Monday, April 4, 2011


Alley Pond Park Tennis Center on beautiful Sunday

Prior to every mission, it is always a good idea to do a rehearsal. The planning phase has been drawn out already and tasks have been handed out to individual team leaders. It is vital that you allow time for rehearsals prior to the kick off of the mission. The rehearsal allows your unit to be put in the mindset of what the actual mission will be like prior to it being done. During my first deployment to Operation Iraqi Freedom, we rehearsed our first mission for weeks while in the deserts of Kuwait. We were just waiting on the orders to cross the border into Iraq. Rehearsals also allow you to find any problems you'll encounter during your mission. Problems you didn't think of when you were putting your plans on paper.
All smiles before the run. That would quickly change.
Still a little chilly

This past Sunday, Team Zombie did their first rehearsal. For almost all of us, this would be our first multi sport event. In our mind, we did not know what it would be like. Our muscles, they had no fucking clue what they were in store for.

Dave creating the roster
The weather in New York was finally cooperating, at least for that Sunday. The temperature would finally be over 50 degrees and the sun was out shining. We met at Alley Pond Park's tennis center. Our bikes would be staged. Team supporter Dave Garcia, watched the bikes for us and recorded our times as we took off into the park's Greenway, an asphalt trail that runs through numerous parks in Queens.

I am very happy to say 14 team members showed up that day. In New York, taking the time out is very hard to do and I'm very appreciative of the time members made in order to train together.

With everyone not having bikes yet. The team was divided into two teams. The first group would run first and the second group would take off 10 minutes after the departure of the first group. This would allow us to rotate the bikes around so that everyone would have a bike to use. Unfortunately, we underestimated the course and overestimated our abilities. The first riders would take longer to get back causing a delay for team members Jane and Cynthia.

Brick Workout Route

The beginning part of the course proved the most difficult. I hate hills and that's what the beginning was. It was a serious of short steep hills. The first run was tough but it warmed us up. Team members Bud and Zhiyu flew up this hill though with no problem as I pretended to have a 100 yard rope attached to them and wished they were tugging me up with them. But, what goes up must come down. The turn around point came at the over pass of Springfield Blvd. An orange cone was put in place by Eddie G. and Mourtaz M. prior to the beginning of the course to mark the turn around point. Going back to the start point, all we had to do was ride the hill down. A little painful on the knees if you ask me.

Group 2 punishing themselves up the hill
After the 1st leg, bikes were positioned in the parking lot and we had to learn to transition onto our bikes quickly in order to shorten our over all time. Of course, helmets were important and putting them on along with bikes shoes adds extra minutes. Off we went confidently only to be doomed by the same hill that brought us trouble on the run. The turnaround point would be at 210 street, which was also marked by an orange traffic cone. It would be approx. 1.75 miles out.
Bud P. gives a thumbs up flying downhill unfortunately had to leave early=-(
Zhiyu L. going so fast that he's nothing but a blur

After the bike, it was back into the sneakers and pounding the pavement. Only problem was, my legs didn't feel like they were mine. They didn't want to move and it was difficult to take a full stride. The bike had worn out certain muscles and now they were tight during the run. It was like I changed into a 5 year old's legs. Stride length felt like it was cut in half. Everyone's running form looked funny. Looking at our times, most of us had added 4-5 minutes to this second run in comparison to the first.

Everyone's demeanor though was "Go hard or go home", as they finished up our first brick workout. This would only be a fraction of what the actual Queens biathlon would be. Rehearsal had taught us that our transition times would need to be smoother and that our muscles will have to get used to biking followed immediately by running. Overall, the distance and event gave us a good gauge on our current fitness and a rude awakening in that the biathlon would be harder than this. The route offered its difficulty in the uphills and this will pay off.

Dave G.'s chicken scratch time keeping.

Team member 1st Run Bike  2nd Run
Vincent 15min 4sec 19 minutes 20 minutes
Sabina 16min 2sec 27 minutes 21 minutes
Mourtaz 14min 15sec 19 minutes 19 minutes
Leanna 14min 15sec 23 minutes 37 minutes
Eddie 19min 07sec 17 minutes 23 minutes
Zhiyu 13min 21sec 11 minutes 18 minutes
Otto 14min 51sec 24 minutes 25 minutes
Bud 13min 21sec 11 minutes
Joe 14min 15sec 23 minutes 20 minutes
Group 2
Jeremy 13min 30sec 23 minutes 15 minutes
Jane 13min 15sec 20 minutes 17 minutes
Cynthia 13min 30sec 36 minutes 13 minutes
Jeff 18min 20 minutes 22 minutes
Sam 14min 09sec 21 minutes 24 minutes
Start Time 12:00:00

Group 2 10 minute gap

1st run: 1.6 miles
Bike: 3.5 miles
2nd run: 1.6 miles

Above posted are the individual times. Great job done by everyone. This will be our baseline. There's only room for improvement from here on out. Till next week, I shall leave you with the very famous quote, "The more we sweat in training, the less we bleed in battle"

Team Zombie after their 1st brick workout (minus Eddie G.- was helping a damsel in distress w/ a jump start. He's such a firefighter)

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