Thursday, September 18, 2008

REWIND.... August 6, 2008

August 6, 2008. I'm on my way to California to help my dad move to Tucson.

It was really nice to get away from all of the stress of trying to start a business and do something completely different. If this freelance stuff doesn't cut it, I could see myself as a mover. I had fun throwing all of that stuff into boxes, my training has put me in good conditioning to move boxes and it was a great new experience driving a 26ft truck. The whole thing was a different type of stress, but I dedicated myself to it like I do my photography and my training.

Boy do I miss the West Coast. I was having trouble hitting 6 miles, outside, in Florida and then I made it to California after doing light training the week before, and I easily ran 10 miles. The water in the pool was actually a little bit chilly. My biggest wish would of been being able to take my bike with me. I took golf clubs instead (And only used them once)

Like my good friend Mike, I love to sit in the window seat and take pictures out of the airplane. He seemed to think it was weird, but then I guess we're weird together!

I have to say that Southwest Airlines has become one of the best airlines still in business. I used to not be the biggest fan, because I always want a window seat and I hate that their is the chance I may not get it. Also their is a chance that I may not be sitting next to my wife.

Now choosing a seat has become lower on my list as airlines start to nickel and dime you. Airlines are charging you for one checked bag and even more for two. If you want peanuts, that will be $2 please. If you want a pillow, fork over the credit card. None of this has made it's way to Southwest.

Southwest is so customer friendly, that when they bring your snack, they say to take whatever you want, take two or three even. I hope that Southwest thrives and other airlines start taking note that CUSTOMER SERVICE IS KEY! And if they are cheaper, I'm still going to fly Southwest because they treat me right.

Driving a truck near L.A. When it get's windy though, you notice.

This is on the way to the Arizona border. Living in Florida I REALLY miss the mountains.

While we were unpacking boxes, I had a day to take to myself and went down to Mexico with James Gregg, a very awesome friend. You can read about it here.

Nov. 29, Triathlon Party/Clinic

I just received this and thought I would pass it along. My friend Sara McLarty has just set-up shop in Clermont, and it looks like things are going good for her.

Hello Friends,
Sara has moved to Clermont, Florida
She has been hired by the National Training Center to
be the master swim coach and put on triathlon clinics and is a link with limited information but lots more
information to come soon...
her first event is the saturday after thanksgiving, Nov 29
it is a "triathlon festival" that will include rides, runs, swims,
yoga, transitions, lunch 9:00-3:00
$30 for individual
$50 for 2 people
I hope anyone interested will support her first professionl event !!
It should be a lot of fun and a great workout !!
please forward this to all your trialthon friends

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Archives older than September 1, 2008

Dear Readers

This blog was on Myspace, but sooooo many people are having trouble with it there, I moved it here. Heck even I was having trouble with it there. The worst is that people had trouble even getting to the blog, but that was only the start of it.

I know I may have new readers, so I even brought over all the archives. Even my older readers may want to catch-up. It wasn't extraordinarily difficult, but you'd think someone would of made it easier. Just a copy and paste. This has left some remnants of Myspace on the blog, so please just ignore them.


the Management

Monday, September 01, 2008

2008 Advocare Sprint Series 2nd Place Overall!!
Current mood: excited
Category: Sports

I forgot to mention that this race gave me 2nd place overall in the 2008 Advocare Sprint Series. This is based off of four races and you have to race in at least three to qualify for the final point standings. They haven't posted the final results, but I was only about 10 points out of first. You can find a better explanation of the series here.

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2008, 3rd Annual Fall Triathlon Festival
Category: Sports

2008, 3rd Annual Fall Triathlon Festival
Moss Park Tri

750m Swim, 12mi bike, 2.75mi run

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Moss Park, Orlando, FL

6th of 147 people and 79 men, 1st in my age group of 17 people

11:44 swim (1:33 100/m), 32:00 bike (22.5mph), 21:10 run (7:41 min/mi)

1 161 Chad Pilster M ST M 30-34 DeLand FL 0:11:44.569 0:01:43.925 0:00:31.320 0:32:00.119 0:00:30.616 0:21:10.286 1:07:40.835

So now that you have watched the video can you guess what one word can sum up this race? WET! Thank you Tropical Storm Fay!

You had to walk through a flooded swamp just to get to the swim. In the first hundred hards of the run my shoes were soaked as there were no options to go around the puddles.

Amazingly, I surprised myself with a 6th place overall and first in my age group. If you read my previous post, you'd understand why this was a surprise. I had been in California for two weeks helping my dad move and before that my life had been so hectic that I was lucky to get training in. My race seemed slow, but I still did well.

Now if I could just swim straight, I would be doing awesome. I must have added at least 100 meters. My goggles fogged up in the first few seconds of the swim and I could barely see someone swimming next to me. I couldn't believe when I got out of the water and I saw two kids, that must of been in the 15 and under category, running in front of me. I definitely need to train with the kids at the pool!

Transition went fast and I must of made up a bunch of spots on the bike. I was only passed once, but it gave me someone to keep pace off of. I didn't lose sight of them. In the middle of the race I passed another rider and he said there were only three people in front of me. I found that hard to believe, and just kept pounding away. I came to a spot on the course where I saw the leader and the pace car. I counted, and sure enough there were only three people in front of me.

The rider who passed me was one of them, but they were only about 50 meters ahead. I took his spot in transition and it took him a good couple minutes before he gained it back. My run is still my weakest event, and not training didn't help. I just ran relaxed and only ended up losing four spots. Working on my run is again going to be my off season training goal.

Three more weeks until the last race of my season! September 21, Athletes for a Cure.

Also I am starting a blog just to focus on my photography. Look for it at

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Thursday, August 28, 2008

082308 Moss Park Tri Video
Category: Sports

Here is the video. Thanks to my wife Liz for doing the hardwork of filming it. I just ran the race and put the whole thing together. The blog is coming soon.

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Thursday, August 21, 2008

Am I not ready?

