Tuesday, December 7, 2010

So what is the Ragnar Relay all about???

Well, if you've been curious too, read what two of our BPY Tri Club teammates, Yari and John, have to say about their experiences running it.

Yari and John were part of Team Lemming Stampede.

Yari's Ragar Recount:

Running Ragnar is a race that I will always have in my heart. It's a 201-mile running adventure with twelve people. We all were excited not knowing what to expect. The only thing that we knew was that we were all going to be in a car for 24 hours, all sweaty, hungry and away from home.

The experience of running in the middle of nowhere, running on dirt roads, with a couple of cows, knowing that the only thing that was keeping me company was the sky with stars and a full moon. Felt so lonely and terrified, not knowing the road I was running, having the feeling that my team could not be with me because they had to be at least ½ miles away. Being chased by an annoying dog scared the hell out of me. The dog and I fighting while running. Me telling the dog to go away while he barked at me, a stranger running at midnight, running in his territory. I couldn’t wish more for the leg exchange to be close and leave the dog behind. My heart rise and my legs ran faster. I just wanted to get away from that crazy dog. The night was quite and terrifying, but after I got more comfortable, I fell in love with the peace and quiet of a midnight run.

After a long 19 hours, it was time for me and my teammate to get some rest. We knew it was critical for us to get some sleep to perform well in the race. The real adventure started, trying to get some sleep with 5 other people inside the van. Listening to the teammate saying “ THIS IS NOT GOING TO WORK” meaning that she knew she wasn’t able to sleep, but the spirit of doing the race relaxed her. It was so funny, seeing someone sleep on the hood of a car. Getting bitten by mosquitoes, but he didn’t care as long as someone could sleep better.

Ragnar filled me with joy, sharing the customs that we had, the fairy wings, running with them, trying to spray the men color hair spray and they were not happy about it. We just had a great time. We talked about it and we felt like we were a big family. We just loved it. That was Ragnar for me. I am so ready to do it again!

John's Ragnar Relay Recount:

Ragnar sort of snuck up on me. Burnt out from the 6 1/3 triathlons that I had competed in this year, I was sleepwalking towards my next big competition. Lauren Bushika casually mentioned the Ragnar Relay to me while I was selling my old road bike to her. This relay was an interest to me, since I had almost participated in it the previous year. I committed. Not knowing what to expect, I woke up at 4 AM on November 19 and headed to the Publix on Tuskawilla to meet up with my teammates...teammates that I barely knew.

This relay is an experience like none other. There are several ways to run the 201 miles. 12 runners, running 3 times, running anywhere between 8 and 25 total miles. 6 runners, running 3 times (ultra distances)...and then there the 2 freaks (in a good way) who ran the entire 201 miles by themselves...We chose 12 runners. There were 2 vans, with 6 of us in each. One van follows the first group of runners, while the second van did what they needed to do (ate, slept, ate while sleeping, etc.), as long as they were waiting at every sixth exchange point. Once the first van got to that sixth exchange point, the second group of runners had to run their legs while the first van did what they wanted to do.

I cannot speak for everybody else, but to me, the second leg of my race (the night leg) was definitely the most exciting but peaceful portion of the race...except when an unknown black animal ran in front of me. Just knowing that I was at the mercy of the Ragnar signs, which were supposed to be pointing me in the right direction, in the middle of the night, in the middle of po-dunk Florida, was enough to get the heart rate going.

The biggest challenge for me was to get my legs loose after my first two race legs and being awake enough to run my last leg at 6:30 in the morning. Word of advice: Coach's warm up leg drills worked well in this situation.

Overall, I have to rate this as my overall favorite race that I've participated in. It's unique and it brought me closer to a group of people that I barely knew. I believe that if you ask any of my other 11 teammates, they would say the same. I feel like I would be keeping a secret if I didn't encourage anyone to participate in something like this.

Special thanks to Team Lemming Stampede volunteers Doug & Jennifer!

Monday, December 6, 2010

So many new personal records set and all personal goals met at our first official club race. What more could anyone ask for?

Half Marathon (13.1 mi)
Josh W - 7:49 pace, PR!
Britney A - 7:49 pace, 1st Half Marathon!
Brice- 8:17 pace, PR and 1st Half Marathon in 27 yrs!
Coach Jacklynn - 8:18 pace, Way to go, Coach!
John T - 8:28 pace, PR!
Barry L - 8:37 pace, PR!
Amanda L -8:59 pace, PR!
Yariela - 9:48 pace, PR!
Tracy - 9:50 pace, PR!
Ericka - 10:23 pace, 1st Half Marathon!
Heather S -10:29 pace, PR!
Natalie -11:01 pace, 1st Half Marathon!
Denise P - 11:38 pace, PR!
Ron -11:53 pace, 1st Half Marathon and just started training 3 wks ago!
Megan - 13:08 pace, PR and she collapsed at the end giving 110% effort!
Kim T - 8:45 pace, PR!

5K (3.1 mi)
Carter - 8:52 pace, Nice run!
Denise N - 9:40 pace, Great job!
Melissa - 9:52 pace, PR and 1st place AG!
Vilma - 10:05 pace, PR!
Debbie - 10:05 pace, PR!
Jennifer - 13:26 pace, PR!
Doug - 13:16 pace, Helped wife Jennifer PR!

Congratulations to all of you on your hard work. If there's anyone we have left out, please let us know in the comments. Thanks also to teammates Jaime and Renee and all the spouses and other family members who came out to cheer and support the runners. What a great day it was!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Wow, the last couple weeks we've had several Blanchard Park YMCA Running Club folks participating in races before the first official club event (OUC Half Marathon & 5K). They're really not all named Forrest so let's give them all a shout-out, shall we?

Ragnar Relay (201-mile relay race across FL)
Erik S. & Christine (Pimp My Stride) - 25:23:14, 1st place Mens Open!
John, Yari & Jakki (Lemming Stampede) - 31:49:51, 11th place Mens Open!
Support Crew for Lemming Stampede: Doug & Jennifer, Thank you to both!

Derby 50K Ultramarathon (31.5 mi)
Shirley - 4:45:18, 1st ultra finish!

