Sunday, September 21, 2008

Wilmington YMCA Race report

First the results

Official results master Clydesdale division
overall place swim rank/time t1 bike rank/time t2 run rank/time total time
10 WILLIAM REID 10 23:46 1:35 6 35:31 1:54 15 26:35 1:29:20

watch results
swim t1 bike t2 run total
21:12 4:46 34:51 1:55 26:35 1:29:22

This was one of my A races, and I had 4 goals for this race.
1. Swim straight and fast
2. Bike at least 21 mph ave
3. Run the last mile faster than the first
4. beat 1:30 total time

What a great day, started off at 4:45 with the alarm going off. wanted to hit snooze, but couldn't find it so I hit every button I could find until the damn thing stopped beeping. by this time I couldn't go back to sleep if I wanted to so I got up.
ate breakfast, took a shower to warm up the body, packed all my stuff into the back pack and headed out.

We were staying at the residence inn landfall which was about 2.5 miles from the race site, so instead of driving I just rode my bike. It was 5:30 and pitch black. I bought a light set from Dick's yesterday so the cars could see me and I figured all the cars on the road would be going to the race and not want to kill me :-). Got to the race all warmed up, setup transition, got chip and body marked, then did a quick 5 min run warmup before getting on the bus. This race is a point to point swim and they bus you to the start. Once at the start I had an hour to wait until my start time, so I sat down, ate half my power bar and chatted with some other waiters. Two coworkers found me and I had some people to pass the time with. About a half hour before my start was the official start so I wanted to get in the water and warm up before that. the water temp was about 80 and felt so good compared to the air temp of 60. After warmup I had to get out again and freeze for 20 minutes before getting back in for the last 10 mins before my group started.

The swim: my goal, swim straight and fast. Let the shoulders burn. Started off in front and when the gun went off followed some feet for a while, but they were going right so I let them go and stayed on my line. There was a big boat I wanted to head for and was not going off course. Most people were on my right which is good for me as I like breathing right and it helps keep me in line. I guess they were all following someone or the current was taking them because the big pack kept drifting right. I stayed on course and headed for my boat. As we got closer, I could see the big pack having to adjust course and when we rounded the boat, I was in front.woo hoo. This is a little over half way and my shoulders were feeling the burn, but didn't want the pack to catch me so I just kept pulling hard. Next you have to swim to the dock. Couldn't see it yet, but I knew it was a slight right followed by a left to get around a small Island. There is a marker that you can sight on. Once again a big pack started going right and I gained some more ground. Hit the ladder in 20 something, got out and started the long run, about 1/4 to 1/2 mile to transition. Took about 3 minutes and my feet were not happy about running on the road without shoes.

T1: After the jog to transition, I changed quickly and headed out on the bike. Sucked down a gel as well, just in case. There were 1300 athletes in this race, so transition was huge, and at 6:15 when I left my spot it was till dark. Luckily I scouted the area out and found my bike and stuff easily.

Bike: It was windy today but luckily the wind was at our backs to start so transition from swim/run to bike went well. You start off going over a drawbridge, and you don't have room to pass. They tell us over and over don't pass and every year I see some dufus passing on the bridge. Amazingly, not this year. Last time I did this race, there were potholes galore after the left turn as you come off the bridge, Amazingly again, they were filled. That was where I got my flat last time and I took these two things as a good omen for the bike and tried to get into a rhythm. Unfortunately, it was crowed on the bike, and they was a lot of traffic for 7 am on a saturday morning, so dodging cars and other bikers meant the first part was out of my aero bars. Finally we hit Oleander and I could get into them and really go. when we made the turn into the wind I had been averaging 23 mph, that didn't last long. The wind was brutal at one point and I was red lining and looked down to see I was doing all of 17, but I was still passing people. The wind finally let up and I rolled into transition with my 21 mph ave :-), two down, two togo.

t2: nothing to see here, move along...

