Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Race Reports...Two for One Special!!

My blog updating has never been stellar or timely so racing back to back weekends has caught up to me!

Race 1: Paris Mountain Triathlon

This first ever event was billed as "not for the faint of heart!" The swim is tame enough, 500m in a pond, but the bike course has the climb up Paris Mountain at mile 11 and the run course runs up the back side of the mountain.

Swim: 6:26, 4th AG. Time Trial Start...the swim was over before I knew it. I had trouble seeing the final turn buoy but otherwise it was fine. I could have pushed it harder though.

Bike: 1:03:00, 5th AG. Rolling hills for 11 miles until the base of Paris. I was doing ok on the rollers, but right before the turn up the climb I rolled up on a pack of about four riders and realized I was all up in the draft zone with the marshall right behind me. So, I pushed hard and passed them. Didn't want to spike the HR before the climb, but couldn't afford the drafting penalty. The climb went well. I had a standard on the front and a 23 on the back. This was all I needed until the last 400m where it kicks up in grade. I was grunting to get over that hump. The decent was fast but uneventful.

Run: 35:39, 1st AG. This was the hardest run I've done. I was crusing at a 6:35 pace until mile 1.5 when you had to run up what felt like a wall...I dropped to a 9:40 pace and was working much harder than before. After the 1 mile climb you turned onto a trail and decended just as fast. Very technical and hard to keep a rhythm. I passed a lot of folks on the decent though.
Overall, I finished in 1:49:23, 2nd AG, 13th OA. Great event and a challenging course. Looking forward to tackle that one again next year!

Race 2: Langely Pond Sprint

First time racing here. I thought about doing the olympic race as a prep for next week's 70.3, but Coach said to do the sprint and recover quicker.

Swim: 750m, 13:42, 3rd AG. I felt great the whole swim. My sighting was nearly perfect and I felt like I pushed just enough throughout. I'm happy with the effort, but I know I can be a lot faster than this in the water. I'm waiting for these swim workouts to come together and drop my times.

Bike: 20k, 34:59, 3rd AG. I managed to push through the first half of gradual climbing and made good use of the Zipp 1080's I was running to get some overall speed back. I pushed harder than I usually do on the bike and my HR was up in the 170's most of the time. I was pleased with the 21.4mph pace that I had overall.

Run: 5k (3.36 on my Garmin), 20:51, 2nd AG. Good run for me. I increased the pace every mile and had a strong kick at the end. The course was definitely long, but that allowed me to catch two or three guys that I would not have on a true 5k!

Finished up with a 1:12:24, 3rd AG, 6th OA! I was stoked to break the top ten...but man it stinks to finish that high overall and only get 3rd in the group. I definitely improved my bike split though. I was only about 30 seconds off of the top guy in my AG on the bike. Great day of racing though!!!!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Downtown Cola Triathlon Report

1st triathlon of the 2010 season! I was definitely excited to get another year underway. This year I have taken on the responsibility of the SC Coordinator for FCA Endurance, so there is a lot more to do other than just race. It's going to be fun and challenging.

After working packet pickup from 2-6pm I got the privilege of staying over at Nick Brunson's house in Lexington for the evening. I had a great time eating, playing with kids and the dog,
talking with Nick and Jennifer, and prepping for the race in Nick's garage. Thanks for a great time and a couch to crash on!!!

Nick and I got to the race site just before 7am to get the FCAe tent set up. Nick scared us both when he missed the last step down to the field and rolled his ankle. We both have the loose floppy ankles from earlier sports, so I knew exactly what he did. Thankfully, I loaded him up on ibuprofen and BioFreeze and he felt good enough to win the whole race! This guy has put in the work and it paid off at the finish line.

After the tent was up, I went about finding all the novice racers I could and checked on them for last minute questions and forgotten items. I loved this! I've done it some before with the folks right around my bike rack, but this was intentional and super cool! The best was helping out a lady that was a single-leg amputee who was "doing this for the experience!" Seeing her cross
the finish line was awesome.

Ok, the race...My thoughts going in: my swimming has been sporadic and terribly slow, biking has been off and on, but not terrible, and the run will be good but not my best. So I wanted to hold my spot on the swim and/or get on the feet of anyone who passes, work hard on the bike but don't blow up, and lay it out on the run.

Swim: 500m 9:10 including run to transition. I was 2nd in the AG...there are no swimmers in this AG!! I started by leaving my lane partner in the dust. I passed the two in front of my about 200m. I felt some tapping on my feet and the two behind me passed at about 300m. I held on to them as long as I could and ended up about 10m back by the end. I was ok with the effort.