Space Coast Full Marathon (26.2 mi)
Renee - 4:07:15, 1st marathon finish!
Yoly - 4:28:48, 1st marathon finish!
Tatia - 4:39:37, 1st marathon finish!
Juli - 4:39:47, 3rd marathon finish!
Kerrie - 5:30:05, a PR!

Space Coast Half Marathon (13.1 mi)
Jade - 1:39:16, 1st place F20-25!
Doug - 2:17:46, PR!

Congratulations to all of you. If there's anyone we have left out, please let us know in the comments.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Saturday was a beautiful day for a bike ride, but Denise P. and Tracy were going for no ordinary bike ride. They were riding 100 miles for 100 toys!

Denise came up with the idea upon hearing the story of her friend's 10 year old son, Tyler. At age 5 he had been diagnosed with Stage IV cancer. He beat the odds and is a healthy little boy today but gave back by bringing a toy to his pal Joey who was still at Arnold Palmer Hospital. The next year in 2006, he brought 11 toys for all the oncology patients. It has grown annually and in 2009 Tyler had over 1,800 toys, enough for all the children at Arnold Palmer. Denise wanted to help him meet that goal again and also help him have enough toys to also make a difference at St. Jude's hospital in Memphis, TN, where some of the youngest cancer heroes are battling for their lives each day. Tracy thought it was a great idea and joined in too so they would do the ride together.

Being new to riding centuries (100 mile bike rides), they chose to ride back and forth along Innovation Way. This way they could return to their cars parked at Avalon YMCA and take breaks, refuel and replenish fluids as needed. This also allowed friends and family members to come out to support them, which they did. BPY Tri Club teammate Carmen accompanied them for some miles in the morning. Coach Jacklynn provided them with a nice lunch and later Denise's hubby came out to ride too with their toddler in tow. Teammates Shirley & Bike Geek Dave joined in around mile 70 and Carmen even came back for their last lap.

Here are some photos from the ride:

Well, 100 miles was not quite enough for Denise & Tracy. Over lunch someone had suggested they go 112 miles, the distance of the bike leg of an ironman triathlon. And that was all it took.

Denise's bike computer at the end of the ride.

Congratulations to Denise P. & Tracy on their 112 mile bike ride!

PS - Denise & Tracy are still short of their 100 toys goal. If you are able to help, please click here for more info on how to do so.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

No workout last Thursday evening because ~70(!) teammates and family members were gathered at Maria Bonita restaurant to celebrate the end of a successful tri season and Shirley's completion of her 50 states marathon quest. Luckily the weather was perfect so we could be seated in the outdoor section of the restaurant and have it all to ourselves.

As our food was being prepared Coach Jacklynn led us through some warm-up giveaways. The first round of prizes were raffled off to the Triathletes of the Month who were present. The second round of prizes to raffled off to all in attendance. Then some surprise gifts were presented to both Shirley and Coach J. Who were both caught off guard but delighted to receive them!

After the main course, it was time for dessert. YUM! Then all that was left to take home were some great memories with friends and some bookmarks on the tables with a special message (click on image below to enlarge):

In my world, the water is cold, the wind is hard, and the road never ends.

In my world, there are no losers, only competitors still on their way, and spectators waiting to be inspired.

In my world, victory is not weighed in gold, but in determination and courage.

In my world, there are no boundries, no limits, there is no end. Every day is the last day of my life, and the first.

In my world, the word "can't" does not exist, and nothing is impossible.

by Oliver Blanchard

Thank you, everyone, for a great tri season. We hope you will continue to train with us through the winter as part of the running club!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

The second annual Blanchard Park Y Kids Biathlon (swim-run) held last weekend on Halloween day had a record turnout!

About 50 children showed up to partake in the event. Depending on their age, the kids swam 25 yds, 50 yds or 100 yds and then ran one or two laps around a paved route near the pool (each lap approximately 0.25 miles). Amazing to see how fast some of them were. Best of all was seeing all those smiles!

Here are some photos from the event:

Thanks to Tracy & Natalie for taking photos and to all the Blanchard Park Tri Club members who volunteered.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Congratulations to Renee, Tracy & Andrea for being named ‘Triathletes of the Month’ for October!

It was so hard. I had to pick 3! These girls have accomplished several goals that they had for themselves this season so I felt that it was right to honor all three for our “Triathletes of the month.”

Renee - What an amazing season, Renee. You’ve P.R’d all over the place. You are one of those people that won’t EVER quit. You ALWAYS give 100% at every practice and on your own. It’s people like you that get us excited for this sport. Congratulations on your first ½ Ironman race in May this year. It was great to see you transform over the season and finish your second ½ Ironman in October with an amazing P.R. – over an hour she took off, folks! Renee …”Always a fighter! Never a quitter! Always 100%!”

Tracy - A big congratulations to you, Ms. Tracy! I found it very impressive the whole season that you could keep such a fast speed on that mountain bike of yours. We all were impressed. I’m so glad you could finish your season with a bang too! Your two first Olympic distance races right at the end of the season. Nice job. Thank you for your humor at our practices in which I thoroughly look forward to hearing each day. ;)

Andrea - Congratulations on a fantastic first Olympic distance race ending the season at a high in your triathlon career. I knew you would kick that distance’s hiney. You’re a motivator to all of us and are always stepping up to the plate to invite others to be a part of our group. Thank you for your energy and support!

Monday, October 25, 2010

BIG congratulations to ALL who raced last weekend at the Moss Park Women's Tri on Saturday and Masters Championship Tri on Sunday. Outstanding performances by all!

Rachel-4th AG
Natalie R.- 4th AG
Ericka S.- 2nd AG
Heather S.- 4th AG
Lisa H.- 1st AG
Carmen- 3rd AG

Lindsey-3rd AG (First Tri!)
Kate-1st AG (First Tri!)
Vilma-7th AG (First Tri!)

Andrea-1st AG (First Olympic!)
Cyndy-2nd AG (First Olympic!)
Suzy- 1st AG (First Olympic!)
Sam- 6th AG (First Olympic!)
Melissa- 1st AG
Tracy-2nd Athena
Jacklynn-5th Overall

Here are some photos from the Women's Tri on Saturday:

If anyone has some from Sunday's race that they'd like to have added to the slideshow, email them bpytri @ gmail.com. Thank you to all who came out to race and support. Great way to end our 2010 tri season!!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Wow, can you believe it's already October?