Run: This report is too long for my coach to read ;-), so I can tell you she called me during the week. I was having a nice stress free week, not worried about my big race and she apparently thought I was taking it to easy. With words like "This is a big race for you" ok, so now I'm all nervous. I started running and wow, this isn't too bad, so let's go faster. I wanted to do about 9:15 to start and then get faster as I went and of course run my last mile all out. I got to the mile 1 marker and my watch said 9:35, now I wasn't going fast, but I wasn't going that slow either. later I would realize that this marker was long. I picked up the pace and was actually passing people on the run which gave me more adrenalin. At the last waterstop I grabbed a cup and walked for 5 seconds to get some down then started my final push. Went over the last bridge and every time someone passed me I would try to pick up the pace, eventually I felt like I was at my 400 pace on the track and I had about half mile to go. When we hit the final turn into the finish area, the guy at the corner said 1/4 mile to go and just then a MC went by me. I tried my best to stay with him, but I was at the limit and he was still pulling away. They moved the finish around the corner from last time so when I made that turn to where the finish used to be I was all like where the hell is the finish. Luckily it was just one more turn and then finish. If I had to guess I would say I did 9:15/9:00/8:21.

I was definitely euphoric after this race as I hit all 4 of my goals and they had these amazing brownies at the finish. Three brownies later I was on my bike for the short ride back to the hotel. My legs were spent and riding back was tough with the 20 lb back pack, but the legs did feel better by the time I got to the hotel so it worked out well.

If you do this race I would highly recommend the Residence Inn landfall and biking to/from the race. It was much easier not having to deal with traffic and parking getting to and leaving the race. And the hotel has a full kitchen and fridge, and a hot tub :-).

up next Pinehurst, Can't wait :-)

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Flying Frog Adventure Race - Race Report

This may get long as the race took almost 7 hours and it contains explicit material that may not be suitable for young children.

This race was billed as follows ( taken from website )
The 2008 Flying Frog Adventure Race includes a 5-10 mile Mountain Bike course, 5-10 mile Trail Run and a 2-5 mile Paddling course.

It was supposed to be a 3 - 6 hour race and looking at results from previous years, the winners were right around 3 hours. I was expecting about 4 - 5 hours. when they announced the course at 9:30, it was to be 28 miles, 4.2 mile canoe, close to 15 mile single track mtn bike, and almost 9 miles trail running. I looked at Tim and Eric and they had that deer in the headlights look about them. I think it was 9 miles of trail running that did it. I was most concerned with the technical single track mountain biking as I have done 1 session of mtn bike on single track in the last 4 years, but more on that later.

part 1: 1:06:01 - The race started with a challenge. We had to pick a canoe, turn it over and untie all the knots in a rope that was tied to the canoe. For some reason we were like the last team to get the knots undone. We started out in the canoe with Tim in front and me in the back. after a couple minutes and near collisions with a couple teams that were literally paddling in circles, we got free and into a good rhythm. We came around a bend and there were four canoes a head of us but I saw up ahead a group headed to the left and one group way to the right. Most of the boats were following the left but I was a little concerned so I had Eric consult the map and he determined that the right was the correct way so we headed towards the lead kayak on the right. The teams were in canoes and the solo's were in kayaks. We made the right decision and passed two more canoe teams on the way to the turn around. At the turn around Eric wanted to paddle but Tim didn't want to give up his spot so I took the easy way back. I was a little concerned at first with Eric's steering ability, but he caught on and other than a couple minor issues did a great job on the way back. I think we came in 2nd or 3rd team for the canoe.

part 2: mtn bike - 3:00:40 - Without a doubt this course killed half the field. It was extremely muddy and technical. We started out and within half a mile I went over the handle bars and scratched up my leg. This was to set the tone for the team for the rest of the 3 hours. We came up to a bridge and Eric was standing on the other side telling us to walk across, it was too slippery and he just fell of it. I took up the rear since I was being chicken and Eric and Tim were going real well. I hit a tree, then one more, it was great. Finally we got past the mud, but the roots, rocks and trees never ended. It took about an hour for the first trail and we headed down the greenway to the 2nd trail that was billed as the most technical trail in Greensboro by some of the other teams we talked to. I think we had been passed by 3 or 4 teams at this point and thought we were in 5th place. I don't think we ever really concerned ourselves with finishing place, we just wanted to finish. The second trail was not nearly as bad as the first. It was dryer, but still tough as hell. I think this trail is where Tim went over his handle bars. later we thought it probably would have been a good idea to bring more fluid and food on the bike as the 2 hours we thought it would take to do this was going to be three since the 2nd trail took an hour and the we still had to do the first trail again to get back. So back to the first trail. It started off OK, I was in front and keeping a nice slow pace. After picking up a little speed I slammed into my 3rd tree. This was the hardest one and stopped me dead in my tracks. Tim commented, through uncontrollable laughter, that he was impressed that I stayed on and said it probably hurt the tree more than me. I don't think so, and today I know the tree feels better than my shoulder. After a couple more rough patches including one where I had to get off my bike and push Tim up a hill so he didn't slide back down onto the rocks, we finally got to the end. Right at the end there was a tree across the path and I started to go over it when my peddle got caught on one of the knots that were sticking up. Bike stopped I kept going. Didn't go over the handle bars so I was all happy, but when I went to get back on the seat I racked my testicles extremely hard. That was it, no more bike for me. I limped back the 100 yards to where Tim and Eric were waiting barely able to stay on foot and using the bike as a crutch. Tim asked if I broke something, but luckily my balls were still intact. It was downhill to transition and we rode in to a thundering round of applause. Didn't look at the leader board at this time, we didn't even think we were close. I knew on the last section we had passed two teams and that one of them was going to drop out due to injury.

