Thursday, March 29, 2007

the end of siam

Well the trip to Thailand is finally over, and I am back in the USA. I am still trying to recover from the trip. I have about the worse case of jet-lag I have ever had. I am feeling a little sick to my stomach as well, and I am hoping that it is not the revenge of the Mekong river.

Some things I learned from the race in Mukdahan:

--Buddy Bike/Run is the National Sport of Thailand (No it is not Muy Thai)
My buddy Bucky and I decided to enter this race on Friday morning (two days before the Triathlon). There was some prize money involved, and we thought we would clean up. Wrong! First off, Ill explain buddy bike/run: one person rides a bike with a 1 foot rope attached to the bike and to the runner who runs next to the bike and you do so for 25k (16miles). You can switch places at any time, but the rope must be connected.
We got absolutely schooled. We were behind from the start. We figured that everyone would eventually die, but no one did. By the time we realized that we were going to finish way, way back we were so far in the middle of nowhere we had to finish. We got outsprinted for 19th place! So much for cherry-picking.....

The actual race was a lot like most season openers go: sluggish and a little rusty. Had a good swim, but between head-butted a buoy and tripping on the way out of the water, I was the first person to not make the first pack. Onto the bike, I was feeling the effects of 5-6 hour weeks on the trainer. We averaged around 45kph on the bike, so I was hurting!!! Onto the run, I was cooked. The heat index was over 100 degrees. It was a death march. I had plenty of miles in my legs from the winter, but I was dead by the run. I struggled all the way to the finish. I ended up 15th. A little rusty, but I know what I need to work on for the rest of the season. Im ready to put in some big miles before Wildflower. All in all it was a great trip, full of exciting times and great memories.

Here are some great pic's from the days before the race:

Last night with the sis in Chaingmai

Training in Mukdahan

Random elephant on the street

The oasis in the middle of nowhere....literally

The crazy tuk-tuk

Me, Bucky, Manny, and Luc in the crazy tuk-tuk

All this in less than one night!

Monday, March 19, 2007

doi suthep

Today was a hard day. I only rode, but it was enough. The locals told me about the highest peak in Changmai, called Doi Suthep. I heard that it was a challenging climb, but had no idea what lay waiting for me. The first 10k or so or about 5-6% average w/ a few steeper sections. Then it leveled out a bit (I thought I was done, but nooooo). Then it decided to get quite steeper. At tis point I had been climbing for about 40 min. in 90 deg heat with high humidity, lets just say that this Nebraska boy was hurting. Anyway, I decided to make it to the top no matter how long it was. Well it continued to go up, and even got steeper. There were definately some 14-15% sections in there. I was in my 25 tooth cog, out of the saddle, going 5mph, with my HR around 188. It ended up taking me 59 min to complete the climb. That was by far the longest climb I have ever done. Probably times 2. I cant wait to do it again. It wont be this week though, it is too hard this close to my race. Here are some pic's from the ride. It is really polluted, so it is hazy.....sorry no expansive vistas

And yes, I took these pictures coming down the mountain.



random elephant

there is a waterfall somewhere back there

The King's summer palace..just to prove I actually went all the way to the top!

Sunday, March 18, 2007

more thai pics

Just some pics for you perusing edification.....

Traditional Northern Thai dress

The Sunday Night Street Walk

This is where all the Pier 1 and Pottery Barn comes from

Saturday, March 17, 2007

what up thailand

Well it has been in interesting few days here in Chiangmai. The first day I arrived, the pollution levels were around 350. 300 is supposedly the cancel-school-dont-leave-the-house-without-the-oxygen-mask type of pollution. I think I took off a few years of my life running outside that day. I was thinking about leaving if it continued, but it has since gotten considerably better.
Training here has been tough, but fun. Chiangmai is located in a valley surrounded by mountains, so there are many hills. It is also like running and biking in a Sauna. Running has been fun with some trials found here and there. The 10 mile route I have been running has this hill that is probably 25% for about 150m. I dont know if you could make it up on a bike or not. The swimming pool is definately a tribute to Asian ineffeciency (if you dont know what I am referring to, just google the new Bangkok airport mess). The pool is huge: but its dimensions are 52m long (with a step-thingy so you cant do flipturns) by 37.5meters wide a one point and then 25m wide at another point. Throw in some random circle type configurations and there you have it. I will post some pictures of the pool in the next day or so. I have been swimming 37.5m a lot, which means all my sets are 75's, 150's, or 300's. Oh well, it is a nice pool and always empty so I can do whatever I want. Its great.
It has been quite fun hanging with my sister. We have been doing stuff the whole time (between training, eating, and doing all the "touristy" things I have been falling asleep around 8:00 or 8:30 each night. I am shooting tonight for 10:00 (I know, thats really late). I had my first Thai massage last night. 200 baht for 1 hour (about $6 bucks). You really cant beat it. Yesterday, I had a nice flat on my bike. Since I have my race wheels and they are tubulars, it was about an $80 ride. A piece of something went right through the tire. The crappy thing is that I had one brand new tubular and one old one, and the new one was of course the casualty. On top of that after I changed the tire and put on the spare, my little mini-pump couldnt pump up the tire because of the valve extender. So I rode the 6k home on a new tubular, which was not inflated, on a new set of carbon wheels. Not exactly the best day for Barrett's equipment. So today we headed into town to find a new tubular so I could have a spare. My sis speaks Thai, but as she is still learning, it took some time at the bike shop explaining that I wanted a new tubular tire and not an inner tube. Some things are just lost in translation....
Here are some pics of the Thailand:

Me and the sis...

We are taking care of this dog (Bailey) for a friend.....Cute, but she peed on my t-shirt

I know, I my next life I will be a photographer

That is exactly what it looks like

And for dessert?

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

chillin in the bangkok

I have arrived in Bangkok! Now I get to sleep on the floor and then it is off to Chiang Mai in the morning. Gotta love the free internet though. I cant wait for a shower.......

It is already hot in the "airconditioned" airport (and it is midnight). Oh well I asked for it.


chillin in toyko

I am currently sitting in the Toyko airport in the Star Alliance lounge (while frequent flying causes lots of headaches, it can create some perks also). I am about halfway through my 36 hour travel to Chang Mai. Only a little longer here in Toyko, then it is onto Bangkok, where I get to sleep on the floor all night, and then in the morning (Wed.) it is off to Chang Mai.

It sounds so easy and simple.

More reports and pics to follow (when I actually get to a place worth taking a picture)


Wednesday, March 07, 2007

t - 5 days

Well, I have recently been reading about all these people who are training and racing in these great places. They all seem to be warm and sunny and in these exotic locales. Since I steal internet from a house down the road, I have to sit with my front door open to get wireless. So it is with my front door open staring at the thermometer and looking at the piles of snow outside that I have read about everyone else's training and racing in really cool (hot!) places.

But the end is will finally break 40deg here in the crappy state of Nebraska tomorrow, so I am told. And, on top of that I am off to Thaliand for two weeks in 5 DAYS for some great training, racing, and to chill with my sis. Did I mention that the weekly forecast for Bangkok is over 100deg with the heat index? That is excellent....I want to pretend that I am an egg and that Bangkok is the frying pan. I need at least 2 weeks to thaw myself out. I will post panoply, myriad, or a plethora (pick your verbage) of pic's while I am there. Hopefully I will avoid the he-she's, but from what my people tell me they are eveywhere...