Boy am I not ready! I have a race this weekend and I've barely been able to train. Trying to start a new business from almost scratch takes a lot of time! That's not the only thing I've been up to. The past couple weeks I helped my dad move his 3000+ sq ft home 820 miles from San Jose to his 2200 sq ft home in Tucson.

I recommend that everyone moves regularly, this keeps the junk down. My dad hasn't moved in about 10 years, and I think he had at least six sets of dishes. Who needs six sets? If you live near Tucson, let me know and I may be able to work some deals out for you ;)

So while I was moving, I found time to get some training in about once every couple days. I found one chance to jump on a bike, and I only had the time to ride it 1.5 miles to the pool and back.

I got back yesterday and have watched heavy rain and winds from T.S. Fay completely ruin any chance to jump on my bike today. I wasn't even sure if the "Y" was open. It didn't matter, because I have spent most of the day doing MORE business stuff.

I am completely off schedule for my routine, I miss it and it's frustrating!!!

The little bit of training I have done, has kept me sane. It has pulled me away from long hours in front of the computer trying to figure out what's the next step in getting my freelance photography off the ground. When my hours were more regular, I had a set time to get a workout done in. Now that I can go anytime, my "job" always seems to take up the prime hours.

I wanted to do well in the race this weekend because it is the final for the series, and I have a chance to be in the top three overall. We will see

I have one more major race this season and it is Athletes for a Cure on September 21. I have to make money to race (Not to mention just to eat and pay the bills), but getting out and training keeps me from going insane before I make any money. How life can be so frustrating sometimes.

Btw.... I don't know if I mentioned that I have a new blog specifically focused on my photography at I hope to start posting pictures there soon and not just rants.

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Monday, August 18, 2008

Crazy Situations

I'm in Arizona right now, I just helped my dad finish a move. I'm supposed to fly back into Orlando at 6:10p. Right now a hurricane (At the moment it is Tropical Storm Fay) is supposed to hit Tampa at 8p. Now I know most people would want to run away from a hurricane, but even though I no longer have a job at a newspaper, my instinct is to get back there in front of it.

This eagerness comes from the urge to be with my wife and dogs, but some of it is the possibility that there may be something to cover. Some of it is I don't want to be stuck at an airport on a layover, when I could be with family in either Arizona or home.

Hopefully many people won't be sharing my urge to head to Florida, and I may be able to book and earlier flight. Looks like I'll be on the phone to Southwest tomorrow figuring things out.

And don't forget that if you need photos when the hurricane hits, I'm available for freelance!

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Starting a Pilster Photography Blog

For a couple of reasons, I'm starting a second blog to focus on my freelance photography and issues surrounding it. I am still going to continue this one to focus on triathlon and my life in general. My new blog can be found at Weird But Cool! Thanks for reading!

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Thursday, July 24, 2008

5th Annual Moss Park Triathlon
Category: Sports

Sprint Triathlon - .75 km swim, 20 km bike, 2.75 mile run

A time of 1:07:44, 1:55/100m in the swim, 24.06mph on the bike, and 7:10/mile on the run

1st in my age group of 12 and 6th out of 93 men and 184 overall people

ST M 30-34

1 193 Chad Pilster ST M 30-34 DeLand FL 0:14:23.770 0:01:33.887 0:00:33.589 0:30:59.664 0:00:30.378 0:19:43.258 1:07:44.546

Moss park isn't anything exciting, but it's great to race the same course over and over. You never know how you've improved in triathlon until you race the same course, because every course is different. This is the fourth time I've done this course and the second time this year. I was excited to see a minute drop off my time earlier in the season, but a little upset to watch my run time increase.

Once again my photographer wasn't able to make it. Her bed was much more exciting than a park she's seen me race at four times. I certainly hope she makes it to watch me race this park a fifth though. Right now I'm second in the overall points for the Advocare Sprint Series and the race is looking close!

The swim started out right into the sun. I found myself looking for the buoy way to often when there was no way I was going to see it anyway. I need to just put my head down and trust where I'm swimming to. I knocked 40 seconds off of my time earlier this season, but the first guys out of the water were three minutes ahead of me, so I still have a lot of pool work to do.

My bike was really good. I blazed through transition and was off on my bike. I had my shoes on, a gulp of water and watched as I passed people. At the halfway mark I made a loop and saw a pack of five riders on my tail. I kept it in high gear and finally one of them caught me, but that was it. I stayed on his tail the best I could and when we made a loop I saw the pack of riders even further back.

Once again I blazed through transition (Did I mention I like my new biking shoes!). The run started out smooth and I amazingly started to watch myself close a gap on the runner in front of me. I've been so used to being passed when I hit the run that it really is exciting for me to close in on other runners. Unfortunately I still had one person pass me, so I was back in the same position that I started in. It's really exciting to see improvement in my run, even if I was 40 seconds slower than when I started this season. I hope by the next race at Moss Park in August that I can set another PR in my overall and do it by dropping my run time!

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No time for training!
Current mood: focused
Category: Sports

A race on Saturday gave me something to focus on besides trying to market my freelance photography business. I used to think I was busy when I had my job at the News-Journal, but now most of my days include waking up and starting on one project or another and then not getting to bed until 1am.

All of this has totally wreaked havoc on my training. I feel like I want to get all of my projects done before I even step foot out the door. Sometimes I don't finish a project, and sometimes there is a lightning storm going on outside. I started to feel like the light at the end of the tunnel was getting closer, when a curve ball was thrown at me. An opening for a photographer position at one of the papers I've been eying for years, and even more so in the past few months. I've had to switch gears to get everything ready to make their deadline 12 days after they posted the opening. I think I have one more day and I'll have the packet ready to go out the door.

As I check things off my to do list, one of the most major projects is 99% complete and live! I finished a major overhaul of my website at If you see a problem at it don't hesitate to let me know. I think I know most of them and will be working on them as soon as I get some priority projects done. Now that this is up I can start marketing myself to some editorial and advertising clients. Without a current portfolio, it's hard to show people what you can do.

