Wednesday, September 9, 2015

XTerra Lava Shorts Review

One of the main reasons I have considered doing a triathlons is because of the use of a wetsuit.  2 years ago, it was time to work on the scariest part of the triathlon,  the swim.  And more scary was open water swimming.  However with a wetsuit, it would be very difficult to sink.  After doing hours of research, I came across XTerra, and decided to buy one of their suits, and since then I have gotten a couple for me and for my wife.

But in order for me to eventually qualify for Ironman Kona, I would need to tread water for probably 1/2 hour before swimming for the race, but without the aid of a wetsuit or floation device that would be impossible to do.  

While I have gotten better at swimming, I am no Andy Potts.  So I was surprised to get an email from Jay Weber asking me to try on the new Lava Shorts they created.  It's a variation of the Lava Pants.   Ultimately it helps with swim training by keeping the lower half more buoyant and keeping the swimmer more streamline.

So Monday, I finally had time to take the Lava Shorts for a "spin" in open water.  While I was not floating as easy as with a full wet suit, I was more buoyant.  Then as I sway, I could feel my feet flutter across the top of the water unlike before.  It was a weird feeling of having my hips higher in the water, which made it easier to swim.  

What I liked about it was that instead of a traditional swim buoy and expending energy trying to keep the buoy in between my legs, my whole hip and thighs were floating so that I can focus on my stroke.

Ultimately as the temps go down, I will be getting back into the pool.  This is were I will time myself without the Lava Shorts, with the Lava Shorts and after a couple of months see if my technique has improved after I have gotten use to the new improved position.

The funny thing is that, I sometimes want to wear my wetsuit at the pool, and I was not going to cut my wetsuit apart to wear them as shorts, so this came at the perfect time as the water will be getting cooler

I am getting excited about swimming better next year!

And as a bonus you can save up to 60% on XTerra Lava Shorts when you use code CO-RUNWITHNOAH 

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

[Perseverance] Proud of My Incredible Wife for Completing Her First Half Ironman


You never even know if you never even tried… So Irene jumped into the water, hopped on the bike and pounded the pavement for the better part of the day around the town called Gilford in the state of New Hampshire!

This past weekend the boys and I watched Irene compete her first Half Ironman Race, and despite the word Half in the name.  It takes FULL dedication and commitment.  Months of training and conditioning goes into the preparation for any race, but combining a 1.2 mile swim, 56 mile bike and a 13.1 run is an incredible feat to undertake.  In addition to different ailments, working full time, taking care of 3 kids, learning to swim, getting pulled from multiple triathlons, getting into a car accident 3 weeks before the race, then pulling her back 2 weeks before the race, all goes to show you that Irene is the definition of Perseverance.

When Irene decided to do an Half Ironman, the original plan was to take on the flat Ironman Princeton 70.3 and registration was to begin early spring for the September race, giving Irene plenty of time to train.  However Princeton eventually notified everyone that they had to cancel the race because they could not obtain the proper permits to host the race.  So, Irene decided on Ironman Timberman 70.3.  It happened to be a race I did last year.  

It was very tempting to do the race with her, but I really wanted to be focused on her and being her support team as she did when I trained for Ironman Arizona.  This is Her Year!

She was already building a base, and now it was about to be kicked up several notches!  For the  swim, she worked hard in the pool with Danielle Sullivan (our coach and the person who taught Irene how to swim) and added Brian Krut’s Open Water Swim of Long Island into her week.  I just remember thinking, Wow, I was doing that last year and not thinking anything of it.  And now Irene was doing it and always making all the swim practices.

In preparation of the hills of New Hampshire for the bike section, we biked the Quassy Course, Bear Mountain Harriman Loop, and even a loop of Ironman Lake Placid. All very difficult courses and she did them all.  During the Quassy Preview, we followed the wrong route, but that is a different story!

However going into the race, she knew she would have difficulty with the run portion, so she focused on the swim and bike to get the job done.  Towards the later months of the training, Danielle added more biking to compensate for the reduced running because of her bad back.

With all the training done, taper time was about to commence and BAM, she got into a car accident that totalled my Honda Insight, 3 weeks prior to the race. Then a week later she pulls her back.  Taperville had her well rested going into the race.

Going into the weekend, I was more anxious  than Irene.  She was calm and relaxed, she allowed herself to trust her training despite many setbacks over the course of the year.  She did the majority of the workouts and felt prepared.  For her, it was going to be another training day.

As for me, I am always calculating in my head, time and pace to get the race done in a certain goal. I usually get disappointed with myself for not hitting certain targets during the later stages of the race.  She knew what she had to do with her split times.