Well, before we get too much further into it, check out the green box in the middle column to see who Coach Jacklynn picked to be Triathlete of the Month for September.

Also, congratulations to Coach Jacklynn, Josh and Diane who competed in the USAT Age Group Nationals Olympic Tri in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, on Sept. 25, and to Erik S. and Christina who competed in the USAT Age Group Nationals Sprint Tri on Sept. 26 at the same venue. This race has a tough course and an even tougher field of athletes. It was actually Diane's first-ever olympic distance tri and she won first place in her division!

Some of the BPY Tri athletes and support crew at AG Nationals. (Travel Photo #2!)

And lastly, our club is hosting another Kids Biathlon on Sunday, October 31, at 1pm. This year the event will be $9 per child from ages 4-12. The first 40 kids will get a really cool glow in the dark t-shirt! So spread the word to all your little tri kids and get them ready for some fun. If you can help as a volunteer, please let Coach Jacklynn know. The Kids Biathlon event flyer can be found here and the registration form can be found here. Help us build our future!

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Congratulations to Cyndy for being named ‘Triathlete of the Month’ for September!

Cyndy has shown heart, dedication, and consistency in her training. After completing her first sprint triathlon at the ‘Roy McConnell’ Memorial Race, she has absorbed the excitement of this ‘tri thing’ and now she wants to compete in the Olympic distance this October. Cyndy is an inspiration to all of us as she continues to push herself at each practice. Thank you, Cyndy, for choosing me to be your Coach. I’m honored to be there by your side cheering you on!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Thank you to ALL who donated to Roy's Memorial Fund. The winner of the Nuun & Advocare products is .........

Coach Jacklynn!!!

And, no, she did not draw the name of the winner ;-) Thank you, Ericka, for handling the collections and the drawing.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

That was what was written on blue wristbands given to each athlete. Two words joined together that describe our beloved teammate Roy McConnell who raced for God, not himself. Who was tragically killed by a DUI driver on August 1, 2010, along with his three sons. For whom now a race is now named after so that he and his legacy will never be forgotten.

Blanchard Park Y Tri Club members came out in force to race, cheer and volunteer.

As well as many McConnells.

Jim McConnell, Roy's brother, saying a few words after the race.

It was a wonderful day filled with memories of Roy and his sons. And a fine day of racing for BPY Tri as well:

Tracy - 3rd Athena
Natalie - 4th Athena
Diane - 7th Athena
Renee - 1st F 30-34
Sebrina - 4th F 30-34
Elizabeth - 1st F 35-39
Yoly - 3rd F 35-39
Ericka - 3rd F 40-44
Lisa - 1st F 45-49
Melissa - 3rd F 55-59
Cameron – 1st Super Clyde 39 & Under
Will - 1st M 30-34
Barry L - 2nd M 35-39
Paul - 4th M 40-44
Mark - 2nd M 50-54
Brice - 7th M 50-54
Connie - 2nd F 55-59 in My First Tri!
Cyndy - 3rd F Overall in My First Tri!
Jason E - 1st M 30-34 in My First Tri!
TEAM Tri For Roy: Daniela, Juli, John 1- st ST Relay Coed
TEAM Roys Raiders: Emery, Allison, Beth 2- nd ST Relay Coed
Doug, 3rd M 45-49 in Duathlon

For full race results, click here. Below are a few more pictures from the wonderful Roy McConnell Mango Triathlon event:

Thanks to EVERYONE who came out!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

(Originally posted on August 1, 2010. Post-dated to keep this at the top. Other newer posts will appear below until 9/18)

As many of you may have heard by now, our beloved teammate Roy McConnell was tragically killed last night along with 3 of his sons by a DUI driver. The Blanchard Park Y Tri Club will dedicate our two August team races to him.

On Saturday, September 18 (new date!), we are racing a sprint tri locally at Moss Park (see Mango Tri Festival) and inviting EVERYONE who knew Roy to come join us to celebrate Roy's life and tri spirit. There are duathlon and aquabike options for those who would prefer to run-bike-run or swim-bike, as well as relay options. Even if you are not planning to race, you can attend as a spectator or volunteer and help pay tribute to an exeptional man, father and a team favorite, Roy McConnell. Please keep his family in your prayers.

Special things at Roy's Race announced!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Roy's race is this Saturday!!!

Please sign up here if you haven't already. And check out the video above that talks about some special things that are going to happen at this race. SO COOL!!!

Also, if you are planning to donate Roy's Memorial Fund, please give the funds to Coach Jacklynn or Ericka Stephens by this Friday, September 17 (extended by two days). Checks can be made payable to Ericka Stephens who is in charge of collecting donations. If you'd like to leave it at the front desk, put it in an envelope that says: For Coach Jacklynn Stroz, Attn: Ericka Stephens, Roy's Memorial Fund. Again, we'll be raffling off ~$50 worth of Nuun & Advocare fluid products to one lucky donor. Each $10 donation is worth one raffle entry!

Lastly, we are looking for photos of YOU in your BPY Tri Club uniform in various parts of the country or world for a new Travel Photo Challenge! If you are on Facebook, post them directly on our Fan Page wall. If you are not on Facebook, send them to Shirley at bpytri @ gmail.com. Let's see if we can get 20 photos by the end of the year! Here's photo #1:

BPYTri goes to Hawaii!

Look forward to seeing you at Roy's Race and seeing those photos!!

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

So here we are at the end of August! Time to announce the new Triathlete of the Month. Check out the green box in the center column to see who Coach Jacklynn has picked this month.

Also, if you haven't yet signed up for the Roy McConnell Mango Sprint Tri on Saturday, 9/18, please do so soon. There are also duathlon (run-bike-run), aquathlon (swim-bike) and relay options for those who do not wish to do a tri. Right now on our Facebook Fan Page, there are two people in the club who are interested in doing a relay and they're looking for one more person who would do either the bike or run. If you're not on Facebook and would like to be on the relay team, please email the club (bpytri @ gmail.com). Update: Relay team spot has been filled!