My to do list is still a mile long, but things that needed to be done yesterday are turning into things that can be done next week. Just when things are starting to slow down, other things are coming up. Friday is my wife's birthday and party (Happy Birthday honey!), next weekend I'm off to St. Petersburg, Fla. for the amazing Geekfest workshop by Aphotoaday (I haven't missed it since 2002, and they have only gotten better), and then the Tuesday after that I'm off to California for two weeks to help my dad move to Tucson.

During this whole time I hope to get my act in gear for training. I know, I have an excuse and I shouldn't be hard on myself, but my excuse is finally starting to give me some free time. I am planning on taking full advantage of this free time and getting ready for the last two races of my race year. I will, I will, I will train! I miss regular training, I'm getting tired of staring at the computer. The only excuse that's going to be acceptable to me is that I have a freelance job or other job, otherwise see you on the road or in the water....

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Sunday, July 13, 2008

Current mood: stressed
Category: Sports



The 3rd Annual Morton Plant Mease Triathlon
For the first time in my short racing career a triathlon I was supposed to race in was canceled. That's pretty amazing considering the amount of crazy weather we get here in Florida. A drive to Tampa and the usual 4:45 a.m. early morning wakeup call was wasted. A poor volunteer standing in the rain with a flashlight got to tell me that the race has been canceled (I just want to say these hardworking guys standing in the rain do an awesome job!).

So I read once that if you don't finish a triathlon it's against triathlon lore to wear the t-shirt. What about if the whole event is canceled?

I feel real sorry for those two bikers who didn't have lights on their bikes, riding in the pitch dark and biking through the rain (Who I nearly ran over, because I couldn't see them before I passed them) who were 75% of the way to the park when I saved them the trip and told them the bad news.

Thank you to our great hosts Debbie and Helmut, and I'll see you whenever the race get's rescheduled. If we didn't get to see you two the trip would of been a complete gas burner.

Since there are no photos this week, take a look at my new wedding photo website. I hope to update my main portfolio site in the next week. More triathlon will be coming soon, i'm headed back to Orlando for the Moss Park Triathlon next Saturday. Right now I'm third place in the Advocare Sprint Triathlon Series and I hope to keep that spot or better it in the next two races of the series.

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Tuesday, July 01, 2008

4th Annual Orlando Triathlon at Baldwin Park
Current mood: hopeful
Category: Sports

Triathlon - Swim 0.75 km - Bike 13.4 mi - Run 2.5 miles

With a time of 1:09:13 I was 2nd in my age group of 22, 10th of 219 men, and 11 of 348 people

2:03/100m swim, 23.83mph bike, 7:24/mile run

2 282 Chad Pilster M ST M 30-34 DeLand FL 0:15:23.292 0:00:33.722 0:33:44.703 0:00:36.725 0:18:31.964 1:09:13.663

Training was difficult this week. On Monday I found out I lost my job. In between making over a 1000 minutes worth of phone calls, consuming lot's of alcohol with VERY supportive friends, getting equipment to go freelance, and figuring out what's happening next, I made it to the pool twice for masters, ran one day and didn't get on the bike at all (The afternoon thunderstorms haven't helped either). Oh yeah, I did have that race last Sunday and then another Yesterday (Sunday), so you might call those training days.

Well for not training everything went smooth. For my first race ever my support team (photographer (So there are no photos this week), cheering squad, best friend in the whole world) wasn't there. I think the whole week was harder on her than it was me and she couldn't handle the 5a.m. wake-up call.

The swim was SOOOOOO much better than last year. Last year, you could pull yourselves by the weeds. Ten feet out and the bottom dropped out, I don't think I felt a single weed until I was ready to stand. It was also 800 meters, and I really enjoy the longer swims, it sorts the people out. I like doing races that I did the previous year, because it gives me a nice gauge to see how much I've improved.

My transition was fast just like last week. I highly recommend a good pair of tri biking shoes to anyone that doesn't have them. I had my Rudy Project Syton Helmet and Horus glasses and I was out of transition in about 36 seconds and already moving on the bike while I put on my shoes.

One person passed me, but I stayed with him the rest of the bike. We made five laps around. They said there might be 600 people and at one point everyone was on the course. I really know how the Rolex 24 hour drivers feel. They have multiple classes of cars on the track, so the faster cars are always passing the slower cars. I was constantly shouting "On your Left!" as I rolled by averaging almost 24mph. It added a whole new challenge, or at least one that I hadn't seen since last year, and it evened out some of the stronger bikers.

Once again my transition went smooth. This has been a whole new experience from the beginning of the season. Only about a quarter mile of a 2.5mile run was in shade, and with a lot of pavement around it was hot.

For the second week in a row my race was very smooth. I hope to get back into my routine soon, but just getting out the door is refreshing. I have one more definite race this season in about two weeks. I hope to finish out the Buttar Sprint series. I may do one more Olympic late in the season, but unless my work situation improves I'm going to have to cut out a few races and maybe end my season about a month early. Wish me luck!

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Archives older than June 23, 2008

Monday, June 23, 2008

Bloody Monday
Current mood: sad
Category: Jobs, Work, Careers

I wrote the blog below on Friday. I didn't want to post it, I was hoping Monday would of been different for me, but in the end it was me and 98 others. Some of you I told already and others it is the first time hearing it. It was 5 and a half awesome years at the newspaper.

It was a combination of things. The main thing is the newspaper is in a lawsuit with Cox and the paper has to be sold. The second thing is that newspapers are having a rough time. In preparation for sale they are trying to make the paper look good on paper, but not necessarily the content of the paper itself.

I hope to go back into newspapers. I enjoyed the News-Journal, and may even go back if a position opens back up and I'm still in the neighborhood. I don't think I'm leaving soon. We bought our house two years ago and I don't think we are going to get what we paid for it for another two years.

My wife says that things come in threes, and I tend to feel the same way. In between the two car crashes I saw in just a few days and the layoffs, I am hoping I'm at three.

