Thursday, June 18, 2009

TIMEX and New York Giants

June 17, 2009

Middlebury, CT & East Rutherford, NJ
– (June 17, 2009) Timex Group USA, Inc. announced today a unique partnership with the New York Giants that enables both brands the opportunity to collaborate on training solutions for athletes of all levels that participate in various sports across the world. This partnership grants TIMEX, one of the world’s largest watch companies, the naming rights for the Giants’ new training facility and corporate headquarters. The facility will be named the TIMEX Performance Center.

The 15-year partnership with the New York Giants is part of the company’s ongoing initiative to increase the awareness of its state-of-the-art sports and fashion products.

“I am excited that we have secured a partnership between two great American icons—Timex Group and the New York Giants—both with great families behind them” said Hans-Kristian Hoejsgaard, Timex Group President and Chief Executive Officer. “Like Timex Group, the Giants organization operates at the highest level. I have the greatest respect for what they have built and look forward to many years of collaboration.”

In addition to the naming rights, TIMEX, as the Official Performance Equipment of the New York Giants, will have its brand integrated into the Giants game day experience at Giants Stadium during the 2009 season and the Giants’ new stadium set to open in 2010. At the new stadium, Giants fans will see a TIMEX “Countdown to Kick-off Clock” on the video towers that encircle the perimeter of the facility. Additional branding programs include a major sponsorship with New York Giants Radio Network, Giants.com, the “Giants GameDay” television show on WNBC, and placement within the Giants’ health and fitness magazine, “Giants Health Monitor,” which is distributed in more than 10,000 doctors’ offices around the New York metro area.

“This is more than a marketing relationship,” said New York Giants President and Chief Executive Officer John Mara. “This is about achieving the highest possible performance for our organization and our team. We look forward to working with TIMEX and utilizing their digital technology in training our athletes. The positive results we achieve will be in part due to our use of TIMEX devices in our team’s training programs.”

"This exciting partnership brings together two iconic brands - TIMEX and the New York Giants—with a strong heritage, shared values, and a very loyal fan and customer base," said Adam Gurian, President, TIMEX. "Having the opportunity to display the TIMEX brand on-site at the new team facility and work closely with a first-class organization like the Giants makes this relationship a natural fit with tremendous potential to grow both our brands."

The TIMEX Performance Center will host the annual TIMEX Multisport Team Training Camp, which will create an opportunity to share insight amongst the most accomplished professional endurance athletes and professional football players / coaches and trainers. The TIMEX Multisport Team is comprised of a complementary mix of amateur and professional athletes from around the world who serve as brand ambassadors for TIMEX.

An advisory board, comprised of Giants medical and strength & conditioning personnel and TIMEX athletes and coaches, will also be formed. This new advisory board will meet quarterly to share insights, discuss the latest trends in athlete training, and provide input on new product development and review product usage and testing. The board will collectively publish articles and reports on training and conditioning techniques as well as various research studies to enhance consumer training programs.
“TIMEX is a trusted brand for all athletes in terms of training. They are nationally recognized for an outstanding assortment of products – from training instruments to men’s and women’s style watches,” added Steve Tisch, New York Giants Chairman and Executive Vice President. “It was important for us to find the right partner who shares our core principles and values. This partnership will enable our coaches and players the opportunity to utilize the best high-end training equipment throughout our offseason preparation and the NFL season.”

TIMEX’S presence in the fitness world has been evident for years via its partnership with the New York Road Runners in conjunction with the New York City Marathon, Ironman Triathlon event series and several worldwide marathon sponsorships. With a wide array of wellness and training timepieces priced at various levels, TIMEX has established a broad appeal to the millions of consumers who want to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

About TIMEX:

Timex Group designs, manufactures and markets innovative timepieces and jewelry globally. Founded in 1854, TIMEX is part of Timex Group, a privately-held company with numerous brands and over 5,000 employees worldwide. It is one of the largest watch makers in the world with companies and exclusive licenses worldwide.

About New York Giants:

A cornerstone franchise of the National Football League, the New York Football Giants began play in 1925. With seven (7) championships, including a victory over the 18-0 New England Patriots in Super Bowl XLII at the conclusion of the 2007 season, and with more than 600 victories, the Giants are considered one of sports all-time great franchises. Headquartered at the TIMEX Performance Center in East Rutherford, NJ, the Giants enter their 85th season of play this fall.

You can see more about this at www.giants.com. Don't think I have not already thought that their new colors will be orange.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Blue Lake Triathlon...and a lot of pics

Today was our anniversary
Wow, what a great anniversary weekend Jessi and I had. Spending it with some of our friends and racing a triathlon. Pretty good if you like that kind of stuff I guess.