T1: 2:10, TERRIBLE!!!!!!!!!!! Where to start? I was worried about the temps (~43F) and freezing on the bike. So I didn't swim in the tri top, which is so hard to get on wet, I put on arm warmers, and I put on socks. Note to self: "if you want to win your group, you can't be a puss."

Bike: ~9mi, 30:49, 5th AG. I definitely held back some. I still can't find the balance between hammering enough on the bike or saving some legs to run. My lack of bike fitness is a definite contributor to the la
ck of confidence and speed, obviously! Work to be done here too.

T2: 0:37, now that's how to transition. I even picked up Nick's aero helmet out of the middle of the aisle as I made my way in!

Run: ~2.95mi, 18:11, 1st AG. I felt good on the run, but not knowing the run course I took off pushing for what I thought was the end to find that I still had to run up some stairs, then a gradual hill, before circling back around to the finish. The too early of a kick cost me some time. The run is my strength and I want to continue to build on it and be one of the top runners in the race time and time again.

1:00:55, 2nd AG. I lost 1st by 2 seconds!! I only blame myself for several mistakes and the nap I took in T1, but I wish I would have saw my competitor. Being a Time Trial pool start, he was about 1 minute in front of me the whole race and I never saw him to go after him...live and learn!

Friday, October 9, 2009

SC Half Ironman Report

First Half Ironman = 5:02:04

This was my scheduled "A" race for the year but following the epic groin pull in late July I was skeptical of my capability in pulling off a good showing. So going in my goals were: 1) Have fun 2) Finish 3) Definitely go under 5:15 4) Possibly go under 5:00.

I got down to Greenwood the day before to get my packet and camp out with the FCAe folks. I like being there the day before so I can get an extra hour or two of sleep. So after picking up the packet and setting up the tent The Dannelley's and I rode our bikes out on the run course to make sure everything was in order. Then we grabbed our wetsuits and went to the swim start. I swam out about 400m and swam back in. Everything seemed to be in good shape. After a great pasta, salad, and bread dinner we turned in. I slept pretty good. Got cold a couple of times, but nothing major. It was a little chilly in the morning...around 50 F. After slowly waking and eating a little, I got on the bike and rode to transition.

I elected to not really warm up and just let the swim be my warm up. I did the pre-race prayer, they played the national anthem and then the elites went into the water. I was in the 2nd wave. Somehow the under 39 men were given the pink pearlized swim caps!
Swim: 35:57, 6th AG

I haven't been in the pool much lately, so I just wanted to go out steady and build into a decent swim without wasting much energy. Pretty much went to plan. I thought I would be about 34 minutes, but honestly my sighting wasn't great so that definitely slowed me down. I did come out the water feeling great and fresh, so I guess mission accomplished there.

T2: 2:06

Took off the wetsuit. Dried off some. Put on jersey (I didn't swim in it because I wanted it dry, remember 50 F). Put on socks, shoes, sunglasses, helmet. I thought this would take about 2 minutes, turns out I was right.

Bike: 2:43:19, 20.7 mph, 8th AG

This segment brought to you by my sponsor Midway BBQ of Buffalo, SC!!!! Jay Allen let me ride his rocketship of a bike and it definitely made a difference. Technology made the flats feel like I was cheating!! I wasn't sure how fast I could do this, so I went by HR only. I knew I needed to hold back in the first 20 mi because all the climbs of consequence happened there. I did a good job of that. The next 36 mi were all about making up speed. My nutrition was a Powerade mix, PowerBar gels, and Endurolyte tablets. I set my watch to alarm every 15 min. I drank every time, took a gel every 45 min, took two tablets every hour. Everything must have worked because I felt great the whole time and ready to run.

T2: 0:53

I racked the bike, dropped the helmet, put on my shoes and FCAe hat, grabbed my number and gels and gone. I thought I'd be around 1 min...right again.

Run: 1:39:50, 5th AG, 7:37/mi avg

This two lap run course is rolling hills and a lot of exposure to the elements. The first lap felt great. I was going by HR again and maintaining about a 7:15 pace. The sun was still behind some clouds so it wasn't hot at all. I managed the hills and made sure I took fluids at every aid station. I was still having fun up to around mile 8. After that my lack of run base caught up to me. I kept my HR in check but I steadily slowed down to the end. I think the last mile was about 8:30. It was all worth it at the end. Julie and her mom brought Ian down in time to see me come into T2 and finish. Ian was near the bottom of the crappin hill that you have to run up to finish. He was cheering and I grabbed his hand. We ran up the hill together and crossed the finish line. It was the best race finish ever!!! The lady at the finish gave Ian my finishers medal and he wore it the rest of the day. Later he told me, "That lady gave me a medal for runnin!"