What's next for me? Pro triathlete? Not realistically, at least not this year (I hope to keep improving as much as I did from last year to this, and maybe it might be more realistic). I wouldn't mind doing more with triathlon. I also am not ruling out going into public relations, marketing or even doing reporting. As of this moment I am getting all of my marketing together to become a freelance reportage/advertising/wedding/etc. photographer.

So if you can help me out in any of those areas, I am very grateful. Thank you very much to my friends who have already shown me so much awesome support. I hope to get back to all of your letters, I may be unemployed, but I'm definitely not busy. Getting started in freelance, keeping my life together and keeping training is not easy.

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Sunday, June 22, 2008

Tigershark Sprint Triathon 1
Current mood: anxious
Category: Sports

Tigershark Sprint Triathlon 1

1/4 Mile Swim/8 Mile Bike/3 Mile Run

June 22, 2008 at Daytona Beach, FL

Race Director: Rob Wallace

50:52 put me 1st in my age group of 4, 7th of 54 men and 8th of 85 people

1:33 100/m in the swim, 22.46mph on the bike, and 7:11/mile in the run


Place O'All No. Name Age City St Time Rank Swim Tran 1 Rank Bike Tran 2 Rank Run Penalty

===== ===== ===== ======================= === ==================== == ======= ==== ======= ======= ==== ======= ======= ==== ======= =======

1 9 17 Chad Pilster 31 Deland FL 50:52 2 6:15 1:16 1 21:22 0:27 1 21:33

What a great day to be at the beach.

Or go for a swim.

The ocean is a lot calmer than it was when I was north of Daytona Beach Shores for the Ormond Beach Triathlon.

When the horn went off the pack stayed together. The water was shallow and you were almost able to stand by the time you got the the first buoy. I got some great pointers on how to keep my goggles on (Thanks Karen!!), so I was diving, running, diving, and then swimming as soon as I couldn't run anymore.

The swim felt short, and went quick. This is the first race that I'm using my new tri bike shoes and they made for an amazingly fast transition. I didn't even have a chance to blink before I was on my bike and moving. A guy that I was behind coming out of the water actually caught up to me, I'm sure that he had his shoes clipped in also, but I beat him through transition. He probably wouldn't of caught up, but I was having some trouble getting my shoes on.

I passed him and then he stayed behind me for the rest of the bike. No one else passed us in the blazingly short 8 mile bike.

This was my first time for a beach run and things went smooth. I passed three people out of transition (Did I mention I love my new shoes!) and made it just around the half way marker before two people passed me.

It is a weird feeling having races that go so smooth after having so many kinks earlier in the season.

Justin, getting the angle on the bikers!

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Saturday, June 21, 2008

Jobless on the Horizon?
Current mood: worried
Category: Jobs, Work, Careers

If it's not me, it's definitely going to be someone else. Some people were reportedly laid off today (Friday). I have been told to come in on Monday, even though there is already someone working and there are no assignments on the board. I haven't heard about anyone else who has been told to come in on mandatory Monday. I heard maybe the bureau may close down

For a company that talks sooooo much about family, it must be the type of family that never sits down at the dinner table and talks. I feel like everything operates here in a cloak and dagger fashion.

When the newspaper was originally sued we read it in the competing paper an entire day before our paper published anything. We shouldn't have even read it in the paper, there should of been an email sent out.

Lately I've been watching other papers front pages. I've been really trying to find out where I want to go next. I've started to really realize how good of a package our paper puts together, even though it seems like a dysfunctional mess in management sometimes.

I really enjoy working at this paper, especially with the great writing staff we have. they have amazed me with some of the stories they find. Unfortunately lately it seems like they've just been cranking out stories. The staff has dwindled.

The worst part is not knowing why I'm working Monday, is it because they are going to just tell us something, they are going to close the bureau and move us all to Daytona, the other photographer is getting let go, or I am getting let go. I'm trying not to stress about it, but how can I not. I'm trying to work my regular shift, but it might be my last day. The nice thing to do would be to at least let employees have a couple weeks notice and not just throw them out the door. Going to work thinking it may be your last day just sucks. It's stressful at a job that I've rarely been stressed by.

If I can, I'll let you know on Monday, the suspense is killing me.

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Monday, June 23, 2008

Ormond Beach YMCA TRI-Y Triathlon
Category: Sports

Ormond Beach YMCA TRI-Y Triathlon

1/4 Mile Swim/10 Mile Bike/3 Mile Run

May 25, 2008 at Ormond Beach, FL

Finished in 56:23 making me 2nd in my age group of 30, 19th in men of 175, and 20th overall of 266

2:16/100m swim, 24.49 mph bike, and 6:53/mile run

Place O'All No. Name Age City St Time Rank Swim Tran 1 Rank Bike Tran 2 Rank Run

===== ===== ===== ======================= === ==================== == ======= ==== ======= ======= ==== ======= ======= ==== =======

2 23 23 Chad Pilster 31 Deland FL 56:20 4 9:14 1:18 2 24:30 0:40 2 20:41

The water was rough, the baggies were well stuffed, the door prizes were excellent, the trophies were awesome and the competition was some of the best in Central Florida.

The water was so rough that they needed to wait until 30 minutes before to make the call. Last year they cancelled the swim, but this year the swim was on. I didn't think it was that bad, but apparently the lifeguards were busy and at one point Air One was called out because they thought they lost someone. Luckily they didn't.

Again I had my goggles fall off as I entered the water. I have received some advice from some very knowledgeable experts and we'll see how my next race goes. After I entered the water I found myself with the pack and I couldn't get much separation until I cleared the first buoy. Once I was going parallel to the shoreline I tried to find some people at my pace. For much of the time I couldn't even see the next buoys, because of the waves. I over shot the final turn buoy, ended up shore a little more than I wanted and I tried to run with the waves instead of riding them like I had planned. All of this lead to a swim time that put me about 30th. It was still fun and some of the most challenging swimming I've had yet.

