The California Ironman: Sacramento – a rough day

After cancellation in 2021 due to weather, ’22 just wasn’t the year for me

I’ve put off writing up this race report on Ironman California for six months. It was just a rough day and I didn’t have a particularly good race, personally. I finished, sure, but it was just a rough evening for me by mile 120 (out of 140) and took a lot of the fun out of it.

And now that it’s been six months we’ll see how much of the overall weekend I accurately remember, haha!

But let’s get to it! I need to just finally get this down on paper for myself at this point, too.

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The Chicago Triple Triathlon 2022

After four years of waiting to do the Chicago Triple Triathlon I was finally able to race! And it was every bit as fun and exhausting as promised.

Sometime about 5 or 6 years ago I stumbled on the website for the Chicago Triathlon. I was looking for tris that sounded fun or interesting. And the two things that stuck out the most about it were that the International/Olympic distance race has an entire underground section as part of the course; and the second thing was that they offered a triple-race challenge option.

The Triple Challenge: It’s simply “all three races in two days”. The first event is on Saturday morning, the Super Sprint. And on Sunday you race in both events that day, the International first, followed by the Sprint. It sounded awesome.

So why the delay in racing this event after learning about it? Well, at the time I first read about it, which was around summer 2015? I was already booked up with a busy following year in 2016. I had the ESCAPE FROM ALCATRAZ, Tahoe Ragnar Relay, and several other events. And then in the couple years following I simply could not justify the cost due to moving back and forth from SF to LA for work a couple times.

I was finally in a position to do the race in 2019. You see, in 2018 I would race my last full iron distance with my mom In Chattanooga before she retired from full tris. Then Chicago 2019 was going to be my “big race” (in terms of cost, not particularly distance). But while out on a training bike ride just two weeks before Chicago a flock of geese flew across my path while I was tucked in aero position doing about 24/25 mph. Despite trying to swerve last minute I was hit, knocked out briefly from the impact, and broke my collarbone when I hit the asphalt. The 2019 race year Chicago was forced to cut the swim – so while I didn’t like dealing with a broken collarbone, I’m glad I didn’t get all the way out there to have a triple-duathlon.

In 2020 and 2021 there were deferrals due to Covid, as you may have guessed.

But hey, 2022!
This was finally my year to race in Chicago!

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The #PrincessMen return for Year 8 – after 7 was cancelled

Eight years have gone by since this started. Wild. I honestly would have never thought we’d still be doing this event, as princesses, after 8 years.
But here we are.

After the 2021 Princess Half Marathon Weekend was cancelled due to Covid, there was definitely a lot of excitement about the 2022 race as it approached.
The question of whether or not we would be running was only briefly a concern after realizing a lot of our group intended on running again. So, we signed up during the Summer of ’21 to race IN February 2022 – a year we also expected to be absolutely packed with people who were upset at not racing in 2021.

For those who want to check out some of my past event write ups, you can do so HERE.

Heading in the 2022 race weekend I was probably the least trained up I’d been in a while. However, that’s relative since I spent Summer and Fall ’21 training for Half and Full Ironman races.
So while I only ran about 6 times in January and February prior to the race I wasn’t too worried since we never run very quick. I also I raced in the Disney World Wine & Dine 2021 Half Marathon in November. And during that race even though I stopped several times for selfies in the parks, and one character stop with Kronk, I still put down a 1:45 race time. PHM is never a hard race in that sense. The real challenge is trying to see people, enjoy the weekend, and deal with very little sleep.

So let’s get to it: 

Year Eight: 

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The Starr-Lopez Wedding at Clos Winery, Morgan Hill

Last week on a warm Friday afternoon at Clos Winery, in Morgan Hill, was the Starr-Lopez wedding.
And while all weddings are special, this one was also very unique for me personally. 

You see, Stephanie is the youngest of three sisters. And I had the privilege of doing photography for Nicole, and Michelle, before her. So to be asked back a third time by the Starr family was something very flattering and special for me. So it was a little bit reunion for me seeing some old faces – I also know the Starrs from school – and a lotta bit celebration of course celebrating Enrique and Stephanie.

Their wedding was beautiful. I had never been to Clos, however I’ve shot several weddings in the Morgan Hill and South San Jose areas and lighting there can be really beautiful – albeit a bit tricky at times also. So I was looking forward to an outdoor setting. Now for anyone keeping count, it’s been several years since I photographed a wedding. But Stephanie had no problem with risking me being a tad rusty for a ceremony. I still shoot, of course, but I never really advertised wedding photography so it’s far less common a booking for me.