And lastly, we are collecting money for Roy's Memorial Fund (see Announcements in the third column). To thank donors, we'll be raffling off a prize package that will include some Nuun electrolyte drink, a Nuun water bottle, Buttar and/or Advocare products, plus more TBD. If you can't donate cash but can provide something to add to the prize package giveaway, please email Shirley or the club. Each donor will receive one raffle entry per $10 donated. Thank you to all who have already donated!

Congratulations to Melissa for being named ‘Triathlete of the Month’ for August!

I've seen huge improvements with Melissa since her training has begun with the Blanchard Park Y Triathlon Team. Melissa has been working hard on her run form and because of this she has been shaving off crazy time. Melissa is an animal out there when she trains in the pool as well while she is gliding smoothly in the water and improving in time here as well. She just completed her first 'Olympic' distance triathlon which has qualified her for the Age Group Nationals in Alabama (along with her son Erik). We're very proud of her. Whether she's out playing with her 'Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra' as a violist or teaching young students music at Walker Elementary School, she may be their 'Teacher of the Year' and a two-time 'Disney Teacherrific Winner' but she's also our triathlete of the month! We know we can count on her support and love for our Blanchard Park Y Triathlon Team. Way to go Melissa! Thank you for being you and for being on our team.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Hooray! Another GREAT weekend of racing for Roy, this time at the Moss Park Fall Festival Tri. We had four people complete their first-ever tri:

Cameron - 2nd Super Clyde in the Olympic tri. TERRIFIC!!
Nathalia - 1st F15-19 in the regular sprint tri. OUTSTANDING!!
Denise - 1st F30-34 in the My First Tri sprint tri. FABULOUS!!
Natalie - 1st F35-39 in the My First Tri sprint tri. WONDERFUL!!

And impressive performances as well by several who did the olympic distance:

Britney - 1st F25-29 and her first oly tri!! (AG Nationals qualifier)
Evie - 4th F25-29 and her first oly tri!!
Ellen - 2nd F30-34 and her first oly tri!!
Tracy - 2nd Athena and her first oly tri!!
Melissa - 1st F55-59 and her first oly tri!! (AG Nationals qualifier)
John - 3rd M25-29!
Shirley - 1st F45-49! (AG Nationals qualifier)
Coach Jacklynn - 2nd Overall Woman!!!

Here are some pictures from both races (sprint tri first followed by the olympic tri):

Congrats to everyone who raced. Additional photos can be found on Facebook here for Saturday's sprint tris and here for Sunday's olympic tri.

Those who attended the race also heard that Buttar is officially renaming the upcoming September Mango Tri Festival as the Roy McConnell Mango Tri Festival. WOOHOO!! There will be special activities that weekend to remember our beloved teammate Roy. And best of all, this is NOT just a one time thing. The race will retain the name and be held in Roy's honor from here on out. So, get ready to race again next month for Roy!!!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Why in the world would our team travel 3 hours to race a sprint tri in Jacksonville?

Because it's FUN to get away for a weekend with your tri club buddies!!!

And a BLAST to race together. We had over 30 folks again suited up and ready to tackle the 400 meter ocean swim, 10 mile bike course and 3 mile run (really, 3.1 according to those wearing Garmins).

Everyone who raced had "Racing 4 Roy" written on the back of their calfs and many had written our team motto, "Powered by God, Inspired by Roy," on their swim caps. We all lined up to show off our calfs and Dave the Bike Geek, thinking we were doing a Can-Can dance, snapped this marvelous photo of us below.

Sometimes the best shots just happen by chance ...

We also lucked out with cooler than expected weather on race day thanks to an overnight storm. It left a lot of water on the bike course when we showed up that morning to set up but much of it was gone by the time we rode. Woohoo! The nice cloud cover stayed during the run helping many to finish the race with PRs, including four who were doing their first-ever tri.

Below are some of the many photos taken at the race:

Congrats to everyone who raced. Additional photos can be found here on Facebook. Race results for the team can be found here. Thanks to Dave for the photos, to Mike for compiling the team's results and to everyone who came out to support us!

Monday, August 9, 2010

While most of the team was racing in Jacksonville on Saturday morning, hundreds of cyclists rode in Oviedo to honor to our fallen teammate Roy McConnell and his three sons. The ~35 mile ride was organized by Roy's brother Jim McConnell, an avid cyclist and member of the Orlando Road Club (ORC). Jim, riding Roy's T-mobile bike, led the way to Fort Christmas, the turnaround point, and back. Though the ride was advertised as being unsupported, volunteers showed up to provide food and drinks. Truly an incredible turnout and a testament as to how many have been affected by this tragedy.

Two Blanchard Park Y teammates, Denise and Tracy (along with her son), participated in the ride. Below are some photos that Denise took. Thank you, Denise!

More photos and news stories links can be found on the ORC Facebook Page.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Yesterday teammates gathered together at the Blanchard Park YMCA pool to remember Roy McConnell and his 3 sons. Roy was a regular at our Wednesday 6am swim practices and his swim lane (lane #4) was reserved for him all day.

Usually only 10 or so people swam in the mornings but on this day about 30 people showed up. Coach Jacklynn, Roy's sister Deb McConnell (below in yellow) and Pastor Paul said some wonderful words in remembrance of Roy.

Then Coach Jacklynn gave us a special workout with two options for total yardage: 1600 or 2100. For teammates who were unable to attend, you may download the workout here.

Additional TV coverage of our memorial swim can be found on MyFoxOrlando.com and WESH.com.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

When feel-like temps are near 90 degrees F at 6:30am, you know it's going to be H-O-T!

Still, there were 30+ BPY tri club members who showed up at Coach Jacklynn's today for a long brick workout. We had bikes of all types: tri bikes, road bikes, hybrid bikes, mountain bikes, a beach cruiser and even one pulling a trailer with a pint-sized teammate inside. It's all good!!!

Coach Jacklynn giving out instructions. (click to enlarge).

The group getting ready to roll! (click to enlarge).

Congrats to everyone who braved the heat to do the brick workout. Come race day, you'll be glad you did.