After having my friend Mike Mott come into transition behind me and then sitting a minute behind him at the start of the bike, I've made my next investment and bought tri bike shoes. I hope to blaze through my transition and be lacing up my shoes while I'm on my bike in my next race.

The bike went really smooth. I found a small pack of two others that I would draft and clear within the 15 seconds and then drop back as they past me. It's fun when you look at it like a game of leap frog. You just have to be careful to be legal about it.

I had another PR for my run. 6:53/mile (20:41) is faster than I've even run a 5k by itself. My goal now is to break 19 minutes. This is definitely a race I'm looking at again for next year.

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Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Pending random chance
Category: Sports

Within four days I saw two accidents, that pending random chance, I could of been a part of. Pending random chance I also witnessed them. Preovolos is a friend who seems to have these random chances happen more than most of us. I'm sure he'll correct me, but once his car was roped off in a crime scene and other times he watched breaking news happen from his apartment. It's a weird experience when this stuff starts happening to you, almost like your in this void.

The first was on Saturday as we were on our way to run errands near Orlando. We pulled onto highway 472 headed south. A car in front of us pulls over to the grassy median, as we are passing him the driver opens his door, sticks his head out and it looks like he's puking. About a half-mile down the road that car comes flying up behind a truck in the left hand lane and starts to tailgate him at about 60mph. I'm in the right lane, but I have a car in front of me and nowhere to go. As the guy was tailgating for about a mile, he kept weaving to the left like he was going to try and pass the truck in the grassy median. The car in front of me finally pulled away and as I pulled forward the tailgater tried to slide behind me, but a silver Ford Mustang had come up quick and I watched in my rearview mirror as they slammed into each other. They went sliding in both directions off the highway. I was too far down the road by that point to do any more than call 911.

The second accident nearly involved me and a friend on our bikes. Monday rolls around and Mike Mott calls me up to try and get a ride in before the afternoon Florida rain. We both did long Sunday rides and weren't planning to overwork ourselves.

We are on the ride and with 15 miles left, as we headed along Grand Ave, we looked at the clouds and decided that we'd cut about 8 miles off and take Plymouth Ave. home to beat the rain. We had barely gotten back up to speed after turning east onto Plymouth when two cars came flying around a corner headed west. We were riding two wide and I shouted to Mott to get over. The first car slides over the double yellow to about where Mott was at, but then he starts to correct himself. The second car appeared to have more control in the turn. The first car then lost control spinning to one side of the road, just missing concrete polls sticking out of the ground, to crash through a fence that housed an old covered landfill.

After the car had come to a rest for a second the driver jumped out and bolted for the other side of the road and jumped/rolled over a barbed fence into a new landfill. The passenger jumped out a second later and followed.

At this point Mott was on the phone to 911. After he had been talking to the operator, a Waste Management truck shows up. After asking if we were alright the driver of the truck asked what's going on and we give the brief story, but tell him that two kids jumped the fence into the landfill. The driver of the truck puts it in reverse and spins that truck around like he was on a mission. He gunned it back down to the entrance of the landfill. As we are standing around waiting for the cops to show up, we see trucks zooming through the landfill.

Another car shows up and the driver tells us that he had seen the car that spun out and the SUV that was chasing it in a fender bender at Spring Garden and Plymouth. Apparently the blue Mitsubishi had run into the back of the truck and then sped off.

Pretty soon a kid walks out of the landfill and we recognize him as the passenger. He says that he had just broken up from his girlfriend, he knew the driver from DeLand High, but he didn't know his name, and he had just hitched a ride. He just hung around at that point.

The Volusia County Sheriff's department starts to show up and ask us what happened. Sometime later we start to see the Waste Management trucks heading back down the road. They pull over and in the back one of the guys shouts "We got him!" He also holds up a little bag of what looked like white powder to the sheriffs.

So now we had to wait until the Florida Highway Patrol showed up so we could give our statements. Luckily the one officer that probably covers a couple hundred square miles got there quickly.

After about an hour from beginning to end we were able to start making our way home, but the rain clouds were really looming now. We pushed ourselves harder than we probably should have after letting our legs cool and the day after some major rides, but we hauled to get home.

I was watching the lightning and counting. "Flash" "one" "two" "BOOM!" I don't care about rain, but lightning is one of the major killers in Florida and this was right on top of us. We missed making it by about five minutes. Just before we turned onto Taylor Rd, with about a mile and a half left to get home, the sky opened up and a waterfall started to pour down on us. I had done my swimming that morning, but when I got in the door it was like I had jumped in the pool with all my clothes on. I had a puddle under me about an inch deep.

The even more ironic thing, was that it was 5:15p.m., that's when we would of met to go riding on a normal Monday.

The car through the fence. I didn't make much effort to make good pictures and my camera phone isn't the greatest.

EVAC treats the passenger.

Deputies and firefighters talk to the driver who is sitting in the back of the Waste Management truck.

We were almost to the street on the right, when after the cars came flying around the corner on the left. The blue car almost hit those red poles on the left when it spun out.

I snapped a shot of Mott before he spun away.

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Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Tri start tips
Category: Sports

This ranks up there with the top 10 funniest commercials ever and you may even get a training tip out of it.

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Sunday, May 11, 2008

Windy Runs in Kansas!
Current mood: relaxed
Category: Sports

This week Liz and I took a much needed vacation to head out to Kansas and watch my brother-law and step-brother-in-law graduate. This trip also gives us a chance to visit with all the relatives, sit back, catch-up with everything I brought with me, do what training I can without a bike (or what requires borrowing transportation) and really do nothing.

One thing about Kansas though is that it's windy. We think that Florida is windy, but the wind in Kansas would be called a hurricane in Florida (Although I've been told the current wind is an anomaly) . There are no trees and nothing to slow the wind down. On the schedule for Tuesday was 13 miles, unfortunately on the Kansas schedule was 27mph winds with 35mph gusts. I thought if I went out early I might have a better shot at getting some lighter winds.

