We broke off from the ride when it got downtown to stash bikes at my place and then walk down to the waterfront for the FREE Journey tribute band that was playing. The show was fun, the band did a great job imitating Journey, and lightning played in the background close enough to be interesting, but not dangerous.
Tomorrow Aimee and I are paddling and lunching with good friends, and I'm planning on a little rescue and recovery lesson for her, review for me. I'll post it. Cheers.
Sunday, May 24, 2009
3-4 small-medium fresh tomatoes
2-3 cloves garlic
1/3 of a medium onion
red pepper flakes
Slice the tops off of the tomatoes and put them on a dish (I used stoneware and it worked great) that has been rubbed with olive oil. Place in oven under broiler and roast until skin is easy to remove. Top the still whole tomatoes with crushed red pepper and sea salt, add sliced onion and garlic cloves (tossed in olive oil) and put back under broiler. After everything gets good and roasted pull it all out. The onion and garlic cloves should be soft. Coarsely chop fresh basil in liberal quantity and throw in a bowl. Add still hot and whole tomatoes, coarsely chopped onion, and finely chopped garlic. Run a knife thru the bowl to slice the tomatoes up a little (don't do this on a cutting board, you'll lose all the juice). Add salt/pepper to taste and serve spooned onto toasted bread.
This was amazing. The best part was that it just came together spontaneously. I've made bruschetta before but never roasted the ingredients first. I don't know where I got the inspiration, but we had a bunch of tomatoes and fresh basil from the local farmer's market and I grubbed through the kitchen and found the other stuff and just did it. It's the best appetizer I've ever made. Try it. Change it. Let me know how it turns out. Cheers.
Tuesday, May 19, 2009
Saturday, May 16, 2009
The Swim (750 meters): was brutal. Ocean swim, comfortable at 70 degrees in my ls spring suit. I started with the second wave. Seas looked fairly calm to me from the beach at 7, but I think the tide was coming in and it picked up by 8 to fairly choppy for a swim (my first ocean swim). Had I been surfing I would have called it waist/stomach high. Getting out through the breakers was pretty rough, despite my comfort with being in the surf zone from almost 10 years surfing. Once I made it around the first buoy I settled into a pace that was OK, but all I could think about was getting it over with. I finally rounded the last buoy and swam for shore. The run across the beach to the TA was pretty rough and my legs felt like they would give out, but I was stoked to be done with the swim and going into the first bike leg.
Bike 1 (4 miles): Into the wind on the first half, with it for the second. Averaged 17/18 into the wind, 20/21 with. Drank some water from my bottle with GU2O electrolyte replacement to stave off cramps.
Run 1 (2 miles): Not too bad. Ran my standard pace of 10 min/mile (too slow). It seemed longer than 2 miles. There was a beach leg, mostly on hard sand, but the stairs over the dunes and soft sand on the upper beach was rough.
Bike 2 (4 miles): Better than the first bike, same average into the wind, but picked it up slightly for the second half. Ate a GU gel halfway thru to help me through the last run.
Run 2 (1 mile): A little faster paced than R1. Jubilation at being almost finished.
Times and Places:
Finish Time: 1:21:07
Place Overall Men's: 96/131 competitors
Men 30-34: 11/13 competitors
Lessons Learned and Reflections: Again, I need to get better (if not faster, at least more comfortable) at swimming. Specifically I need to practice swimming from the beach out through the breakers, and then back in. I'm going to spend as much time in the pool (and ocean) before Kure Beach as I can. I've got to run and bike faster, and in succession. I WILL IMPROVE BY MY NEXT RACE (June 28). I was finished by 9:30 and Aimee was there, so we walked over to the beach and I stood in the water for a few minutes to cool down, then packed up and rinsed off, changed, watched half of the awards ceremony, then drove home. Halfway home I was suddenly exhausted and starving. At home I showered and ate 3 black bean enchiladas and then went to work for the day. Tonight my folks are in town and took us to our favorite restaurant for my favorite curry, and it was excellent as always. I'm not too stiff yet, but I'm sure tomorrow will be a different story.