And I was riding in a car a few weeks back with a couple fellow teammates and one reminded me of Team Hoyt, one of the most (if not the most) inspiring father-son teams to compete in triathlons. For those who have not seen this 10 minute viral video, it is a must-see. For those who have already, it never gets old.

Watch ... be inspired ... and never say you can't again.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Congratulations to Diane for being named ‘Triathlete of the Month’ for July!

Determination and dedication are two words that come to mind when I think of Diane. She is very thoughtful and a steadfast encourager to this team. We appreciate her hard work as she puts this team first above herself ... always. And her running has been improving week by week. It wouldn't have without her driven attitude and it's truly a joy to see how far she's come. What a great role model and team player!!!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Wow, we are at the end of another month which means it's time to announce a new Triathlete of the Month. Check out the green box in the center column to see who Coach Jacklynn picked for July!

And very impressive that there were quite a few of you who answered all the names correctly in our Name Game. First of all, here are the answers:

Click photo to enlarge.

As stated in the rules, we'd draw the winner randomly from those who had answered the most names correctly if there was a tie. So that's exactly what we did. The lucky winner is: Barry L Amanda*!!!

*Amanda had sent in her answers from an email account in her husband's name that they both share.

Monday, July 26, 2010

It's Monday mid-morning. Another HOT day in the making with temps nearing 90. Most people are in air-conditioned quarters enjoying their second cup of coffee. Where is the BPY Tri Club morning crew?

They are off to the track to run 800's!

Was it tough? You betcha. But everyone knows that to get stronger, you have to push the envelope. And the best way to do so is with a group of supportive friends. If you are new to running on a track, here are a few tips and notes on track etiquette to make your experience more pleasant:

- Bring/wear lots of sunscreen. No shade at the track!
- Bring PLENTY of fluids, some to drink and some to pour on yourself to cool off. No water fountain either!
- Use an insulated water bottle or bring a mini cooler to help fluids stay colder.
- Bring a watch, Garmin or some device to keep track of your lap times.
- First try to be consistent with your repeats, then work on doing them faster.
- Use the recovery periods. Proper pacing and recovery are key to doing track workouts well.
- If you are a slower runner or recovering, avoid running on the inside track (Lane #1).
- If you are a faster runner coming up on someone going slower in Lane #1, yell "Track" to request that they move over.
- If you are done running a hard interval on Lane #1, peel off to the side. Do not slow down or stop while remaining in Lane #1 as someone may be right in back of you who is continuing.
- When you are recovering, cheer for others who are running hard. The favor will likely be returned.

Come on out and join us!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

As many of you know, our tri club spinning classes are sometimes so full that not everyone can get a spin bike. Yet, there's still room on the floor so Coach Jacklynn has been encouraging everyone who has a trainer to bring theirs and their bike.

Trainer??? You mean the "Body by Jake" guy?

No. A bike trainer, which is a piece of piping and rollers that can turn your bike into a stationary bike and give you a great indoor workout. (By the way, there are also things called rollers which some cyclists use for indoor training but unless you are quite advanced or have a death wish, we will not talk about those.)

First off, given that we live in a place that's warm enough to ride outdoors year around, why would we want to ride a bike indoors?

In short, more focused training, better use of time, more time on your bike and convenience.

On a trainer you won't have any stop signs, traffic lights, downhills, or people to draft behind so you can focus on a specific structured workout as in the spin classes or on your own, say, following a Spinerval DVD. Since you will generally pedal the entire time while on a trainer (no coasting), studies have shown that roughly 45 minutes on a trainer burns about the same amount of calories as riding a bike outside for an hour at comparable effort (although your speed will be different as you'll have to overcome air friction and wind drag when riding outdoors). Riding your own bike, versus a spin bike, you'll spend more time in your saddle (if you're new to riding, a must to either get used to it or figure out you need a new one), be able to practice using your gears, reaching for and putting back your bike bottle, clipping in/out of pedals, using aero bars if you have them, etc., all of which will help you become a better cyclist for tris. And lastly, having a trainer just makes riding more convenient, especially for folks who work full-time and can ride only certain times. Whether it's dark outside or pouring rain, you can always just put your bike on a trainer and ride!

A couple additional notes: If you decide to bring your trainer and bike to a spin class, don't forget the wheel block (the thing that goes under your front wheel to make your bike level) or else you will feel like you're riding downhill the entire time and your arms will get really tired. Also, if you ride a trainer often, check your rear tire for wear regularly as it will wear down much faster than your front tire. There are special tires for indoor training but unless you have an extra rear wheel to put it on or plan to ride on a trainer for an entire season (like folks who live in cold places do), they are not worth getting because they are not designed to be ridden outdoors and you'll have to change tires often.

Ride safe, ride hard – Dave

Monday, July 19, 2010

The hard work is paying off! Everyone who's raced recently has done so well with many personal records (PRs) being set. Let's give them all a shout-out, shall we?

Chattanooga Waterfront Olympic Tri, Sun 7/11
Kimmy B - FIRST Oly tri & qualified for USAT Nationals!!!
Erik H - FIRST Oly tri & a sub-3 finish!!
Will - FIRST Oly tri & a sub-3 finish!!
John - Second Oly tri & PR'd on a MUCH tougher course!!
Julie - Second Oly tri & an 8 min swim PR!

Moss Park Sprint Tri, Sat 7/17
Coach Jacklynn - 1st Overall Female, PR'd on her bike!!!
Tabitha - 2nd Overall Female, PR'd on her run and a faster bike split!!
Melissa - 3rd F55-59 - PR'd in ALL 3 sports & a 17 min race PR!!
Britney - FIRST tri & 1st Female in the My First Tri Division!!
Deanna - FIRST tri & 2nd Female in the My First Tri Division!!
Kerrie - PR'd on the run!
Doug - PR'd on the bike and run!
Evelyn - PR'd on her run (we think)!

Clermont Sprint Tri #2, Sat 7/17
Ellen - FIRST tri & 1st Female in the Fat Tire Division!!

Moss Park Olympic Distance AquaBike, Sun 7/18
Roy, 2nd Place Male!!