The first 5.5miles I ran with the wind, which was a bad idea. I really should of gone vice versa and ran into the wind for the first half, but that would of required crossing a major road. A busy road would of been worth it to end with this atrocious wind at my back.

The wind didn't help me much, because I only averaged about 8:00/mile. I'm sure some of this had to do with the roads being unpaved. I had to watch my step for rocks and try to dig in a little harder to get a grip.

The second half was 5.5 miles of agony. The heavy winds just beat at my face. I had to put a head band back on over my headphones just to stop the ringing of the wind in my ears. I ran for about the first mile, but then it felt like the wind picked up and I don't think I was moving because both feet were in the air. I would try to run, but it just felt like I was standing still. I would walk a little bit with a slight tilt to my body just to continue forward. If you think that walking might make things easier, it didn't. I exerted almost as much effort walking as running. My usual heartrate for a 13 mile run at a little faster than 8 min/mile would be about 160. The 5.5 miles that I did at 10 min/mile was at 160. I really thought I could do the last two miles, but the wind had tortured me and frustrated me and I was DONE. I'm sure I got the training in I was supposed to, and I'll save my next long run for Florida where we have some slight breezes.

Another thought I had was who needs to spend $1500 on wind tunnel testing time for the bike. I say just take your bike to Kansas, put it on a trainer and see how things go. With winds of 25+ mph it's perfect wind tunnel speed.

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Monday, May 05, 2008

DeLand YMCA Family Fit Fest
Category: Sports

DeLand YMCA Family Fit Fest

Triathlon:300 yd swim; 12 mile bike; 3.1 mile run

Deland, Florida; May 4, 2008

1:01:20 and 3rd in my age group of 19 and 4th overall of 34 men and 60 total

01:36 100yd in the swim, 22.41mph in the bike, and 6:59 /mile in the run.

Place No. First Last Age City St Finish Rank Swim Tran 1 Rank Bike Tran 2 Rank Run
===== ===== ============ ============== === =================== ======= ==== ======= ======= ==== ======= ======= ==== =======

3 461 Chad Pilster 30 Deland FL 1:01:20 2 5:17 0:40 3 32:56 0:47 3 21:42

I did back to back weekends of triathlons. I went from an Olympic with St. Anthony's with 4000 people to our little hometown triathlon at the "Y" with 60 people. It was relaxing to race within ten minutes of my home and is fun to race in front of the people I see at the YMCA all the time and those I've helped train to run their first triathlon.

I was a little tired from doing St. Anthony's the week before, but I spent the first part of the week with an active recovery and the second part with a little bit of training and the last part with a taper and a little bit of rest. I gave myself no excuses. Based off of how well I did last year and how much I thought I had improved, I was pushing to break 1 hour and that would of won me last years race. Unfortunately the competition showed up. One of the best triathletes in Central Florida, Kevin Grogan, decided to check out our little triathlon after he was enticed by another excellent local triathlete and friend, Mike Mott. This took away my overall, but I was very excited to see how much I've improved when I raced these two a little over a year ago. Grogan still crushed me by about 5:30 minutes, but I was only within 3 of Mott. That's a far cry from the 10minutes I was beaten by in a duathlon against them in Ormond. My own time was 6 minutes faster than last years and the person who beat me by 20 seconds then was over 8 minutes behind me this year. I was very excited to see this real gauge of my improvement.

The race started with some confusion. The swim was a pool swim with a staggered start. Everyone was supposed to submit swim times and they would start with the fastest first. After telling us to line up by number, they then told us that that didn't matter and to just decide ourselves where to start. I went first last year and found it tough when I was neck and neck with the person I had to beat and I needed to get 10 seconds over them. So this year I tried not to go first, but somehow I got pushed to 4th position. I stayed neck and neck with the two other top triathletes in the pool and even passed the person in front of me on the last lane. When we jumped out of the pool shouts of "walk, walk" words that just don't translate well to people trying to race, were shouted at us so we don't trip and fall. Grogan apparently speaks an entirely different language when racing, because I later heard that he did the 100m dash across the pool deck.

My birthday is this week and I've decided to by myself a pair of triathlon shoes. I'm all ears if you have any recommendations, because my transition was one of my most major downfalls again! After a walk run to the transition area, I got there and had a sloppy transition into my shoes. As I was pulling my bike out one of my handlebar plugs fell out. I grabbed it, because there's a rule that states you can be disqualified without these. With the long run to the mount area and holding the plug in my one hand, I got the idea to try and put on my glasses while running. This was just a bad idea. I dropped my bike. There was about 20 seconds lost (And my position between third and fourth) as I picked up my bike. Then as I was trying to jump on it, I just couldn't clip in. Once I finally got rolling I accidently dropped the handlebar plug. Luckily no one caught me to disqualify me (They are pretty light on the rules at this local race anyway, last year I had someone draft me the entire bike leg.). I also found out that my thumb was bleeding from someplace I cut it on the bike. I have a race the weekend I get back, but I'm planning to order the shoes this week, and I'll be wearing them the rest of the season. I'm hoping this will alleviate these stupid problems I've been having.

The bike went great. I leap frogged and stayed even with Steve Bodraruk, the owner of Plan B Bike Shops on his decked out triathlon/time trial bike that put mine to shame. Once again I came into the transition and was sloppy. I just couldn't get my shoes off and on quick enough.

The run went good. My goal was to break 20 minutes, but once again I was a little bit short at 21:42. If I had made this goal, I would of accomplished my other goal. It was fun to pass a bunch of the runners doing the 5k, otherwise the only person I would of seen was Steve as I tried to close a medium gap that had opened between us. Unfortunately I couldn't close the gap and he beat me by about 13 seconds.

Overall it was a great race and I'm really glad that the competition showed up, even though it stopped me from taking an overall, because it forced me to do better and really get a feel for how much I improved over last year. Now I'm looking forward to the the ocean swim at the Ormond Beach Tri-Y which we were deprived of last year because of rough water. Unfortunately I won't be able to compare my time from last year to this year, because they made last years race a duathlon, but after two weeks of rest I'm looking forward to this being a very good race.