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Greenville Triathlon Sprint Report

This race was a mixed bag of feelings before and after. On the one hand, 7 weeks earlier I pulled my groin so bad that I thought I was done for the year...so just to be racing was a great high. On the other hand, I was "supposed" to be really starting to peak for the year by the end of this month and next and I wanted to kill this course. So I was both excited and disappointed all at once with the day.

I rolled out of bed at 5:00am and had everything ready to rock. Drank some coffee and Powerade and ate some oatmeal. I got to the race site about 5:45am. I got everything setup and had time to run just a bit and get in the pool and swim a little.

Swim: 400m pool swim (50m pool). I turned in a time that was about 10% faster than I thought I would go because the last two years I turned in actual times and had to pass multiple people before getting boxed in behind several folks by the end. This year was just about right. My lane partner and I finished together and we were passed by one person and passed one other. I was swimming blind because my right goggle was completely full of water from the start and the left one fogged up after about 200m. This caused me to slow some, but not too bad. 7:00 with a 50m run to the timing mat. 7th AG, 48th OA.

T1: My T1 is usually longer than T2 but this time, my helmet strap wouldn't stay buckled and I got held up too long. Time of 1:15...should be about 45-50sec.

Bike: 14.4mi bike course moderately hilly. I was really hoping to go about 22mph on the course. I started out pretty good and thought I might pull it off, but the two hilly sections sucked the wind out of me and I slowed way too much on the hills to keep the avg speed up. I made up some ground near the end of the ride and was able to go about 21mph for the course. My time was 41:03 for 6th AG, 51 OA.

T2: I was careful coming off the bike not to aggravate my groin and I jogged carefully through transition. My time was a little slow since I was taking it easy, but it wasn't terrible. 0:48.

Run: I had a great run here last year, but with the iffy groin and the fact that I had only run about 5 times in the last two months, I wasn't expecting any PRs. I used the first 0.5mi to try and get up to speed and see how my leg felt. The legs felt good, but the HR and lungs were not all there. Mile 1 was about 6:20. Mile 2 was not fun and I slowed to somewhere around 6:35. Mile 3 is always the fastest since I can taste the finish and really lay it all out. I think it was somewhere around 6:10ish. I ended up running a 19:19 that was 3rd AG, 16th OA.

I finished in 1:09:23 which was 5th in AG and 30th OA. That was 2 min faster than last year which was basically all on the bike. Again, I can't complain too much, but I think I could have been at least 1 minute faster on the run and maybe 2 minutes faster on the bike if not more. I guess that's what next year is for! I did have a great time after the race hanging out with the FCAe folks and catching up with some of them.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

I'm Back!!!

I'm finally back to some decent training from almost 6 weeks down with a nasty groin pull. On Saturday I rode about 27 miles at a decent effort. No real issues there. Sunday evening I did a 5K run in just under 23min. Both of these efforts were with significantly higher HR levels compared to before the injury, so I've definitely lost fitness!! UGH! Good swims Monday and this morning, with a 5 mile run on Tues. I'm going to try a brick tomorrow afternoon.

Overall, I'm happy where I'm at right now. Honestly, when I got hurt, I thought I might be done for the rest of the season. The rest and physical therapy was well executed and I was actually patient with the recovery. I'm going to race Greenville in two weeks and hopefully Tugaloo Olympic and the SC HIM. I know my speed will not be where I hoped to be at this point in the year, but at least I'll be out there!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Injury Update

Yesterday I saw a Physical Therapist (PT) for the first time to evaluate and work on this groin injury. He said he can definitely tell there is swelling still in the area, nearly two weeks out. The treatment consisited of an evaluation then some light stretching (which at the beginning was not going to good). Then he had a massage therapist come in and that hurt but definitely helped. Then the PT came in with an ultrasound unit and some kind of topical creme. After 5 minutes with the ultrasound and the massage, I could tell a difference. The PT then repeated the stretching from before. I would say my range of motion was at least 40% improved! I was very surprised at the difference. After he was finished I asked if they had any stationary bikes because I wanted to ride for a few minutes and test it out. I went 10 minutes at a steady effort with no pain!!!! I have appointments for MWF of next week. I hope to really train some next week. No hard efforts, but I need to get moving some. I think that being ready for the Greenville race in August is a real possiblity.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Hy-Vee Triathlon

I just got to watch the 2009 Hy-vee ITU triathlon on my TiVo yesterday. The ITU style is different from anything I have ever raced because the bike is draft-legal. In many ways I am not a huge fan of the format, but it does give an opportunity for some great finishes.

This year's elite men had a 6 man pack of some of the best runners in the sport coming in the last mile. It was a very technical approach in the last few hundred meters and Simon Whitfield pulled ahead just enough to take the $200,000 purse. Not a bad payday!

If you missed it, there is a highlight video on http://www.triathlon.org/

Everyone wants to win, few want to prepare.