BPY Tri Club Athletes and support crew at Moss Park Sprint Tri

Congrats to all who raced. Full race results for the Chattanooga Waterfront Tri can be found here, the Moss Park races here and the Clermont Sprint #2 here. If we missed anyone or any corrections are needed, please let us know in the comments.

Friday, July 16, 2010

1. Today is the last day to submit your entry for the Name Game, if you haven't already. Email entries to bpytri @ gmail.com by midnight Eastern. A $25 Panera gift card is at stake!

2. Has watching the Tour got you dreaming of a new bike? If so, two local bike stores are having a "Dream Bigger" sale. Check out our Classified Section (third column) for more details.

And now a quick Q&A from the Bike Geek:

I am buying a bike and conflicted regarding 700 and 650 wheels. I am 5’1” (on a good day). Seems like most frames that fit me have 650 wheels, but most people seem to think if I can find a frame that fits that has 700 wheels that it would be better. I think I may have done that, but I am still wondering if it is not best to go with 650 wheels anyway on a frame that fits. Do you know?

Ah, a really good question. First, why to get a bike with 700 wheels. They are bigger and ride over bumps, pot holes, curbs, etc., smoother. They are more standard so it's easier to find replacements and more varieties of tubes, tires, and after-market wheels. Also, you can bum a tube from your friends easier when you get a flat because chances are they're riding on 700 wheels too.

Ok, so given all that, why 650s? They allow the bike to be proportioned better for a small person so you will get a ride and fit that is more standard for you. There is LESS chance of a "toe overlap" with 650's, i.e., where the toe of your shoe touches the front wheel when it might be turned, say, starting off from a stop (not so much an issue when riding as you will nearly always lean your bike to make a turn rather than turn your wheel) making it a safer ride. The down sides to 650s is that you should always carry two tubes with you in case you get a flat as chances are you won't be able to borrow a tube to fix your flat. It'll be harder to find 650 tubes/tires and to upgrade your wheels (but not impossible, just some places might not have them or much of a selection and good deals on them may be few). Also, if there is someone else in your household who rides with 700 wheels, you will have to take extra care to make sure you've both got the right size tubes as they cannot be interchanged but look similar when rolled up.

In my opinion, if you are buying an off-the-shelf bike (as opposed to a custom bike that is being built specifically for you), I think you should go for the 650 wheels. I think you will get a better fit and enjoy the ride more. Not only that, bike with a little bike, it's hard to draft off you but real easy to draft off somebody else. Right Shirley?

Ride safe, ride hard -- Dave


Good luck to all who are racing this weekend!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

The first question for the Bike Geek!

What bike would you recommend for me? I want one that is much more than mine now (a $600 Giant road bike), faster and lighter. I'm looking at the $2500-3000 price range. Should it be a tri bike or a road bike?

This is a question that every bike geek loves and fears. We love it because it gives us a chance to show off how much we think we know and our biases. We fear it because we don’t really have a quick, easy answer, because it depends. It depends on what type of riding you'll be doing, how you want to spend the money (what combination of frame, components and accessories), how well the bike fits and, believe it or not, how it even looks.

If you would rather not read, a really good video about the differences between road and tri bikes can be found here.

In my opinion, the short answer is this: get the bike that you will ride and enjoy the most. The long answer I will have to explain in three parts. For part one, we'll look at what type of riding you will be doing, which I believe should be the biggest factor in making your decision between a road bike or a tri bike. I'll assume that you can get a good bike fit for either bike and both bikes look great to your eye. I'll also assume that your old bike will no longer be available so all of your riding will be done on your new bike. If you're planning on keeping your old bike, sometimes the best answer to the question is “the other kind." Since I have both types, I pick which bike to use based upon the type of ride I’m going to do (Shirley actually got a tri bike first and then a road bike more recently as the type of rides she wanted to do became more varied and she wanted to become a stronger cyclist).

So, what type of riding will you be doing? To answer this we must consider both training rides as well as races and for most of us, we will ride many more miles in training than we will in races.

Will you be doing lots of group rides with drafting involved?

To get faster on the bike, many triathletes often do group rides with serious cyclists (aka “roadies”). Just as in group running and group swim workouts, you'll tend to push yourself harder in a group than you would on your own. Plus, if it is the right group of folks, it's a lot more fun. So if you'll be doing many group rides with drafting involved, like the ESCC A & B group rides, you'll want to get a road bike because many such groups do not allow tri bikes for safety reasons (see the ESCC Aerobar policy, which I agree with completely for the reasons mentioned in the next section). They'll usually allow clip-on aerobars as long as you don't use them on those rides. In tris or non-drafting group rides, clip-on aerobars, assuming they're properly fitted, will allow you to have much of the same aerodynamic benefits as tri bikes.

Right about now, many of you are probably asking “What about BPY Tri Club rides?” Well, this is a different kind of group ride. We spread out more and don’t draft nearly as much as true roadies do. The greater separation between riders and smaller number of people riding together tends to minimize the chance of people bumping into each other or not having enough time to react.

If the majority of your rides will not involve drafting, a tri bike may the better choice, depending on the course which we'll talk about next.

Will you be riding lots of “technical courses” (ones with a lot of steep hills, tight curves, many stops, potholes, traffic, etc.)?

If so, a road bike handles better and is the safer choice. Whether to change gears, brake, go straight, climb hills, corner, navigate around obstacles or stop suddenly, hand position changes are minimal and your brakes are always easily accessible. You are also sitting more upright and it is easier to look around/ahead to see and react better. For beginners and advanced riders needing good bike handling, road bikes are the best choice.

If most of your bike courses are relatively flat with long, fairly straight stretches, as in East Orlando, then a tri bike makes better sense. You should be able to stay in aero for long periods of time with little need to brake or go around corners. To shift gears, you only need to move a thumb or fingertip to move bar end shifters located on the ends of your aerobars. A tri bike may, of course, be ridden in the non-aero or upright position too, but it's usually not as comfortable to do so for long periods of time as a road bike and shifting will require you to reach for a bar end shifter, which is not as convenient or safe (especially when riding inches away from other people, which is why tri bikes are not welcome in many group rides).

