Sunday, June 29, 2008

Kure Beach Race Report

Results as recorded by my watch....

Swim1: T1: Run1: T2: Bike: T3: Run2: T4: Swim2: Total
6:30 3:08 11:47 1:30 34:13 1:29 13:30 2:39 7:27 1:21:47
The official times will not include Transitions and mine were slow since it was the only time I had to catch my breath :-).

Official Times:
Swim1: Run1: bike: Run2: Swim2: Total:
7:54 14:39 35:39 13:31 10:04 1:21:45

so the day before the race I'm a little nervous/anxious for some unknown reason. I usually don't feel that way until the morning or just before bed, but I guess I was putting some pressure on myself to do well in this race and redeem myself from the last time I did this one and did so poorly. Of course last time I ended up having Lyme disease from some tick, but still logic doesn't always work when trying to convince oneself of things. To make matter worse my easy brick Saturday morning to wake my legs up didn't go so well. My legs were just not in the mood, so that added to the nerves.

Prerace: Things went fairly smoothly, got my bike transition setup and started warming up. fortunately my legs felt better today on my warmup jog and bike but it was humid and warm for 6:45 AM in the morning. at least there was a breeze. I had my normal breakfast, but forgot to eat my powerbar and didn't realize it until I got to the swim/run setup area and it was too late to go back. So I setup my shoes on the sand and went to go for a swim. The water was not too rough, and the current was real strong so I knew it was going to be a fast swim and not much chance for separation with the sand bar going over half way out to the buoy there would be a lot of walking to start. This did not bode well.

Swim1: As predicted, there was a lot of bunching and not much separation leading to the first buoy and once we started swimming it was rough. After rounding the buoy and heading with the current it started getting easier and I was able to get some good drafting. It only seemed like a minute before it was time to turn into shore and then there was the stupid sand bar again.

T1: Got out of the water and ran up to my shoes, dropped my cap and goggles and headed to the street. jumped in the kiddie pool to clean off the sand and put on my Vaseline coated shoes and started the run.

Run1: the beginning was tough, but after a few minutes I got into a good groove. Near the beach there was a breeze so I felt good and was able to push a descent pace and even passed a few people.

T2: not much going on here except I didn't run out with I bike, I walked to catch my breath. and I put on my socks so I wouldn't get blisters running back like years past.

Bike: the bike course is an out and back done twice. So it's like 4 x 3 miles with about 15 seconds recovery when making the turn arounds. The first part the wind was at our backs and it was easy going. Was doing around 24 mph most of the way and was passed by the first MC I had seen so far. He was cruising at 26, stayed with him for a few seconds, but knew I couldn't keep that pace so I had to let him go. The way back was into the wind and much harder. But I still managed 20 mph most of the way. Was still feeling good on the next out section, but when I made the turn around and started into the wind on the way back I got a huge cramp in my left calf. I quickly finished off the rest of my gatorade in hopes of warding off any more cramps, but every time I started pushing it would come back so I had to resolve myself to just doing what I could do and keep moving. I wanted to break 34 on the bike and would have if it weren't for the cramps, but was still fairly close.

T3: more walking on this one and drinking. I was sweating up a storm but had to keep going so I drank two cups of water and dumped a couple on my head. unfortunately the water was warm. I don't think the know what ice is in Kure beach as I didn't see any the whole time I was there until the refreshment area that you had to walk a half mile to get to after the finish.

Run2: this one was really tough. A couple residents were out with sprinklers and that definitely helped. I managed to make it to the water stop without walking, but when i got there and grabbed two cups I walked to drink and it was really hard to get running again, but I did. Finally the run finish was there with more warm water to drink and dump.

T4: dropped the shoes and socks, grabbed the cap and goggles and started the beach run to get to the swim start. Luckily the tide was out and it was nice to run on the hard packed sand.

Swim2: Getting out to the buoy was about the same as last time, a lot of walking through the water, but it was harder this time with tired legs, once I got going it was ok, except this time I kept getting run over by people who couldn't swim straight. about half way through my arms started to really feel tired. I was about done, but then the buoy was there and it was time to head in. Rode a couple waves, got run over again, then the sand bar was there and I stood up and attempted to run in, but I just couldn't get my legs out of the water. Finally the beach and the finish was only about 20 yards up the beach. I heard people saying finish strong run to the finish, so I started to run buy my legs were dead, some how I managed to make it over the finish line and did not die.

I can honestly say I gave all I had for this race. I think with the heat I probably should have had some more of my own cold drinks at the bike transition for before and after the bike, but live and learn...