I’ll just roll right into photos from Enrique and Stephanie’s wedding rehearsal and wedding day – save for jumping to the end of the night to share this shot:

I had posted this on Facebook recently and said I’m so glad we got a group shot at the end of the night. From left to right: Chris, Enrique, Nicole, Michelle, Stephanie, and Will. And me in the back.
And in order of weddings, was Nicole/Will, then Michelle/Chris, and now Stephanie/Enrique.
It’s been very, very cool to be a part of all their weddings and I’m really happy to have a last-minute, end of the night photo with everyone after the last wedding for everyone. Honestly as we were all leaving I had said it looked like it was too late to get this. But Nicole and Stephanie knew it was important to me and tracked down Will and Enrique who were helping family get loaded into cars so we could take a group shot!

And with that, click to read on!
I’ll add details and info to captions where I can:

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Half Ironman Memphis – Last one with the family

I recently finished the Memphis Half Ironman in Tennessee with my family. My last “Family Iron”, which is a little bittersweet… but what a hell of a race to wrap up with.

For those who don’t know, my Mom and Step Dad are the two people who got me into doing Triathlon. They moved into this sport after being extremely active in road cycling, and prior to that mountain biking, and (for my mom) marathoning.
I have past Race Reports that touches on this. I think I mention it every time actually. But this was going to be my mom’s retirement-from-long-distance-tris race. I won’t be surprised if she squeezes in an Olympic here or a Sprint there. But this Half Iron distance was going to be her last “long” race. And while my mother has raced in three other full-distance Irons and I think six or seven? half-distance Irons she would be racing this race nine-months post-hip-replacement! Crazy, right?
And being able to do events like this with my family over the years has been very cool. So this last one would be that much more special to complete for my mom after surgery early in 2021. I was also set to later compete in the Full Iron Sacramento with Jay as his final full-distance before he retired from long events, but that got cancelled due to weather. So now he and I have to suffer through another Summer of Iron training to race in 2022.

The Memphis Half ended up being no easy race, either. Weather reports as the weekend approached focused on just how bad the weather was going to get. From “chance of rain” to “it’s definitely gonna be raining” to “you’re racing in a storm, guys..”.
Memphis made us work for it.

Here’s a great example of what I mean with the weather. Pouring rain and look at my posture…. sitting upright, stiff, and aware. one hand on the brakes and even my expression is basically saying “yeah, this is sketchy..”. I had my sunglasses on because the rain was so hard it hurt your eyes when it hit your face. ha!

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The #PrincessMen – Year Five | 2019

It’s already been five years running as the #PrincessMen .. Five?! Crazy!

Really though, it’s wild to think that we’ve been doing this so many years in a row already. And even more wild to consider how many people still get a kick out of seeing us out there running. And now we see a lot more men dressing as princesses on the course – I like to think that we have had a hand in that to some degree. So many people comment and post and social telling us they’re going to dress as a princess the following year, or ladies comment and say they’re going to make their S.O. dress up and run with them! It’s awesome. 

But let’s recap a few numbers, yeah?
5 – years running and still positively received 
4 – additional friends have joined the original group
4 – times in Buzzfeed in the past years
3 – times posted to runDisney’s social channels this year alone <-this one is the coolest

Really though.. making their social feed the day of the race is probably the coolest acknowledgement we’ve received

We’ve made several different posts, blogs, and feeds over the years. Last year runDisney featured us about a week after the event. It was Me/Jasmine, Beau/Pocahontas, and Joe/Belle in a Boomerang on IG and FB. 
We’ve been in Buzzfeed several times for best dressed, funny costumes, etc. 
But this year making the official runDisney social feeds the day of the race, as well as being acknowledged as we crossed the finish line was by far the coolest one so far. 

Haven’t heard/seen anything from our past years? You can check those out below if you’re curious and have a lot of time to kill.
Year One – how it started
Year Two – the return
Year Three – we all grew beards
Year Four – scattered on the course
which then bring us to…

Year Five

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Ironman Chattanooga – with the fam

So at the time I’m currently writing this it’s been about a week since Ironman Chattanooga and I’ve mostly spent the time sitting around being lazy, with the occasional very-short workout mixed in. haha!
Note: Now, at the time I’m publishing this it’s been six weeks… I’m still being lazy with my post-race training, but I’m still getting out for a short work each day ;)

That being said, let’s get to my recap!

