Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Muddy Buddy Race Report

This was a lot of fun. It was a low key, low pressure, low stress event :-).
I actually was woken up by the alarm at 5 AM. I always wake up before the alarm for other races and that normal nervousness wasn't there. My Buddy already told me not to expect to win or anything so that took all the pressure off me.

Tim and I got up early and let the girls sleep in and headed over to the event around 5:45 and got there at about 6:15. Parked, unloaded and headed to the start. It was already very crowded when we got to the race site and there were some interesting costumes and helmet dinosaurs.

The race format is two team members doing the same course, one does a Bike/run/bike/run/bike, and the other does a run/bike/run/bike/run. you share the same bike and at each transition you have to complete an obstacle before moving on.
I had the run/bike/run/bike/run part.

Run1: 11:47, I thought each leg was going to be 1 mile, but this first one was probably closer to 1.3, we lost the bike computer on leg 3 so we have no clue how far any of the legs were or the total distance. The bikers started first, then they made the runners wait a minute before they could start the chase. The beginning was really the only time it was crowded on the course for us as we went first so there wasn't anyone on the course yet. The first part I just hung behind and paced off a group until it got stung out enough and I was warmed up enough to pass. I felt like I was running close to a 9 min mile and then picked it up near the end and was passing some of the started too fast people up the last hill to the first transition.

T1: did not time my transitions. The first one was a climbing wall that was about 5 feet high. There were plenty of hand and foot holds so it wasn't difficult but getting down the other side on the rope ladder was a little dicey but made it without any problems.

Bike1: 9:47 including transition. I was hoping to catch Tim about half way, but didn't see him until the very end. At least he didn't have to wait for me to get the bike. I passed about 10 bikers on this leg. Felt really good on the bike and didn't need to get off and push like some were. There was one long up hill near the end that I probably should have gone easier on as it didn't help with the next obstacle to have all that acid built up in my legs.

T2: balance beam. the beam was about 4 feet off the ground and 20 feet long. Just getting on was a problem as my legs were a little wobbly from that last hill on the bike. I heard Tim yell at me on his way out when I was about 1/2 way done so I knew I was going to have to do a fast run to make up some time so he didn't have to wait too long at the end.

run2: 10:54 (including T3) This was a good one for me as I passed a few more runners and was able to keep a steady pace up the hills and on the rougher terrain. I think this leg was probably the hardest for the bikers as part was off the packed trail and there was one tough hill that I passed many bikers pushing their bikes up the hill. I found out later that Tim lost his chain at close to the top of the hill and had to get off and pull a branch out of it.

T3: Over/Under/Over: This one was an A Frame structure with 3 cross beams going up to the peak that you were supposed to go over the first, under the second, then over the top, without touching the ground. I saw many guys going over the first, stepping on the ground and going under the second, then climbing up and over the top. I was tempted, but stuck to my principles and actually did it the hard way without touching the ground.

bike2: 6:45 Wished I could have had some more time on the bike to get ready for the next run, but once again I got to pass a whole bunch of people and was flying down the hills.

T4: This was the best one, up a 10 foot rope ladder then slide down the blow up slide on the other side. When I got to the bottom I couldn't stand up on the base so I just rolled off onto the ground. grabbed some water and headed off for the last run.

Run3: 16:10 ( including T4 and mud pit ) This was the hardest and longest of the legs. there was a long downhill to a water crossing. It was up to my waist and very muddy. I had thought about taking my shoes off, but was very glad I didn't after feeling the ground under the water, very rocky. Then after getting out and adding 5 lbs to each foot you had to go up a long steep climb to get back to the road. Once again I passed about 7 bikers who were pushing their bikes up the hill. I have to admit at the top I took a 30 second walk break to catch my breath before the final push to the finish. Tim passed me with about a quarter mile to go and gave me a water bottle to drink and dump on my head, then took off to the finish. He only had to wait about 2 minutes or so, so we had really good timing. of course if he didn't lose the chain it would have been a little longer, but still not too much.

Mud pit: I got to the pit and was ready to crash, but still had to bend down and climb under a net to get into the pit, then crawl across to the finish.

Our total time was 57:08 and we came in 21 out of 51 in the beast division. Knowing the course and obstacles will be a big advantage next year as you can start to prepare for the obstacle and next leg before you get there. we probably could take a couple minutes off our time.

All and all a great race and a fun stress relieving time.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

great raleigh road race 5 miler - race report

I usually like to write my race report the day off or after the race, but for this one I needed a little perspective so I decided to wait a while.

Race morning was going well, except for the 73 degree temps and high humidity that showed up after the stupid weather guys kept saying 66 degrees. family got up and ready on time and we had no problem finding a good parking spot. Made our way to the start and easily found Cindy and family and Frank. After getting my chip and attaching the kids, Lilyan and Mia, we headed out for a warmup jog. The weather didn't feel too bad in the shade and standing still, but once you got moving you could feel the moisture in the air. It was a short warmup of about 8 minutes, but we warmup quick in the heat.

I was planning to do the following for my splits
8:45 to 9:00 for the first mile between 9 and 9:15 for the next two then for the down hill finish on hillsboro 8:30.

Mile 1 - started off well at 8:59, kept the pace in check and was thinking about the hills so I didn't get too far ahead of myself. But when we made the turn off hillsboro the sweat was already dripping off my hat. This was not boding well...
Mile 2 - missed the mile marker so my watch said 9:37 for 1.04, but the pace was 9:22. Not too bad, but still slower than I wanted. I should have gotten some more water at this stop, the half cup on my head and half in my mouth probably wasn't enough. The hills had started and it was getting tough.
Mile 3 - Since I was late on mile two, mile 3 was fast at 9:03, but my pace actually dropped to 9:25 for the .96 miles. I still thought that was ok because I knew the hills were finally ending and there were some tough long climbs. I was ready for it end at this point. I think 5k is probably the longest one should run in the summer. I need to remember that :-).
Mile 4 - my best mile since the start 8:57, but for how much it hurt and the fact that is was mostly downhill, the 8:57 was not a good sign of what was to come. Once again, did not take full advantage of the water stop, and the fact that there was no shade on Hillsboro wasn't helping.
Mile 5 - 9:13, This was the hardest mile, it was downhill, but every time there was a little bump it felt harder and harder to get over and I just wanted to stop. But I knew Cindy was back there and if I slowed anymore than I already did she would fly by me. I saw the coach near the finish and waved, then listened to she if I could hear her shout to Cindy, but nothing. As soon as I crossed the finish I feel a tap on my back and it was Cindy. I think we were all of two seconds apart.
Total time 45:51 9:10 / mile - I relize I wasn't tapered for this race, but still I wanted to go a bit faster. Somehow I always forget that I can't go fast in the heat. Then after the finish when we were standing around, that confused, dizzy, nausous feeling came on and I knew that I was going to the ground one way or another so for once I chose the better way and sat myself down on the road easy. After a few minutes I finally started to feel better and was ready to watch the kids.

This race was an eye opener for my tri next month in Connecticut. I really need to work on my hydration and heat management for that race or it will end up in the bad category. Also need to adjust my expectations and use that as more of a training race for Pinehurst and not as a big goal race. because I don't do well in the heat. now if I can just remember that...