To summarize, if you'll be riding in the aero position most of the time in training and racing, then a tri bike is the way to go. Otherwise, a better quality road bike with clip-on aerobars is what I would recommend. I purposefully did not mention other benefits tri bikes are touted as having (steeper seat tube angles for better running off the bike, shorter top tube lengths for more comfort in aero position, more aerodynamic tubing, etc) because none of that really matters if the type of riding you'll be doing won't allow you to ride much in the position that a tri bike was designed for.

In my upcoming posts, I will discuss bike prices and options on how to spend your money on a new bike, bike fit and the bike coolness factor. That is, unless I get a question I want to answer more. ;-)

Ride safe, ride hard -- Dave

Friday, July 9, 2010

You know you are married to a bike geek when ...

He has more miles on his bikes than he does on his car.
You own more bikes than TVs or computers.
Your living room has been partitioned into a bike workout area and a bike mechanic shop.
There's a stack of Coach Troy Spinervals by your TV.
There are even more bike training books on your bookshelves, coffee table and dining table.
You have subscriptions to multiple bike magazines (aka bike "porn") which are all over the place, even by the bed.
The bike tools have their own toolbox but they never seem to be in it.
There are different bike chain lubricants, cassettes and other bike parts adorning your shelves.
You have a big bottle of Simple Green to clean up bike grease that invariably gets on the carpet.
He doesn't notice bike grease spots on the carpet.
He complains when you put away all his bike stuff because now he can't find anything.
He forgets family member birthdays but can remember the build kits (components) of all his bikes.
Your monthly Performance Bike and Bike Nashbar expenses often exceed your grocery bills.
He always wants to go to the local bike shop (at home or on travel), even if there's nothing really needed.
You know he wants a new bike toy when he encourages you to buy something extravagant.
He drools at the thought of attending an Interbike show.
He has more than a dozen bike-related websites bookmarked on his web browser.
The fastest way to get Tour de France highlights is to just ask him.
He says he's doing some "work" in his office but you hear the TestRider.com podcast music playing over and over.

But I consider myself lucky. Because if it weren't for my husband Dave, I wouldn't be where I am as a cyclist (which is not to say that I'm a great cyclist, just that I'm much better than I would be otherwise). He's my riding partner, my de facto bike coach, my bike mechanic and my resident bike geek. Any bike questions I've had (and believe me, there have been a LOT), he usually knows the answer to or if he doesn't, he enjoys looking up.

Dave has kindly agreed to help other BPY tri club members who might have bike questions by participating in a series of blog posts called "Ask the Bike Geek." Questions may be posted here on this blog, on our club Facebook page or emailed to the club (bpytri @ gmail.com). I'll make sure he gets them. Dave also occasionally rides with our club on weekends and, as some of you already know, LOVES to talk about bikes and is willing to help if someone needs help with their bike. If he's not wearing his green BPY Tri Club bike jersey, look for a unique green bike (He's not wearing his helmet in the above photo because it was really hot and he was trying to cool off during a break. He always has his helmet ON when riding).

Stay tuned for the next "Ask the Bike Geek" installment!

Also, one more week left to submit your entries for the Name Game. Entries are due next Friday, 7/16, by midnight Eastern. A $25 Panera gift card is up for grabs!!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

1) A reminder: Please always wear a bike helmet when riding outdoors. You do not have to be Lance Armstrong to crash on a bike. Take it from me who took a spill last Saturday while wrapping up a solo training ride thinking the hard part was over. Surprise! Hitting the asphalt hurts more than riding in 15-20mph headwinds for 20 miles.

Luckily, my injuries were relatively minimal, just minor road rash and some bumps and bruises, and the damage to my bike was mostly cosmetic. My poor helmet, however, was toast.

A cracked or broken helmet is no longer safe to use and should be replaced.

So that now makes a total of four, FOUR bike helmets that I have gone through. But the good news: ZERO head injuries! Although some may question my sanity at times ...

2) Feeling the summer heat? Check out this USAT article called Nutrition for the Heat which explains some basics about training in heat & humidity and provides some useful tips. The part in goal #1 about heat preacclimitization, however, you can ignore as there is plenty of heat right now every day. But practicing your nutrition and training your stomach is good advice. Remember, the longer the race and hotter the conditions, the more important nutrition becomes. If anyone has additional tips for beating the heat, feel free post them in the comments.

Train safe and train smart, everyone!

PS - For those who don't know, PSA = Public Service Announcement.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Check out the green box in the center column to see who Coach Jacklynn has picked as the new Triathlete of the Month!

Also, you asked for it, now you've got it.
We've created a new Blanchard Park Tri Club Facebook Page so teammates can connect with each other outside of emails. Clicking the Facebook icon to the right will take you to our community page. Anyone may view the page but only Facebook users who click the "Like" button will be able to post on the wall. Use this page to talk about meeting up for unofficial club workouts, socials, seminars, to share info about training routes, training/racing tips, good deals on tri gear, whatever you think your fellow teammates might be interested in.


Sunday, June 27, 2010

Congratulations to Migi for being named ‘Triathlete of the Month’ for June!

I have mixed emotions as I announce this triathlete of the month. Let me start by saying how proud I am of Migi. She started with our team back in March after giving birth to her 6th child (a lil' girl after having 5 boys). When she started, she was scared and questioned me daily asking if I really thought she could do this. I had no doubt she could ... it was just up to her. She could make it about 100 yards of jogging but then had to walk a lot after and she felt discouraged. She stuck with the practices and improved not only in the run and but also tremendously in the pool. After having to take about 3 weeks off due to her whole family passing around flu symptoms to one another, Migi was back in action even though she lost a lot of her 'base training.' That didn't stop her from still wanting to complete her first triathlon, though. Migi completed her first triathlon in Clermont on June 12th with flying colors. Besides accomplishing that, she also completed the infamous Lucky's Lake Swim (1,000 meters) and had the honor of signing Lucky's famous wall. On a sad note this was her goal before moving away to another state just last weekend. I'm torn because I write this to say goodbye and thank you for allowing me to coach you Migi! I loved your effort and your determination. By the end of your season with us, you were encouraging new triathletes telling them they could do it too. Good luck on your new adventure. Don't stop "tri-ing!" We miss you!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Need a new bike, a bike tune-up, some bike parts or accessories?