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Set up your Doge Wallet for the Banano airdrop

Ok, so why am I writing about crypto on my blog… well, I do love a good meme coin. And some of the peeps in the Banano Discord asked about how to set up a basic Dogecoin wallet and let’s be honest… things are much easier to understand when you have photos to follow along.

So what’s the deal?
Banano is doing an airdrop based on your holdings of Dogecoin from a snapshot they’re going to take on November 30th. The snapshot will be based on a wallet you register with them. This has led to a lot of people not as familiar with Doge trying to set up their own Doge wallet to cash in on some of that sweet, sweet potassium… ya dig?

I’m going to keep this as straight forward and simple as I possibly can so people can get their coins in, and then later get them out of a Doge wallet.

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Chromatic Cafe, Downtown San Jose. Now Open, featuring my work

The new Chromatic Cafe Downtown San Jose location is open! And my work is featured on the walls!

I’m really thrilled to be able to share my work Downtown with everyone! I used to work downtown in college, and for a short while afterward, too. I still do photography around DTSJ as well – I have photographed the official headshots for San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo as well as other city representatives. So while that work is hanging in City Hall three blocks away, THIS work is what allows me to be creative in a genre that pretty much everyone can enjoy.

I first started shooting landscape photography purely out of boredom after thinking “THAT’S not hard. I can do that…” (most of you know me for my commercial photography, sports imagery, or wedding photos… right?)

And while I sell prints online, and have the last several years, I rarely see them in person. Because, let’s face it, I don’t print all my work because I don’t own a 20,000 sq/ft house to hang it all in, sadly.

But head Downtown! Grab a coffee, and check out the images I selected to hang on the walls!

17 N 2nd St, San Jose, CA 95113 (google maps:
Mon-Fri, 7a-2p (times will adjust as business hours/needs require, but to start off they’re sticking to similar hours of city businesses!)

Check out images of the new cafe below! Along with a few details on the photos I currently have hanging up!

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The Irizarry Wedding – Montréal, Quebec

I just returned from Montréal, Quebec where I had a pleasure of shooting Bianca and Robert’s gorgeous wedding… and taking my first official trip to Canada! Ok, so I’ve been there once, but it was only for about 2 hours to buy a car with my former roommate.

Anyway.. How did I end up all the way in Canada AND the OTHER side of Canada for that matter?
Well that’s simple… about 14 years ago I worked in Florida and met a guy, who grew up with another guy, who at one point served in the army and met another guy, and guys 2 and 3 later took a cruise where there were some loud or creepy other guys that creeped out some girls but it was ok because guy number 3 is loud and American-sounding-guy so the girls hung out with guys 2 and 3 and girl number 1 fell in love with guy number 2 and because girls 1 and 2 lived in Canada and guy 2 was in love they decided guy 2 would move and they’d do that whole marriage/love/forever thing so guy number 1 was like “yo john, guy 2 and girl 1 are doing a thing and you gotta come over for that” and I was like “Sweet.”

Told you. It’s totally simple.

But really though. I used to work with a guy named John. John’s childhood friend is Robert, the groom. John’s wedding gift to his long-time, childhood friend? My wedding photography.

Ok, maybe that was easier. But the first way of explaining it way more fun sounding.

As I’ve said before in other write-ups on weddings, it’s hugely flattering to be asked to fly somewhere for work. And I’ve been very fortunate to fly cross country for weddings many times.
This was my first international wedding I was booked for.
And after making sure, a few times, that Bianca and Robert had reviewed my photography and approved of John’s gift to the two of them, I started making plans with John regarding travel and details.

“I want lots of photos..”

That was basically the main request Bianca had as we started exchange emails and work out details for the wedding. I tend to stay out of the bride’s way during planning until things get close to the actual wedding weekend. I checked in a few times, and I asked Bianca to start thinking of any images she liked or wanted for her and Robert. And, while there were a handful of specifics, the majority of it sounded largely that she just wanted to make sure she would have plenty of shots to remember things by.

And that can be easier as far as requests go.

So, as usual with my huge wedding recaps and write-ups, I’m going to leave a lot of the details for the captions. Save to say that I had an absolutely wonderful time with Bianca, Robert, and their families and friends. Everyone I met in Canada was incredibly welcoming and very friendly. I would definitely travel back to Montréal again whenever that chance comes up.

Click past the break below for a HUGE collection of images, seriously it’s like 600 photos, from Bianca and Robert’s massive wedding celebration this past weekend.

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