The Time Crunched Athlete | Life

Catching Up (Again)

It seems life is cyclical sometimes. In this case, it’s the fact that I have gone a long time since the last time I blogged. What’s happened since last June? Quite a bit. I’ve done a couple races, changed jobs, completed a few video projects, had training ups and downs, and started preparing for the new season of racing.

I plan on writing some more posts soon going over some of the stuff that I’ve been up to.¬† Right now I’m just in training mode as I prep for the first race of my season: the O’Bleness Health System Race for a Reason. This is the fourth year I’ll be racing here and it’s always been a lot of fun.

I’ve been working out pretty regularly and things are going well overall. Life is busy (what else is new) so I’ve had plenty of times when I’ve had to skip workouts and plenty of frustrating days. I’ll have posts coming that talk more about how my training is going, but for now I just wanted to get started again.

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Filming The American Triple-T Ohio

This past weekend I had the pleasure of going down to Shawnee State Forest and filming the awesome American Triple-T Ohio. This race is one that I’ve had on my “must do” list for a year or two, but reading about it and seeing it in person are two very different things. After a weekend chasing racers all over the hills of Shawnee State Park I came home with some awesome footage and the serious urge to do the race myself. The footage went into a recap video that we showed during the awards presentation the last day of the race and will also be going into a new promotional video that I am still in the process of producing.

The race itself is a three day event starting with a super sprint triathlon on Friday evening, then two Olympic distance races on Saturday, and culminating with a half-iron distance on Sunday. As if three days of four races wasn’t enough, the terrain is filled with lots of hills that reduce even the strongest riders to a crawl. The runs are on a fire road that is not much more than a dirt path in the woods. There’s a lot more information on the website of the event http://www.americantriple-t.com/ so I’d recommend checking that out.

HFP Racing hired me a while back to film this event and I was pretty excited to be a part of the weekend. I didn’t really know what I was getting into so I came prepared for whatever might happen. I ended up bringing a bunch of stuff I didn’t use, but that’s not a big deal. Sometimes it’s just better to have too much instead of too little.

My gear list for the weekend (I’ll just stick to what I ended up using):

  • Sony HVR-Z1U HDV camcorder with 16x9inc wide angle lens attachment and Rhode shotgun mic
  • Bogen tripod with Manfrotto 501 fluid head
  • Cinemover miniature camera dolly with Manfrotto 701HDV fluid head
  • 3x GoPro HD Hero compact HD cameras
  • 1x GoPro HD Hero3 compact HD camera with suction cup mount and various other mounts
  • Nikon D200 DSLR for stills with 20mm f2.8, 35-70mm f2.8, and 80-200mm f2.8 lenses

The Sony has been a workhorse for me over the years. I’ve had it for almost exactly 8 years now (purchased it in the spring of 2005) and still going strong. It’s compact, lightweight and still gets a nice image. The wide angle attachment worked out really well to be able to get some dramatic shots of racers and really capturing the scenery and space around them. The Cinemover is a pretty recent addition to my arsenal and there have been some awesome results from that thing! It’s like a traditional dolly, except it’s small enough to carry wherever I go. It’s like a camera slider, but since it doesn’t attach to a track, I can use it on anything it’ll fit on. This weekend I used it on a metal sawhorse I got from Harbor Freight and a 4×4 vinyl post sleeve I got from Home Depot. The sawhorse was what most people saw me lugging around all weekend (not to mention it’s bright yellow so it’s hard not to notice) and I used it a lot getting shots all over the place. I took it out on the road and used it a few times but it mostly lived in transition and near the start area and all. The post sleeve was great for laying on the ground and getting some sweet moves. One of my favorites has to be a shot I got at the run turnaround on Sunday where the camera moves along the end of the turnaround area as the runner goes by.

The GoPros were a TON of fun for me to work with. I own one of the Hero cameras and borrowed a friend’s Hero 3 (and 2 of his Hero’s). He also has the suction cup mount that I used. Racers would recognize this setup mostly from when I attached the mount to the hood or trunk of my car and would drive up next to them on the bike course. I got some pretty awesome footage with that. I’m going to post some of my favorite clips soon so you can see what I’m talking about. The GoPro cameras are great for getting unusual perspectives that I wouldn’t otherwise be able to get. The oddest one that I came up with was when I took one, stuck it on the end of a boom pole and held it out over top of the racers. They rode pretty much directly underneath it and it made for a neat view. One of the funny things about this was that at least one of the riders was filming with his own GoPro camera and e-mailed me a frame grab from his footage showing me filming!

me filming

And here’s what I was filming:

gopro rider0

As part of the setup, I would have to get out on course and film. So to do this, I figured out a way to keep my camera case open and lay my tripod in the back seat so I could quickly and easily grab them and take them with me when I’d stop. There were a lot of times I would have to pull off the side, jump out and shoot really quick before the riders would pass. Then I’d jump back in, drive around the pack that had passed me and find another spot to stop and film. I’m sure this drove some of them nuts because a lot of the roads are not very wide and it was a squeeze, but hopefully I didn’t upset too many people.