The Pro Men took off, then the Pro Women, and Irene’s group was Wave 5.  She smiled, which she normally never does before a race.  Which was a great sign.  Her plan was to stay far left away from the madness of the being close to the buoy line, however, I noticed that she stayed in the middle.  As soon as she took off, I started my stopwatch on my phone and headed to the swim finish, to witness my friends hop out of the water, one by one.   Eventually 1:00 popped up, then 1:05 and I started to worry because the time limit for her was 1:10.  I started to pray that she did not panic or get pulled into a boat.  Then my friend Colleen found me and said that Christina saw Irene pass, I am like no way.  Colleen again said, she’s out of the water, so I check the website and she was out in 51:51.  I was unhappy that I did not get a chance to shout Irene’s name or take a picture of her exiting.  In fact, the official photographer has me looking out into the water like an idiot as Irene passes him.

Irene Timberman 70.3 sim finisha .jpg

So it sunk in that she did the swim in less than an hour, I immediately had to look up my time from last year and went to the Timberman Results website to look up my time.  I did it in 50:27 which was really tough for me.  She said the swim was great and it was easy for her!

Obviously, I missed her bike mount as well, but the ice cream hut just opened up, so we had some scoops of Jordan’s Ice Cream.  Colleen and I then grabbed our kids and found a spot near the bike finish and was lucky to find a picnic table under a tree.  We sat in the shade for the next few hours.  Colleen’s husband was doing the bike segment of his relay team with Christina on the swim and Erick on the run.  Combined they produced a time that placed them 4th out of 56 relay teams.

For the next 3 hours, I relaxed and waited for my friends and Irene to cycle back into transition.  And I figured since the roads are semi-closed, no selfies, and cross roads would be monitored, she should be back in 4 hours.  Then 4 ½ hours past, Then 5 hours.  Then I was sort of freaking out thinking a phone call would be coming or something like that.  I’m thinking she might have fell down one of the hills and lying in a ditch behind a tree.


Finally, we see Irene pedaling back with a frown, and heads into transition.  I run over to the transition and watch her rack her bike, and I am thinking, did the race director tell her to stop when she got back.  Is she allowed to go on the run?  So I waited a couple minutes and she ran out the run out, and I see a big gash on her left knee, and I heard her say she fell on the first hill.  And she continued on with a grimace as she shuffled away for the first loop of the run course.  Will her leg give out?

I knew the run portion would be tough, as she had limited time training for the run.  She’s always had back pains so, I figured that she would do her best, but I was certain that she would be pulled from the race for not making the cut-off times along the course.  So, I did not move and waited on at the picnic table until she came back from the first loop.


Eventually, she came around the bend for the second loop.  In fact, our friend, The Very Easy Looking Charlie was blocking her as he was leaving with his bike out of the transition area.  She paused for him to get out of the way.  I can see him giving her some words of encouragement.  As she passed by, the boys cheered her on.  Charlie walked up and I was telling him, I am pretty sure she is passed the cut-off time and I am not sure what the race director will be doing.

Either the race director got scared when she looked at Irene’s direction or Irene did not hear the race director.  Either way, she was going to keep going!  That is Perseverance!!!!

Since the transition was breaking down, I decided to grab Irene’s bike and bring her gear back to the truck, so she did not have to walk any more to get her stuff after she finishes.  We then returned back to the run finish chute and waited.   I am praying that she is ok, nothing went wrong, or she did not get pulled from the course.  About an hour and 10 minutes into the second loop, I told the boys that I was going out on the run course to see where Mom was.

10 minutes later, I get a text that said that Christina was waiting with the boys, for which I am grateful.  As I walked along Scenic Drive, I shouted at the Potta-Potties, “Irene are you in there!”   

I saw participant coming towards me in a red top next to a bike support, and overheard some chatter through the bikers radio about the last person on the course.  It was not Irene, but as soon as she got close enough, I ask, “Was there anyone behind you in a blue top.”  They both said, “Yes!” and I congratulated her and walked faster down the road.

About 2 miles into my walking, I came to the crest of the steepest hill on the run course from what I remember. I could see her frown and the first thing she said to me was that her feet were on Fire!  The dumping of water on herself to cool herself down, waterlogged her shoes causing blisters on her soles.  All I remember saying was that I was Super Proud of her, the kids are waiting at the Finish Line and keep moving forward.  

I ignored the the swept car behind her, thinking that if I ignored them, they would not dare pull her into it. Eventually, she jogged, so I jogged, then walked, and I walked.  Going back and forth with the volunteers that we passed on the course clapping and cheering her on.

