Category Archives: triathlon

Old Hickory Lake triathlon 2011

I’ve now raced the Old Hickory Lake triathlon in 8 of the 10 years its been run. Year in and year out it’s my personal “super bowl”. Racing in my home town, my dad riding with me to the race before the sun rises, and my mom, Karen and the kids all being at the finish line have always made this race special to me.

This year I woke up early – 5:00am. I expected to be awake before dad for once, but when I walked into the living room there he was, fully dressed, drinking coffee, and watching TV already.

We got to the race site early. That allowed me to take the very first spot on the bike racks – right next to the bike in and bike out. Bill Hampton and I went for a short warm-up ride before walking down to the swim start. We were numbers 2 and 3, so we’d be starting at the very front end of the race.

A 20 year old kid hit the water #1, followed by Bill, and then me, and then a swarm of guys with good swim speed. We rounded the dock after the start with Bill still a few feet in front of me. Within 25 yards I came around Bill and set my sights on #1. As we got to the first left turn at the big yellow bouy I caught him, swam a few strokes in his wake, and then passed him. I swam alone for the next 200-250 yards in the very front. In the final stretch towards the ramp I was caught by a single swimmer. I noticed he was #10, so this guy was flying to have started that far back and still caught me.

Bill in front with me following in 2nd and 3rd position.coming around Bill and setting my sites on #1

I exited the water satisfied with my swim, quickly pulled my shoes on and started the one mile run to the bike transition. There were now two guys in front of me. I ran calmy up a long hill not wanting to blow up too early in the race. Once the course leveled off I caught them and ran just off their shoulders. One of the guys faded as we picked up the pace, so #1 and I ran into the transition area still the virtual leaders on the road.

Once on the bikes I followed him for the first mile, easing into my pace. We climbed an on-ramp onto Vietnam Veterans parkway. I’m usually strong going uphill so I seized the opportunity to pass him and take the lead spot on the road again. What an awesome feeling! I was the first person out there…just the lead motorcycle in front of me. I stayed in the lead until I was finally caught by the eventual overall winner at about 5.5 miles. He was going so fast that I didn’t even try to go with him. I stayed calm. I was riding fast at 22.5 mph, so he was flying. I saw Bill at the turnaround, so I rode hard up the long climb back up Vietnam Veterans.

We came into the transition area again in that same order. Sean Torr leading the race wearing #19 and then me.  I was still 2nd on the road – hoping I had distanced some of my old rivals a bit. The first mile of the run felt like 3 miles. I kept waiting to see Torr heading back, but it took forever. He eventually crested a hill in front of me heading the opposite direction. There was no hope of catching him. About a 1/4 mile after I made the turnaround I saw Bill again – running strong. Shortly after I saw my old friends Javier Rodriguez and Brian Waller both running smooth. I felt better headed back towards the finish line and eased into a 6:50 pace…not hurting, but not quite loafing either. With about a 1/4 mile to go I ran past Karen, my mom, and the kids.

I crossed the finish line 2nd, but ultimately was 13th overall and 3rd in my age group. Not bad out of 400 racers. It was a new PR time for me by 5 minutes at Old Hickory Lake. It wasn’t my best overall finish there (12th in 2008), but 13th against a stacked field was still great.

Read about my special day in 2008 here

2011 Race Results round up (so far):

Hell of the South bike race – 17th overall

Country Music Half Marathon – 1:39

Florida 70.3 – 5:33

Boulder Sunrise Triathlon – 6th overall / 1st Age Group

Old Hickory Lake Triathlon – 13th overall / 3rd Age Group

Boulder 70.3 – ? Still to come


Yet another blog

I’ve been busy lately with my little side business Top Step Fitness. I’ve started keeping a blog on the site as well. You can find it HERE.

It’s a little more focused than The Figurehead. I hope to get more active with my posts on The Figurehead as well.

I’m still alive (actually more alive than ever) – just preoccupied

My loyal Figureheads, I apologize for my long absences. My attention has been directed to my new project:

Triathletes For Africa

 I’m not completely giving up on The Figurehead just yet though. I’ll be posting here occasionally.

Simply Successful Secrets; or Habits of a Water Treader

Chris at Pourout “tagged” me to follow up on an exercise in self-edification started by some guy I don’t know at some blog I’ve never heard of or read. Can you tell this exercise caught me at a good time? I’ve been doing alot soul searching lately and I haven’t liked what I’ve found out about myself. So, in fact, this idea did catch me at the right time, maybe just not a good time.

