Maine Lobster – Man

After a year without the event due to a red tide, the great folks at Tr-Maine have a series of races and brought back the Lobsterman. A great olympic-distance event (1m swim/25m bike/6m run) held in Freeport, all enclosed within Winslow Park. I enjoy this race because I get to visit Anjie and Andrew in Portland and do some training/sightseeing in Maine.

Unfortunately I wasn’t with Gina (due to work) and I missed her dearly on this one. I was swifted off to JFK by SuperShuttle in the wee hours of Wednesday morning, go to JetBlue, ticket, bags and bike checked, and to my gate all in a span of an hour!! Awesome. After waiting on the runway for 20 minutes, I was off the plane and had everything with me in another hour! The fastest travel trip ever for me.

Jings was at the airport and we drove 15 minutes back to the house. The air was fresh, quiet, weather great – just the way I remember it. He had purchased a weekly pass for me at Lifestyles so we did an afternoon workout. Anjie wasn’t getting back til late, so we hung out afterwards and I unpacked my stuff in my room. A quick day indeed.

Thursday was all training – early up, hard long run, swim at the pool in the afternoon, and check out the sights later in the day before Anjie got home from work. The lifeguards at the pool were still there so it was fun to meet them again. I had my own lane and swam and swam. The renovations to the place were definitely an upgrade too. All chlorinated up, I watched ESPN with Jings and “chilled” out. He took off the whole weekend to relax. They make a great leisurely dinner though my chore is to simply wash the dishes – a bargin. The house rules haven’t changed much though leaving the shower curtain open is a no-no. I was in bed by 10-10:30 each night.

After an overnight rain, Friday was foggy but cleared up real quick. Anjie is up by 4:30 each morning for her “routine” but 6:30 suited me just right. Did some spinning and spent most of the day “resting” a bit. I didn’t taper at all for this race so I decided today was a good day to get my training done early and at least get some sort of rest. They had their driveway paved and the crew working did an amazing job in a few hours. Then I rode over to Starbucks to hang out at the local mall area and see Maine in action. Traffic, type of folks walking by – no way near NYC standards but certainly fun to watch.

We drove later on to Freeport to simply check-in then headed back down to the port for Flatbreads. Great pizza (and salad)!!!

I spoke to G every night and needed her voice before going to sleep. I had her in my thoughts each day and the things we could have done here were numerous. We would have scoped every inch of this town. Hard day tomorrow – harder without her.

Didn’t sleep that much but didn’t matter. Honestly all I could thing about was the water – 62-68 degrees and that initial plung. It’s what gives this race an extra “ZIP”. The weather was perfect – 60 (got up to 80) no clouds, drift of a wind. After setting up shop and waiting for the start, Anj and Jings prepped themselves for the day. As the 500 or so gathered at the beach, it was race time. I was to go in the 2nd wave but it goes so quick. No time to get use to the water – in you go and wait for the horn. WHOOOOOOOOO – I felt like a lobster. I had no feeling in my toes in 2 minutes. The gun went off and after trying to “warmup” for a few and gathering myself I let it rip. Kicking and churning like crazy it was the only way to stay warm – and focused. Mind off the water just swim. Sure enough I was passing the first wave of folks and had plenty of water. The bouys were in sight and just swam like crazy. Soon enough I was done. Now would I freeze on the bike.

I had enough confidence in the weather that I stay in my Polar tight tank and went off. Wasn’t bad at all. I was fine. Legs moving well, no chills. Breathing on par and monitored my heartrate as Coach Dave recommeneded. I stayed in the 2-3-4 zones and was able to maintain it comfortably. A beautiful course with well paved roads an no traffic. I didn’t need more than my AminoVital drink for the 70 minute ride. Surely a great ride for me given the week’s training. I was glued to my CS200cad the whole time.

Now would a hard quick ride hurt my run – especially after doing intervals Thursday. MMM, not likely. I was ready to catch me some lobstertail. With the sounds of Hinder in my head (Jings was playing it in his car on repeat) I was crankin’. I tried to use some of Anjie’s Qi-Gong powers too. Worked ok, but I’m a Yoda disciple and like to use the force. I was going in my upper zones and making great time. I don’t know my exact splits yet overall, but can tell you my last 2 miles were way under 6 each.

I crossed the line strong in 2:15 – a personal best of over 20 minutes here! Wicked awesome! Anj and Jings did a great job the whole day as support crew as we shared stories and watched other finishers. I’m proud of Anjie because she used the port-o-sans twice as much as me and was a bit nauseated the rest of the day.

I quickly shared the news with G and wanted to hug and kiss my phone – but I hugged Jings instead. Clearwater looks great and I am psyched!

The rest of the day was a blur: they went food shopping for a BBQ (yes I did eat meat: bison)

and I went to mass at St Pius (hasn’t changed much – great service). I passed out at 10.

I was able to get up ok Sunday morning and go for a long run by the back bay. Quiet, slight chill in the air and the sound of the dirt roads beneath me. I finished at the gym for a spin where I met Jings to hit the weights. Back home, Anj did her cleaning and we met at 11 to go to Ogonquit. Here is where I REALLY missed G. Certainly a place to visit if you come to Maine. Kinda like the Hamptons, Montauk, Long Beach all rolled into one. Great hotels on the beach, a beautiful train called Marginal Way that takes you along the beaches, and fine small crafts, shops, and eats (esp. Carpe Diem coffee). We spent a few hours there mostly walking along the trail. A nice getaway on yet another spectacular day.

Now it is coming to a close aand I return to NYC tomorrow night. I get to do another early workout and catch a late morning swim, but then, its finish packing up and a late afternoon drive to the Jetport. I do get to come home to G, but unfortunately also to the grind of the city life. A great trip and a BIG thank you to Anjie and Jings for their hospitality/treats/talks. They always go out of their way to make their home – home.

The Lobster claw finishers medal went to Anj/Andrew for their help this week.

I will post results when they become available, but I think I finished in the top 25 somewhere. It was hard to analyze with the relay teams and those who just did the swim-bike portions (aka Aquabikers).


Swim: 20 minutes

Bike: 1 hr 13 minutes

Run: 38 minutes

Finish time: 2 hr 15 minutes

28th Overall (all competitors)

8th in age group (30-34)

First finisher from NY!!!!!!!!

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