I asked her about her bloody knee that seemed to attract insects to nibble on it.  She clarified that her legs gave out on her during bike mount, which she fell and almost knocked down a fellow participant.  The volunteer helped her up and off she went, she realized that her brake was rubbing against her wheel for 35 miles, she could not adjust it with her hands because it still kept on going back to rubbing after hitting the brakes.  She was able to get bike support at mile 35, but by that time, her legs were definitely burnt out,    

I’ve been texting Danielle most of the day, so I figured Irene would like to hear her voice so I called her, then she called back and I put her on the speaker.  Danielle was happy to hear that Irene was still moving and getting closer to the finish!   

It did not dawn on me that she was the last person on the course, but it’s better to be the last person, because you get recognized!  The sweep car watched out for her to make sure she was safe.  A bike volunteer lead in front of her to warn any oncoming vehicles to move to the side.

Just before making the final turn, I ran ahead to the finish line to capture her in the chute and let the boys run along with her towards the finish for about 200 yards.  The race announcer called Irene’s name and the photographer took some final pics with her and the race director, and they draped her with a cool wet towel.  

She did it!  She never gave up!

We all gave her a hug as she teared up.  Her emotions were running strong.  Eventually, we guided her down to Lake Winnipesaukee, to cool off and I texted Emily that Mom did it!

IMG_20150816_171400077.jpg .   

I was so happy that the Race did not ask her to get into the car, they did remind her of the pace she needed to maintain to complete the race.  Even though she does not have an official time, she travelled 70.3 freaking miles of swimming, biking and running combined.  That is an extraordinary  feat to accomplish.


Doing triathlons, you are never alone.  Being part of the Wildwood Warriors with our homebase at Wildwood Lake in Riverhead and our Coach’s Team Iron Fit Endurance, felt so welcoming. The support is incredible.  It definitely does make a difference in participating in these tough events.  While these races have incredible spectators cheering you on, knowing someone doing the race or friends cheering you on takes the experience to a whole new level of connection.  

Participating in a races of this magnitude takes months of training, and race day is the end cap of sometimes grueling training schedule.  There is a special connection when you know a friend or loved one who is racing.  It’s like walking in someone else’s shoes for a mile, and you understand what they had to go through to get there.  Or should I say Running Shoes?

I can’t thank enough, my Iron Fit Endurance team mates who did the race, Shelley, Christa and Peter.  Big shout outs to my Wildwood Warrior Team at the race as well, June,
The Very Easy on the Eyes Charlie, Scotty, Isa, Mike and Jenny, Staci, Mary, Stephanie, Rick, Amy, Kevin, Nina, Carol and Tom, Todd, Erick, Kristen, Joanne, who always seems to be around to comfort me when I am worried, Mary Beth, who happened to be next to Irene in transition and at the start of the swim, which made Irene looked relaxed, Brian and Colleen for having their kids around for my kids to hang with, and Christine (one of my caucasian friends), who stayed with the boys and waited for Irene to finish down the chute.

Looking forward to being her Sherpa for 2016!

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Selden Hills 15K Failed Again

Today, I wanted to get in an easy 1:45 hilly run and I opted for Selden Hills.  The original plan was to hit the hills around 7am but I get there at 8 and went off up and down Adirondack, Berkshire and this time, the hills on Blue Point Road. 

Again I missed the loop at Laurel Place, so as I got closer to the finish, I made a loop at Cedarhurst.  I ended up with 9.71 miles in 1:41.  It was a nice easy pace.

As I finished, I noticed a pop up tent with some food with a bunch of food and liquids.  The last few times I ran the hills,  most of the time the parking lot is empty.  This time there must have been 20 people chatting.  And I saw the decal on the table, so I made sure I got the "I Ran The Selden Hills" decal! for me and Irene!

This was my second attempt at the official 15k.  I will be back to complete the official 15k course and I will probably do the new 20k course.