Here’s the deal: I’m supposed to list 10, give or take a few, of my daily habits that make me “successful” and then tag some other bloggers to do the same.  And we’re off….

1. I spend time with my daughter first thing every morning: This is both out of necessity and desire to spend time with her. Karen has to be at work 40 minutes from home at 7:30 am, so I get Izzy out of bed, pack her lunch, get her dressed, and to daycare everymorning.  There’s nothing better than a hug from your little girl first thing in the morning – even when she’s screaming her head off as 3-year-olds are prone to do.

2. I do work that touches peoples lives in a positive way: I syndicate a national talk radio program that reaches 3 million plus listeners. It’s information that actually helps people have better lives. That, in turn, is a blessing for me.

3. I exercise daily: I swim, bike, or run 6 days per week to keep my body strong. This is the only body I’ll ever have, so it’s my responsibility to be a good steward of God’s temple. This habit is easy to abuse, so I’m careful to maximize minimal “training” time.

4. I read: I’ll catch some grief for this one from more business and religious minded coworkers, but I read mostly fiction. It’s who I was made to be.  With a few exceptions, I don’t appreciate spiritual advice from preachers supplementing their incomes with self help books. The exceptions: Rick Warren, John Eldredge, and James Dobson.

5. I write: Since adolescence I’ve dreamed of being a writer. I haven’t always worked to make that a reality, despite constant encouragement from teachers, professors, and loved ones. So, this is the one that bothers me most. Nights when I have written I fall asleep peacefully, nights when I haven’t I’m restless and full of regret.

6. I draw: There are sketch pads all over my house (in the kitchen, bathroom, and bedroom). When ideas won’t come out through my writing they usually manifest themselves through pen and ink sketches.

7. I spend time with my wife and daughter in the evenings: I’ve posted several times  wondering how people find time for tv at night. This is where my time goes. I’m not giving you a load of self-righteousness here. Spending time with my family at night doesn’t make me any better of a father or husband than anyone else; it’s just reality. It’s where my time goes at night and why I dont’ watch tv. I refuse to “record” tv programs; they just aren’t that important. We eat dinner – We give Izzy a bath – then we play/read books until bed time.

8. I compete: My father was special forces in the Nam, my brother a stud athlete in every sport imaginable. Competitiveness is another part of who I am, so I don’t suppress it, though sometimes I would like to. It would eat me alive inside If I didn’t test myself against others physically. These days I do 7-10 triathlons annually to get my competitive fix. If I didn’t, I would be nearly impossible to be around.

9. I Veg Out: Ok, so I admit it: I do watch some tv. I watch one sport or another every night almost as I’m falling asleep. Watching a sporting event is a mindless activity for me. I don’t have to be totally tuned into a Chipper Jones at bat in the 5th inning of a game in June. It’s okay if I fall off to sleep.  The one exception to this rule is The Tour De France; my heart races throughout – with the exception of the flat stages.

10. I listen to music: Music is beauty. A good artist or band can inspire me to sit down and work on my writing/art; I’m constantly searching for new bands to reach me in some way.

So there you have it, my good habits that keep my head above the rising swells of adult life. Pour Out tagged most of the people I would have tagged. Here are a couple more:

The Hooligan at Hooligan Mind

Ben at Pet Peeving

Marianna at Peachy Perspective

Suzanne at Not Wired

Get to know The Figurehead

I’m having some trouble with youtube today, so I’ll have to postpone “Founding Father’s Friday”. In it’s place I’ll give you a look into the world of The Figurehead; just odds and ends about everday life. Sound boring? Avert your eyes now then.

Playing in the car: Modest Mouse “We Were Dead…” and U2 “U218 Singles”

Playing at this very moment: Death Cab for Cutie “The Photo Album”

Beside the bed: Pat Conroy “My Losing Season” and Clive Cussler “Shockwave”

In the Loo: ESPN the Magazine and Wired

On my feet: Everyday – Vans Old Skool / Running – Brooks Addiction

The Shades: Rudy Project

Pedaling: Specialized Allez Comp Double with Mavic Ksyrium ES Anniversary Special Edition Wheels

Keeping the water out of my eyes: Aquasphere Kaiman