Each night I would go back to my room at the lodge and capture all the footage I had gotten and start logging it. Since I was also making a recap video that would be played on site not long after the end of the race on Sunday, I knew that I needed to stay on top of the edit so that it would be done and ready to go on time. Friday night I got to bed around midnight and Saturday night I got to bed around 11:30. I could have kept going but I had to get up around 5:30am both mornings.

The final product was a success and I was happy to have been able to get the video done as quick as I did. It was a challenge to edit all that footage, sifting through over 410 clips and over 3.5 hours of footage. Now that the race is over and the recap has been posted online, it’s time to focus on the promo video. I’ve got interviews to film and a concept to pull together. It’s going to be an exciting challenge to take this incredible experience and translate it into a compelling presentation.

Time to get going!

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Catching Up A Little

You might have noticed that things have been pretty empty for the past few weeks. Well, I’ve been busy, to put it mildly. Between finals with grad school, trying to prepare for my first race of the season and preparing for a freelance video project, I just haven’t had time to keep up with things. The good news, though, is that I hope to start posting again soon and start getting more stuff up shortly!

The most exciting thing for me, though, is that I just spent 3 days in southern Ohio filming the American Triple T triathlon! This race is a super sprint¬† Friday evening, two Olympic distance races on Saturday and a half iron distance on Sunday! Yes, it’s nuts and yes, it was awesome! I’ve wanted to do the race for a while now, but after being there, I really want to do it and I see how seriously hard the race really is! This isn’t something that can follow my current training plan of “work out when I can, skip more than I should and hope not to die on race day.” I’m going to put together a real post on this soon so I won’t go into much more detail.

My first race went well, I had hoped to beat my time from last year but wasn’t sure how close I’d get. It was cold again and I was really not feeling ready for the race. In the end it came down to a matter of seconds. I’ll be writing a post about that soon too.

So this is just a quick update to let you know that I’m still alive and haven’t forgotten about this site! Look for more updates soon!

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Preparing for my first race of the season

In a few days my 2013 season of racing officially begins. As with the past few years, I’m starting off with a sprint on the campus of Ohio University, where I went for my undergrad degrees. The race is a fun one with a 500m pool swim, 18mi bike through some large rolling hills and a 5k run through the campus and along the Hocking River. I’ve done it both years since it started so it’s been fun to see how things have progressed. The bike and swim haven’t changed, but the run is slightly different. The big change last year was when the triathlon joined up with the O’Bleness Health System Race for a Reason. This brought a couple additional races including a mud run and 5k. The best part of these additional races is that it brings more people and more energy to the event which makes it more fun. Continue reading »

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Workout Wrapup March 3-9

As a way to try to help show how I take advantage of opportunities and try to live out this idea of fitting fitness into tight spaces, here is a quick look at my week of working out.

Sunday: Trail Run

  • Distance: 4.51mi
  • Time: 42:23
  • Avg Pace: 9:24min/mi
  • Description: There seems to be a trend with the trail runs. It seems like every week right before the run, either the night before, day before or a couple days before, it snows. There has been snow or ice on the ground for every one of the runs except maybe one was a little warm (well, above freezing, but still cold). This was the same deal. A light dust of snow kept it feeling like winter. Most people who normally came to the runs weren’t there so it ended up just being two of us going out. We weren’t quite the same pace so after the first 1/2mi or 1mi I was on my own. It’s always a fun time getting out and enjoying nature like this so I didn’t mind. I noticed, though, that my recent fatigue and lack of sleep has been catching up to me since my pace was not the greatest. If it wasn’t for the steep uphill toward the end of the run, I would have done pretty good.

Tuesday: Trainer Ride

  • Time: 25:07
  • Description: I’m not exactly a fan of the trainer. This is quite obvious looking at my time on the trainer last year. I think I did it twice for a total of about an hour combined. So this year’s rides have vastly outnumbered last year. That doesn’t really mean much for the fact I still dislike the trainer. I decided that I would not worry about pace this time and instead increase the resistance. I put the bike in a higher gear and just cranked on it for 25min. There was a few min toward the end when I increased the resistance even more, but overall I kept it consistent. Listening to music definitely helps. I also need to put a movie or something on my iPod for some variety.

Wednesday: Short Run

  • Distance: 1.68mi
  • Time: 13:48
  • Avg Pace: 8:13min/mi
  • Description: Our van needed repairs so I dropped it off at the mechanic. Since I had to drop it off after work it also meant that I had no way to get home since the kids can’t fit in our other car and leaving them home alone wouldn’t be a good idea. So I dropped the van off and ran home. Partially because it was a short run, it was late in the day, I was hungry and I forgot my gloves I ended up running pretty fast home. My 8:13 pace was the fastest I’ve run in a long time. It was nice to see that kind of speed was in me, just a matter of endurance on that.

Thursday: Short Run

  • Distance: 1.68mi
  • Time: 13:23
  • Avg Pace: 7:58min/mi
  • Description: This was part 2 of my run from the day before. The van was ready to go somewhere around midnight so I elected to get it first thing in the morning. You can see the difference not being tired from a long day at work made! OK, it’s only a 15sec faster pace, but still. That was nice to see a 7:00min range pace show up instead of an 8:00min range.

That was all for the week. For the first time this year I didn’t get a chance to swim because we went out of town for the weekend. That’s also why I didn’t work out again on Saturday.

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