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Finally, there is light at the end of the tunnel

So I have been struggling with this right leg/hip pain since February, it's not debilitating, but it is very annoying and at times hurts like hell when driving. It starts in the back of my hip and will radiate all the way down to my feet. I have been searching all over the place to find out what it could be. I had finally convinced myself that it was bursitis in my hip that was causing this as only anti inflammatory drugs have been able to relieve it. Then Friday morning I was flipping through the new runner's world and I see this butt, so I look closer, and I see a muscle in red that is in the same spot as where my pain is starting. So I read and the symptoms and it fits exactly to what I am experiencing. Now I am getting excited, I take it with me to work so I can do the stretch and exercise listed and after lunch try it out, and it seems to be working. Of course what is causing the performis muscle to get so tight to make this happen is still a mystery, but I suspect it's the bike fit on my tri bike being a little low, so I need to get that adjusted and keep doing these stretches and exercise, but at least I have a plan now other than taking alleve...

Sunday, June 8, 2008

The 2008 Great Chesapeake Bay Swim result

I'm home, and I'm burnt, by the sun and by my wetsuit, and extremely tired, so forgive any bad grammar, typing, etc...

total time was 2:40:22, unofficial, I just went to the website and there was a link to the results for today. I was amazed, didn't think they were that efficient. Then I clicked on the link and I got a page that said "results will be posted here". At least I got a good laugh out of it.

Mile one: 25:37 - This mile was good, nice and easy to warm up, pretty much swam straight to the bridge, then through the pillars and between the two spans. During the pre race meeting the guy said we should stay to the right on the first half since the current would push us left in the beginning, but when I got between the bridges, I saw that up ahead it curved to the left so I decided to stay left until the curve ended, then move to the right. Bad move as you will see in mile two...

Mile Two: 43:06 - This mile sucked, I spend most of my time trying to stay between the bridges since the current kept pushing me out. I was waiting for the bridge to straighten out, but that never seemed to happen. I guess it was just a perspective problem, but my time would have been much better spent swimming all the way right and then swimming straight and letting the current push me left gradually instead of swim, swim, swim, oh crap I'm almost out of bounds, swim perpendicular towards the middle, I guess that's close enough, swim, swim, swim, oh crap I'm almost out of bounds, repeat for 40 minutes of mile 2.

Mile Three: 31:41 - Somewhere around mile 2.2 or so I got a bad foot cramp and had to stop and work it out, but after that, the current seemed to let up and I was able to get into a real good groove of 3 stroke breathing and staying parallel to the bridges and made some real good time and was actually passing some people. there were supposed to be two food boats, I saw the first one, but it was 100 yards to the right of me at mile two and I would have had to swim against the current to get to, so I just let it go. There was supposed to be another one at mile 3, but I didn't see it, I was probably still too far left, but I was swimming in a groove so I didn't bother looking too hard.

Mile Four: 38:47 - I was still in a groove, but this mile the current returned and was pushing us right. This was good as I was still way left, so I started moving right and gradually working my way that way. I was still swimming in my groove, but I could tell I wasn't going as fast as the pillars started slowing. A couple times I worked on catching some swimmers ahead, drafting for a while, then passing them. This kept me occupied and my mind off the incredible burn that was working it's way up my arms to my shoulders and into my back and chest. finally I saw the 4 mile buoy and thought it was almost over and man was I freaking hungry now.

last .4: 20:10 - two more pillars and then head out of the bridge. I was thinking the current was going to help me in since we were now swimming with it, but then we turned left and headed towards the marina and it was back to slow going and I was about ready to die. I adopted my Dori technique of just keep swimming, it felt like for ever, but finally I could see the exit and finish. Stopping swimming was great, but standing up and walking, not so good. I almost fell over a couple times on my way up the hill. Luckily the volunteers were well versed in stripping off wetsuits since I don't think I could have reached behind me to get the zipper down.

Overall it was a good experience, but I doubt I would do it again as the race site and logistics were just not all that great. If they were to switch the start and finish I would consider it. The start was at a state park with plenty of parking and beach area and bathrooms for spectators and racers. But the finish was at a marina with minimal parking within reasonable walking distance and it was too tight. After the race it was really hard to find anything and there was no room at the finish for anyone to be present. It was just kinda lame. The volunteers were great though and everyone was very friendly and helpful.

oh, and I reserve the right to edit this post later after I can think straight again ;-) and when the spell checker is working again