Photos by Liz Pilster

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Monday, April 28, 2008

25th Annual St. Anthony’s Triathlon
Current mood: tired

St. Anthony's Triathlon

1500 Meter Swim/40K Bike/10K Run

April 27, 2008

St. Petersburg, FL

2:19:54, 26th in my age group, 296th overall out of 235 men in my age group and over 3500 people overall

1:36/100m swim, 23.2 mph bike, 7:42/mi run (7:12/mi according to the 6.6mi my Garmin Forerunner said I did)

26 296 597 Chad Pilster 31 DeLand FL 2:19:54 13 23:49 1:36 2:15 26 1:04:23 23.2 1:42 68 47:47 7:42

St. Anthony's is as advertised! Everyone who has run in this before told me how awesome of a triathlon this is and how I have to sign up for it. It was like an entire expo. The event moves amazingly smooth yet they follow the rules to the dot. It was a completely new experience for me and triathlons and I hope to back next year.

Next year I plan to get out of the house a half an hour sooner the morning of the race. We amazingly found parking relatively quick, but we were still running late. At 6:45a.m., as the loudspeaker blared that everyone needs to leave the transition area, I had just checked my transition area one last time and was running out of it. It's a good thing that I ran, because as I pulled on my wetsuit and got to the beach, my group was in the on deck circle.

Nothing ever seems to go smooth, but then I guess it wouldn't be as exciting if it didn't. After the horn I ran and dove into the water, only to knock off my goggles. Luckily the water was shallow enough that I could stand and put them on again. I dove again and knocked them off. I still was able to stand. The third time I had them staying on and I was off. Apparently this didn't slow me down though, I was 14th in my age group for the swim. I stayed on course today and was practically touching every buoy (So was the guy next to me as they whacked me with their stroke.)

I can't take all the credit. Scott has loaned me a wet suit for three races, although I only raced with it in two, because I didn't have time to train in it for the first one. Everyone that did have a wet suit in the first one blew me out of the water on the swim and I learned quick.

I was out of the water and through my transition at a decent pace. Once I was on my bike I ran into another problem. I keep going back and forth on if I should have my tool kit on my bike. If I have a flat, can I change it fast enough to still post a decent race finish, or should I leave it off to save milliseconds in the weight and aerodynamics? Well in my rush to get my transition setup and a last minute decision to put the bag on, I didn't attach it right. When I jumped on the bike I was hanging off. For the first few minutes on the bike I was fiddling with the bag and trying to either fix it underneath my butt or get it off. I got it off and found a way to attach it to my aerobars (Where I'm really sure it affected my aerodynamics!). I was thinking of throwing it off at my wife, when and if I saw her, but with my luck a marshal would of seen me and DQ'd me for leaving something on the course. I don't think I'm going to worry about this decision anymore, I'm just going to leave the bag off, one less technical thing to go wrong.

As I was fiddling with the bag I saw one of the masters swim regulars, Sean, pass me. Once I had things straightened out I found him pretty quickly and opened up a gap (Which he closed on the run and put 2 minutes on me. I look forward to racing him again!)

..Take a look at my new Rudy Project glasses, because I broke one of my philosophy's to race with these. Due to some unforeseen circumstances I had to replace my last pair of Rudy Project glasses, and these ones arrived on Friday. I never had a chance to bike with them or even test to make sure that I could transition with them smoothly. Well they worked great!

Well the middle of the bike was good, I had good speed (Which I might want to credit some to my new Rudy Project aero helmet.), but at the end I nearly chipped my two front teeth and scraped myself up. The end of the bike is on brick. I went to jump off my bike with my bike shoes and cleats, as I was almost to a stop I put my foot down and slipped. My bike went down, I went into the handlebars, I bruised up my right side and I ticked off a couple other bikers who were right behind me and I didn't realize it. I jumped right up though and ran to my transition.

Once I was out the run gate I did a body check to see if I had any bones sticking out, any flesh popping out of my shorts or if I was bleeding all over the place. A little bit of blood from under my lip, but otherwise everything seemed good and I only had 6+ miles left to go. The lesson learned is always practice your transitions on the surface that you will be making transitions! I hope in the near future I can buy myself a new pair of biking shoes that will allow me to just get my feet out of them and pedal. This is also a solution.

This week my final surprise came about a half mile into the run. My hamstring cramped up AGAIN! I walked for about 10 yards and massaged it and it went away. I ate my banana this morning and everything. I need to really figure out how to stop this.

The last thing I learned as I hit the fourth mile was that I really needed to take one more shot of my Honey Stinger gel. I had it with me, but I didn't think I needed it. During the last half-mile I was just trying to convince myself that I could slow down my pace, but I wasn't going to walk. I know if I had a little more nutrients it would of helped tremendously!

I also think I may of been tired sooner than I thought because I was looking at my Garmin Forerunner GPS and it was telling me I had already run 6.1 miles. By the end of the race I was at 6.6 miles. I'm not sure where that last half mile came from, but my GPS is pretty accurate. This would of put my run time at 7:12/mile which I'm very happy with. I would of known for sure, but as usual I forgot to stop my watch at the finish line (This has been something I've meant to do every race and haven't yet! Definitely on my things to train for!). I figured my run time was 49:30 on my Forerunner and 47:47, so I assumed that was the two minutes of me just standing and recovering at the finish line

Next came the fourth transition to the food tent. What is included here really shows you what level a triathlon is at by how they feed their participants. They had juice boxes, bananas, strawberries, pizza, beer, and among many other foods, one of the main triathlon staples, rice and beans (From the Columbia restaurant, nonetheless.).

After this I couldn't find Sean to congratulate him in making a comeback on the run, but I did locate some other Plan B riders and those that I see at the masters swim.