This weekend would find us on the outskirts of Portland at the very popular Blue Lake Triathlon on Sunday along with 1000 other people racing the Oly and sprint tris. We headed over on Friday after school. It should have been the last day of school, but thanks to those wonderful 5 snow days, we would be returning to school on Monday. So in the Excursion were Jessi, Emma, Steve, Tiffany, and Eric. This would be Eric’s first Oly race. So he was VERY excited about this often asking if maybe he could do the whole course just to make sure he was ready :).
Very nice dinner at a secret restaurant

Livin' it up at the Quality Inn

We stayed at a pretty decent place that had a continental breakfast. One that I never get to totally tear up. This one had all the fine fixins…donuts, waffles, dainishes…yum. Buuut, I would have to refrain and have more sensible breakfasts. But it’s fun to window shop.
Steve in his race, runnin' strong
Saturday was the Sprint race where Steve participated. He wanted to do the Oly race, but he would be racing IM Cda the following weekend and a 10k run takes a little out of the legs. So he decided to test his new bike on the Sprint course. He ended up rocking it and getting 7th overall and having a very solid race. It’s fun to watch friends race. Normally they are racing with you and you never get to see them or cheer them on. Steve has worked hard all season and I am excited to see how IM Cda goes for him.

On race morning Natalie, Eric, Tiffany and I loaded up the rig and headed to the course. Tric, Steve, and Emma would soon follow and make up the cheer squad.
Loaded in the Excursion race morning

Eric REALLY excited for his first Oly race
Tim, Eric, and Tiffany

Getting on the Helix in preparation for the swim

I knew the racks were numbered but wanted to get a decent spot. In all reality, most spots are decent. You don’t spend too much time there hopefully. After I racked my bike I unloaded all my stuff and went for a short run to get away from all the chaos and other peoples’ nerves that somehow impact me. I felt a little sluggish, but that always seems to be the case race morning. I feel like lounging around and just walking everywhere. I am in major slo-mo. I ran into some other Tri Fusion athletes…Matt and Jessie. Matt always has some random observation that are kinda funny and this would be a big race for Jessie. Tim was there too with his wife Andie and newborn Elise.
Andie and Elise...hardcore.

Jessie, Matt, Trisha, and Emma

I have raced this event for the past 3 years and have come to really enjoy the event. It is early enough to establish a baseline. I am not one for flat bike courses because it normally means that there will be a lot of drafting. But I have never really seen that to be a problem at Blue Lake. It does create a great opportunity to test some thresholds and compare from year to year. It has normally been a pretty fast course for me and I have had some good splits there on the bike. The run is flat too. But if you do too much work on the bike, it’s very easy to get run down, and I know I can get run down :)
A quick pre-race good luck kiss...we all need these

The race started at 8:00am in water that was about 71 degrees and air temp that was 60 with an overcast sky. Not too bad really. Would have like to see some rain, but you can’t have it all. In the elite wave, there were about 15 I think. We lined up and took off. I went out fairly hard, or quick, and got passed about 200 meters in by Matt Berg. Then I got passed by another guy and got on his feet. Only problem was his feet kept going from side to side in the lake, i.e. was not swimming straight. So I maintained my line and would catch up to him and then he would get away, then I would catch him again. We made the turn for the finish and as he drifted off course, I swam straight and was 2nd out of the water. I knew Matt was ahead, but I did not think by more than a minute. I saw him in T1 and caught up to him. He left transition about 4 seconds ahead, so I closed almost all of my deficit I had from the swim.
Heading out of T1
As I was putting my feet in my shoes on the bike, Matt went by and got back the 4 seconds that I got back at the mount line. I eventually caught him again and passed him about 1 mile into the bike. Then it was pretty much open road for 24 miles. Well, and a motorcycle. I locked into a steady effort that I felt I could maintain. At the last turnaround I took a split to 2nd (still Matt) and realized I had a pretty good gap, but I thought I would need more time. With about 9 miles to go, I picked it up a bit and pressed on to the finish. I ended up with one of my fastest 40k bike splits, and highest power output as well. I was pretty excited about that.
Coming into T2

Emma, my super cheer squad...the "BEST" cheerer out there hands down

I rolled into T2 and was greeted by many spectators cheering me on. I was really impressed. There must have been 100 people right ON the dismount line. I cruised in and threw on my K-Swiss K’onas and was off. I normally feel slow in the first mile and know that I just need to get settled in.
Heading out on the run
I could see the 5 that were behind me coming in and realized I have about 3:30 on 2nd, so that gave me a little breathing room. I ran to the turn and was feeling good. I felt like I got going from mile 3 to 4 when I saw my mile split I realized that the mile markers may be off because it was a little faster than I was running. But it really did not matter. At this point I had about 4 minutes on 2nd, and knew that I just needed to keep doing what I’m doing…nothing stupid. Just run my race. I saw the first woman on the way out and knew Jessi would be close behind. I cheered her on and she was looking good. I came into the final quarter mile and was pretty excited knowing that I would defend the number 1 I was wearing this time.