Oh boy!  69 days left for the Suffolk Marathon and 118 days left for the NYC Marathon

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Runner's World Cover Seach for Noah Lam #RWCoverSearch #833

My friend forwarded me a post about a contest to be on the Cover of Runner’s World Magazine and suggested that I put my “mug” on it. I’m like, “who wants to see this face?” All I did was sign up for the 2008 New York City Marathon and have kept running since. I thought it was nothing out of ordinary. I’m just an average guy.
But my friend said I deserved to be on the cover because of what I have done to transform myself and family by getting them involved with running. Now everyone in my family has done a triathlon- my wife is even training for an Ironman in 2016! He reminded me of my hardships of being told that I might never run again after herniated my back so bad that I was about to have surgery, having a seizure that disrupted my life and then going all in to do an Ironman.
He said that he could not think of a better person to be on the cover because I have inspired others to be better not only in regards to their health, but also inspired others to be better people and to get fit for themselves and their families. That is how you are going to create a healthier world for our children to step into!
The pictures that my friends love are the ones of me and my wife or me and my family. Actually, if I were to win, I would want my family to be on the cover with me. I wouldn’t be running if it were not for them. There are a few pics from the finish line that I thought would be great.
So now my Running Hat is in the ring for the Runner’s World Cover Search Contest which I have been assigned #833. You can vote by sharing on Facebook and Tweeting that you voted for me by using #RWCoverSearch #833.
You can vote for us once a day at Please bookmark it, vote every day and share the link to your friends and family!

Thursday, May 28, 2015

New York City Marathon Training Day 80 - Huffing and Puffing at the Track

Today, I hit the track at Suffolk Community College which has an infield of real grass slightly browning from the heat and sun.  A kid and his Dad was practicing with a soccer ball.  A few runners were doing loops and a few sprinters were striding on the far end doing 100 meters at a time.

Unfortunately I was short on time as I had to get on a conference call in less than an hour.  I warmed up with a mile easy run then did some short drills. then proceeded to do 
400 - 800 - 400 - 400 - 800 - 400 intervals with a full recovery in between.

There was a tailwind blowing south to north as I started down the first 200 yards, then I had to fight the wind going back to the starting point.  I was really tough and I could feel that I could not go any faster without puking or fainting.

By the last interval, I was sucking wind.  One of the sprinters reminded me to breathe through my nose and it helped slow my breathing down.

Irene made it to the track about an hour later and saw me do my last loop.  She was going to work out with our coach and team mates, while I had a conference call with Team for Kids for Mentors,

Cool that I have an opportunity to Mentor a new class for Team for Kids!!!

Monday, May 25, 2015

New York City Marathon Training Day 77 - Getting our Wet Suit on for Memorial Day

For Memorial Day, my triathlon team started our day with a swim at Wildwood Lake.  The last time I did open water swimming was when I did Ironman Arizona and that was almost 6 months ago.  Since then, I have swum a few times in the pool, but nothing substantial to maintain my swim fitness.  Irene on the other hand had been going to a masters swim class twice a week and she has been kicking butt.
I am always so amazed with Irene.  She has really improved in all areas of triathlon.  A couple of years ago, she could barely swim!  Now she swims much better than me!
Irene and I squeezed into our Xterra Wetsuits, which was easier than I thought it would be.  I guess the winter has not expanded our waistlines too much :)  For me, running has been the priority as most of you know.  For Irene, she has been working hard with Tri Training!
My concerns about the water temperature disappeared as soon as my tippy toes touched the edge of the water.  It wasn't that bad as I reminded myself of how refreshing swimming in open water can be, especially in our lake!

Our teammates gathered around to take a picture and off we went to the other side of the lake.  About 20 of us dipped our heads into the water breathing one side or the other side.  For me, I could feel the drag that my swim fitness has plummeted from not wanting to swim and my shoulders started to ache.

I kept my strokes and breathing steady to make sure I did not panic, but about 1/4 towards the otherside, the glare made me pause and tread water for a few seconds to see where I was going.  I could not see where the sign was that I would normally swim towards.  At the same time, my season opening sea sickness started to kick in as it has for the past 2 years.  It usually subsides as the season progresses, but that queasy first feeling is uncomfortable.
I stopped about 3/4 to the otherside and stopped.  Irene was nearby with Jackie.  I yelled over, I am heading back.  She and Jackie headed towards the farside of the lake.  About 10 minutes later I was back on dry ground. 

I stripped out of my wetsuit and waited for Irene!  She was all smiles with her Orange Swim Buoy in tow. She swam really well and ready to take on her next race!

Monday, May 11, 2015

New York City Marathon Training Day 62 - Getting Baked on Mother's Day

After making Blueberry Pancakes for Irene for Mother's Day, I finally headed out for my 90 minute run.   I could not find my water bottle belt, so I put a water bottle in the mailbox and decided to head out 15 minutes and come back in 15 minutes to hydrate.  I did my best to stay in the shade but at the time of day I ran, the sun was overhead and not enough shade to be found.  The whole time I thought I need some sunscreen right now!  While I was suppose to do an easy run, my neighborhood is full of hills!  I was soaked from sweat!