If so, Cycle Spectrum (407-482-9111), located in the Waterford Lakes Town Center across from Super Target, is offering special deals for Blanchard Park Y Tri Club members.

They have some of the lowest prices around for new bikes and provide free lifetime bike service for all new bikes purchased from them.

In addition, as a club sponsor, they are offering BPY club members free basic bike tune-ups on all bikes and 10% off parts & accessories. For the tune-ups, you will typically have to leave your bike overnight. The best times to request tune-ups are Tues-Fri when they are less busy so if you have an important race coming up and need work done on your bike, they recommend you bring your bike in at least a week in advance to allow ample time for the work to be done and a test ride.

Please thank our sponsors by supporting them!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

How well do you know your fellow teammates?

If you can name the most people in our latest group photo, you could win a $25 Panera Bread giftcard.

Click photo to view a printable PDF version.

To play the Name Game, submit an email to bpytri@gmail.com with first names corresponding to the numbers shown in the above photo. Answers may be in list format or you may write names in the blanks on the PDF version, scan it and email it as an attachment. You may also work together but please DO NOT ask Coach Jacklynn for help with this. As a hint, 29 of the 31 people in the photo are listed in the Clermont Sprint Tri race results below. Two people in the photo did not race and two people who did race are not in the photo.

Erik S. - 1:04:26, 2nd M25-29
Erik H. - 1:07:11, 8th M25-29
Josh - 1:14:09, 13th M25-29
John - 1:17:42, 18th M25-29
Will - 1:08:00, 8th M30-34
Barry L. - 1:09:08, 7th M35-39
Kurt - 1:24:40, 25th M40-44
Paul - 1:26:54, 30th M40-44
Doug - 1:34:20, 15th M45-49 1st Tri!
Roy ~1:15, M50-54 (no official time recorded)
Barry O. - 1:46:23, 5th Fat Tire M 1st Tri!

Julie - 1:28:13, 4th F20-24
Kerrie - 1:37:27, 5th F20-24
Brittany (Breezy) - 1:37:43, 6th F20-24 1st Tri!
Baley - 1:38:05, 7th F20-24
Jacklynn - 1:06:30, 1st F30-34
Renee - 1:17:05, 3rd F30-34
Tabitha - 1:17:56, 4th F30-34
Kim - 1:21:35, 8th F30-34
Rachel - 1:33:47, 15th F30-34 1st Tri!
Amanda - 1:19:01, 5th F35-39
Andrea - 1:28:16, 12th F35-39
Beckie - 1:38:34, 16th F35-39
Ericka - 1:24:02, 10th F40-44
Tracy - 1:28:23, 13th F40-44
Heather - 1:30:34, 14th F40-44 1st Tri!
Hillary - 1:35:48, 19th F40-44
Liz - 1:24:59, 1st Fat Tire F 1st Tri!
Diane - 1:39:40, 2nd Nov F 1st Tri!
Kayleigh - 2:03:36, 4th Nov F 1st Tri!
Migi - 2:03:40, 5th Nov F 1st Tri!

Answers will be accepted until midnight eastern Friday, July 16th to allow everyone plenty of time to attend workouts and figure out people's names. Minor spelling errors will not count against you. In case of a tie, the winner will be chosen at random from among those who named the most people correctly. Good luck and have fun getting to know each other!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

What better way to show off our AWESOME new team uniforms than at a race???

And what a statement we made. Over 30 Blanchard Park Y Tri Club members raced the Clermont Sprint Tri #1 last Saturday in HOT conditions and on a HILLY course, something many were not ready for since the bike map had been posted only days before the race.

But did that stop folks from smiling and having fun? I don't think so!

Everyone was digging deep and giving it their all. Everyone was cheering for each other. And everyone finished strong. WOOHOOO!!!

HUGE congrats to all those who raced, especially those doing their first-ever tri: Liz, Migi, Kayleigh, Doug, Rachael, Barry O., Diane, Heather and Breezy. (If we missed listing you, please let us know in the comments!)

Below is a group photo and a slideshow with some of the MANY photos fellow club member Denise and I got at the event.

Group photo before the race (click to enlarge).

I think we got at least one photo of everyone in the club who raced. To view all of the photos, click here. If you'd like a higher resolution photo for printing, email the club (address in the yellow box at the top of the third column). Most of the photos have been rescaled for faster online display.

Added: Official race photos can be found here.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Yes, you heard that right. There were actually TWO race belts up for grabs!

Thank you to all who entered the contest. Always fun to get to know each other a little better.

The lucky winners this time are: EVIE & ANDREA!!!

Ladies, you can pick up your belt from Coach Jacklynn starting on Wednesday, 6/9. Congratulations!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Congrats to the 29 teammates who swam at Lucky's Lake Swim yesterday! We had 10 people sign Lucky's Wall of Fame: Hilary, Beckie, Josh, Breezy, Migi, Kim, Rachael, Tabitha, Baley, and Connie. And for three of them, Migi, Kim, and Connie, it was their first open water swim ever. GREAT job!!!

Click to enlarge.

And did you know that Google Maps now supports bike routes?

Just tell it where you want to start and finish then click on the bicycle icon.

Note that the trip time estimate is based on an average speed which may vary depending on the cyclist (in this case 12.2mph). Melissa tried it recently to go from the Blanchard Park YMCA to Fort Christmas.

Here's her review:

The route was great. I took the Blanchard trail to Alafaya, short ride through the UCF Research Park, walked over the little metal connector bridge to the Bonneville neighborhood, short ride through that neighborhood, and suddenly I was out in the country! I was on Lake Pickett Road for 6.5 miles, then took Ft. Christmas Road 5 miles to Fort Christmas Historical Park. The traffic was very light on a weekend morning. It was peaceful and relaxing and very beautiful. The roundtrip for me was 38 miles, from the Blanchard Y I'd say probably 32 miles. It was so great to know I could get out of suburbia and into the country so easily! (I don't think I'd take the route on a weekday though, because I know Lake Pickett Road between Percival and SR 419 can have alot of commuter traffic.)

If a cyclist enjoys bike trails, the Google program shows where they all are.

Thanks Melissa for sharing this tool with us. Remember, one more day left to enter the race belt giveaway!

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