Another one of the great benefits was a massage. This is something that every athlete needs, but time and money many times stands in the way. This definitely helped some sore muscles. I'm also hoping this helps me recover for two more events coming up this week. On Thursday I'm competing in the corporate cup 200yd relay swim, where I get to go all out for 50yds. On Sunday I'm helping to support my local YMCA by running in their Family Fit Fest triathlon.
We watched the pros get their awards (Almost an hour and a half later than announced.) Which was cool, because these are the guys that I read about all the time, but rarely ever see in person. It's always nice to see that they are real people and that there really are 4000+ people slower than them.

Overall I had a great time and once again I learned more than I planned to. I raced great and beat over 3300 people (3700 according to the race directors on the loudspeaker. They said there were 4000, but I only saw 3600 overall places.), but I still had 27 in my age group who beat me. There was only 10 minutes between myself and first in my age group and I know, I truly believe, I can gain about 7 (if not more) of them back in the run.

This sport really has become another passion for me, and I definitely see myself winning some overall places in the future, but I also realize how much fun it is. Racing is such a small part of the training. I enjoy the getting ready for the races as much as the races themselves.

Photos by Liz Pilster

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Monday, April 07, 2008

25th Annual Great Clermont Triathlon
Current mood: hopeful

INTERNATIONAL - Swim 1.5 * Bike 40K * Run 10K

April 6, 2008 - Clermont, Florida

2:25:43, 7th in my age group, 59th in men, and 64th overall out of 20 in my AG, 231 men, and 337 overall.

1:34/100yd swim, 21.1 mph bike, 7:45/mile run.
64 60 CHAD PILSTER 31 DELAND FL 2:25:43.35 40 23:40 75 2:41 49 1:10:25 21.1 40 1:36:44 77 0:53 133 48:08 7:45

The rolling hills, the tough competition, and a well run event made for a fun race. I felt like I did ok and could have easily done better. I definitely had the bumpiest race of my short triathlon career.

(See the Clermont hills in the background)

The bumpy day started with the swim, but this was probably the tiniest of many big fish. At my earlier race in the season I did well with my siting of markers and staying straight, but today I kept going right. I probably added an extra 100m to my swim. Every time I’d look up, a marker buoy was farther to my left. At one time I made a hard turn at a buoy and realized that it wasn’t a turn buoy. Instead this buoy was just marking the line to the turn buoy.

This was my first time racing in a wetsuit and boy was that wetsuit AWESOME. I swam at 1:34/100m and it probably would of been 1:30 (See above). To compare this to my race just a few weeks earlier, I was swimming at 1:52/100m for only half the length. There may of been some other factors (Like unaccurate race course length and wind), but if future races are "wetsuit legal" I’m putting on a wetsuit. THANKS to Scott for loaning me his wetsuit (Is it for sale?)! And Bev for letting me take it out in her lake to test.

(See the arm coming out on the left, that’s me. See how far I am from the buoys!)

The transition from the water to the bike was a little farther than I expected, but I felt like I did decent. After you get on the bike you start up a major hill. I was right on the tail of a few others and I paced them. Since I can’t carry my Honeystinger energy gels on the swim, I tape them to the bike. I grabbed the Honeystinger gels and put them in my pocket just fine, but when I went to grab my first one, the other one dropped. This was important energy that I would need down the line.

About the 10th mile in I started noticing a squeak. Within another mile I found my seat had come loose. If you’ve ever ridden with a loose seat, this is VERY uncomfortable, it put my body in a bad position for aerodynomics and it slightly changed the muscles which affected other things such as the run and how much power I put into the pedals. This was one of the rare times racing that I’ve ever seen so many people pass me on the bike (I think there were 4 or 5) and it was frustrating. The hills were definitely my strength. People would close ground on me in the flats and I would take it all back, plus some, on the climb. (Hills also make me miss California and the opportunity that I missed to ride a road bike through them.)

The race wasn’t over after the bike and neither were my problems. I got my first leg cramps during a race and they weren’t fun. I loosened up off the bike and I wanted to loosen up even more, but my muscles felt tight. I wanted to get my run cadence up. I tried lifting my legs higher and stretching them out, but things only got worse as we moved from a flat start.

After mile 2 it got hilly, and then we looped back through the same route, with the same hills until about mile 4.5 and that’s when the tightness turned into a full blown cramp. I was able to run through some of it, but about 15 yards from an aid station I had to walk to it. I grabbed a cup of Gatorade and downed it all, and then I tried to run again. I got the cramp to go away. I knew there was only about a mile left, and it wasn’t a fun mile as I tried to fight back the cramp.
Within 10 seconds of the finish line I was passed one last time. After I crossed the finish line and stopped I almost couldn’t stand.

Before this I was running around a 7:15/mile. I finished with a 7:45/mile. If I wasn’t tight, I wonder what I could have done.

I believe most of the cramping was from the bike issues I had. Other thoughts are the hard climbs on the bike and run added to it. I also missed my morning banana, and maybe that potassium would of helped. I also wondered if I got enough liquid and energy drink, but I was hydrating constantly and it wasn’t extremely hot.

The rumors about Sommersports races are true, they are awesome and well run events. I wasn’t sure what event organizers could do to make things better, but Sommersports showed me with their excellent post race BBQ, from Bubbalou’s Bodacious BBQ, numbered bike racks, a host of vendors who had a good selection of gear for sale, and just a generally well run event. I’m sure there’s even more I could list that made it excellent.

WOW the competition was tough! The West Point academy was there in force, some trigators, a couple speedsters from over the Atlantic, and many West Coast Floridians. There is something about the west coast of Florida and those that race from there. Last year in Tarpon Springs I had my worst placing in my age group, but my best time all season. I also had a bad Olympic distance race last year, but I wasn’t nearly as well trained. I think there must be some triathlon speed juice in the water on the West Coast of Florida!

In three weeks I get to test myself again against the West Coast Floridians at the St. Anthony’s triathlon in St. Petersburg. Off to my third Olympic distance race ever! It should be a lot flatter, my seat will be a lot tighter, there should be about 2500 more people, and a wetsuit will be packed just in case Florida doesn’t warm-up. You don’t get better if the competitions not there!

Thanks again to the photos by Liz Pilster

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