Running along the lake...nice and cool

After crossing the line, I grabbed a bottle of water and headed out on the course to cheer some friends on as well as Jessi. I saw Tiffany and ran with her for a mile or so and then ran a bit with Jessi on the way back. Tim was close to her so I was able to throw some cheers his way too. I ran with Jessi for about a mile before she took off down the last ¾ mile. I headed to the finish to see them all come in.
Post Race Winnings

It was my fastest true Oly race I have ever done. I was happy with all my splits. None of them were earth shattering…well, maybe the bike a little, but they were consistent and efforts that I “should” be able to replicate in future races. There was never a time I felt like I was racing out of my control. So that feels promising.

After the race, we hit the local Dairy Queen and then a Carl’s Jr. 3 hours down the road. Love post race food. We had a very eventful trip down there with some hilarious happenings. A few memorable moment were:

1. Tiffany imitating what it sounds like when doves cry and making this mournful pigeon sound
2. Dropping Steve off at the Medical Lake exit and told him he needed to ride the rest of the way home at 8:30pm (30 miles) on our way back to Spokane…and he did.
3. Having Eric read a 20 minute story off his phone that literally did not have a conclusion about a guy named Tucker Max.

Another amazing trip with great people. Races are a lot of fun, but they are even better when you share them with friends, on your anniversary, and end up setting a PR. That’s a good weekend.

Hope your weekends are great, and thanks for all of your cheers out there.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Moses Lake Triathlon

Some days thing go well, and some days they don’t. Then there are those days that things just “happen.” I think this day was one of those days that just happened.

Moses Lake…I am not too sure what this community is know for other than a quick stop on the way to Seattle at the Starbucks and fueling up at the local restaurants. By the way, Moses Lake has one of the best pizza joints called Chico’s. We have actually driven from Spokane (1.5 hrs) on multiple occasions for their pizza. But this weekend Moses Lake would be know for the triathlon being held there.

Since the race was on Saturday, we headed out after work Friday and picked up Steve en route. As usual, Jessi supplied us with some amazing eats for the trek. I am pretty fortunate to always have Jessi in my rig. She makes sure we are “honest” with what we eat since she only brings the right food, and enough food, to eat. I don’t know what Steve was planning on eating, but he did not have to worry since Jessi supplied it for him too.

We arrived in Moses Lake about 1 hour before packet pick up closed and then we headed to the race venue. It was a typical park on a smaller lake. The road surface/parking lot was pretty rough but you got the idea of the race day layout. Jessi went for a swim and Steve and I got out on the road for a ride. It was a warm afternoon with some wind so I thought it would be a good example of what the race conditions would be like. Moses Lake is know for being hot and dry and even a bit windy. I am fine with the windy part…not the hot and dry though. That beat me up pretty good at Onionman 2 weeks ago. Not a huge fan of that. After the ride, Jessi fueled us up some more and we were off to the hotel.

I always “ask” for a main floor room. But I don’t think I have ever received one. This time would not be an exception. Fortunately this hotel was all “non smoking.” Now, when we opened the door, I am guessing that they acquired the “non smoking” status the day prior because the room smelled like it was the only room they smoked in. I hate that, but you live with it. There were actually burn lines on the carpet and on the table tops. Classy. I am not going to say where we stayed because I don’t want to get emails from the Shiloh Inn, right off I90, about giving them negative press. That’s no fun. We got the bikes all dialed in and were ready for bed…after I made a quick walk to the local gas n’ sip for some fig newtons. I just needed to top off my belly.

