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!

Everyone wants to win, few want to prepare.