We got up about 5:15am and had a nice sit-down breakfast in our “non smoking” room, and then were off to the race site. But before we could get on the road, we needed to stop by Starbucks per Jessi’s request. More of a ritual thing I think. Since the race site was 2 miles away, I figured we had time. Supposedly the transition area did not open until 1 hour before the race. But when we got there we still set our transition area in the designated spots. We were the first 3 bikes there. Love that. One of the coolest things was seeing all the Tri Fusion members there racing. I think there were over 20 in all. Though it does not speed things up in transition, it’s nice to chat with people and know that you have a lot of peeps out there.
The TTX was all set up and ready to roll. Now the only thing to do was to get on my Helix. Once that starts going on, I think my heart rate automatically elevates. Not too sure if that is because of the work it always seems to take getting on wetsuits, or if it is a signal to my body that it’s about “go time.” I meandered down to the start, swam a little, and then lined up. Since there were so many club members there, it seemed like we were just out for a swim. But we were awfully close to one another? Hmmm…. When I saw the swim course I immediately thought, “That’s short.” But I was reassured by a lady that it was long enough because we did 2 laps. I again said, “Yes, I understand, but it’s short.” I have always found that whenever a course ‘looks’ long, it’s normally right on. When it seems right, it’s short. And when it looks short, it’s really short. Once again, I was reaffirmed.
My best impersonation of a monkey
The countdown started with a 1:30 warning…then 30 seconds…then 10…then we were off. The first turn buoy was a mere 50 yards out and it was a 90 degree turn. So getting there quickly was pretty important. I took off aggressively and was able to avoid congestion at the turn. I found some open water and was heading for the turn buoy. It came quickly (unsurprising). When I made the turn, I actually looked up and down the lake further thinking that there must be one more buoy…nope. So I headed back to complete lap one. I felt good on the swim and it was going by fast. After completing the 2nd lap, I was first out of the water heading to T2. My Helix came of flawlessly and my Rudy helmet was on and buckled. It was time to ride. As I left T1 I took a split and saw on my watch it said 16:XX. Sixteen minutes? Hmmm, I must have hit it in the swim. Nope, I later found out that I swam a 15:44. And no, I don’t swim that fast. It was actually supposed to be a mile swim too. Wouldn’t that be nice? I am sure everyone would like to have had the time they did AND have had the course be a 1mile swim. Buuut, it wasn’t.
The bike was disclosed as a 22 mile course. Great…not only was the swim short, but the bike too. Not exactly a course suited for my strengths. I wanted to start off on the bike and keep things steady. This was a rolling course with a pretty good headwind at this point. I was really doing my best to manage my watts and not get overzealous at the start. For whatever reason, the bike did not feel like it was clicking. I was moving along, but it seemed like I was having to work harder than it was showing. I hit the turnaround in 28 minutes and was headed back. Immediately after I started coming back, I could feel a nice tailwind. One of those tailwinds that finds you in your biggest gear and you still do not hear anything but the tires on the road. Though this feels good, it’s almost impossible to make time on people when everyone is going 35 mph. I saw second place and knew I had a pretty good gap. I kept it steady and forged on home. I made it back in 23 minutes. Tailwind? Maaaaybe. As in almost all triathlons, no one is really ready for the first bike. So I navigated my way around people in transition getting ready to start the sprint race and was in and out.
I wanted to settle in to a comfortable pace right away and avoid the discomfort I had at Onionman. Just keep it steady, comfortable, and smooth. Don’t run from people, run what you are capable of. Most of the run was along long open stretches of road that actually felt downhill, which made me think that it would be a little tougher coming back. I felt good and thought I would be at the turn at about 18:30 ish. When I hit 18 minutes, I could not even see the turn…19…19:30, finally, the turn. I rounded at 19:40. Seriously? What a blow. Here I thought I was running well? Heck with that, I knew I was running better than that. The course was long. Often I feel like the run course is long, but I know it isn’t. This time I knew it was long. Short swim, short bike, long run. This is just not my race. I took a split to see where 2nd was. After seeing him, I knew I just needed to maintain what I was doing. Don’t do anything crazy, just keep running. I started to see the onslaught of people and it looked like they were all flying. Again, ‘just keep doing what you have been doing, and you’ll be fine.’ I told Steve that the run is long when I saw him so that he would not think he was having a crappy run. It felt like the finish was coming quicker and quicker,,,that’s a new experience? I saw Jessi when I had about 1 mile to go and I could tell she was in a bit of a quandary. There were some gals in front of her running well that I knew she did not know if she should try to run with or not. I told her to stay within her race and to do ‘her’ thing. It’s hard to when you think the race is going away from you when often it’s just people being eager, and then it all comes back. It’s hard to separate the two. But I did not think it would be a good time to tell her that the run was long :) As I rolled into the final quarter mile, I zipped up my TIMEX suit and was excited to be done…I held on today. A very good feeling. I ran 19 minutes on the way back. Negative split the run. What next? Is Jessi pregnant? Is it going to snow race morning at IM Cda? (no, Jessi is not pregnant). Also, the run was 6.55miles too. Whew, I was not crazy. So though on paper this was not an “ideal” course for me, it turned out pretty well. I will say that the weather was VERY kind. Overcast, 63 degrees, a little rain… I must have been nice to someone.
Jessi had a great race too posting the highest watt output in an Oly race. She moves out quite nicely on the bike. Since we both love the rain, cool temps, and overcast, I don’t think it mattered what place either one of us got. It was just a good day. Now I will cheer on all my fellow Tri Fusion athletes, and Team TIMEX athletes, at IM Cda next weekend. What a long day that will be. I need a recovery week after cheering for people.

Hope all your races are going well and you are able to find moments that surprise you.