bike to run transition: 15:10 At this point looking at Tim and Eric I didn't think we were going to continue on, so I suggested that we start walking the trail, get to the first navigation challenge and see how it goes. This seemed to work, we took our time, 15 minutes worth, got food and drinks and a quick dip in the lake for me and Eric. I changed my socks and shirt and put on my ankle brace for the trails ahead. I really didn't expect to finish the race at this point, but really wanted to get to the orienteering challenge. Before we started the winner of the race came in, probably about 4:15. Considering last years winner was just under 3 hours I would say this year was much more difficult.

part 3: 2:35:27 - We started off walking and after a short 2 or three minutes we were at the challenge. I was surprised to see so many teams were still there. The two guys monitoring told us not to follow the teams out there as they were seriously lost. After a shaky start we figured out the paces that we were given needed to be doubled, and we made it through the course finding the flags fairly quick. We all seemed to be feeling better after the long transition and the break at the challenge so we kept going. I was concerned that I didn't have enough fluid for a 3 hour hike with just 20 oz of gatorade and 12 oz of water and was trying to save some for later, but my quads were cramping going up some of the tough hills. We tried to run down and jog some flats, but my legs were not agreeing. At the one hour mark of the run I said if we didn't get to the half way point by 1:30 we should just turn back. I said if there was a water fountain or something to refill our water bottles with I would go on, but without water we needed to go back. About 5 minutes later we got to the end of the first trail and my saving grace was that there was a big water cooler there. I downed about 20 oz of water and then refilled my water bottle with cold water. About 2 minutes later I started to feel good again. This next trail was not as long and it was more flat. We had a couple good runs on the first half and made some good time. We got to the next challenge and there was once again water for us to refill with. Tim volunteered to do this one. He had to wear a tied thera band around both his ankles and waddle to the next check point about 500 yards away. This was also a good chance for us to rest and get some more fluids in. The second half of this trail was still not bad so we had a couple more runs until we got to the greenway. Once on the greenway I started running and was so freakin happy that I could run without looking down and to lengthen my stride and actually feel good. I think we ran about a quarter mile and Eric looked like he was ready to stop. I said you can make it to bridge? he said sure, once we got there I said let's goto that shade. Tim then says "You're trying to pull that psychological shit you always use on Cindy". Yes you caught me, but it worked and stopping in the sun was not what I wanted to do. Once in the shade my plan was to say we can make it to the next challenge which was really just 200 yards away, but Tim foiled my plan. So we walked it. I was able to get a little more water at this stop, but not a complete refill as they were running low. This next challenge was a bow and arrow. Eric took this one and after three shots hit the target and we were off. I found out that we were not in last, and had about 2.3 miles to get back to the finish. This pepped us up and we started with some good runs. We were still walking the uphills and this section had some nasty ones. About a half mile to a mile from the end Eric started getting chills. That is usually a sign of severe dehydration so I said we needed to walk it in. He finished his water and had some of Tim's. I could tell he was hurting as he went to the back after staying out in front for most of the trail. After about 10 minutes we were getting close and Tim and I gave him one more swig of our remaining water and he seemed to pick back up, or just wanted to get it over with as he moved back to the front and was setting a good walking pace. I'm not much of a fast walker so I was drifting off the back. When we finally got to the orienteering section I had to jog to catch up and it felt so good to jog again that I just kept going. The thrill of the finish rubbed off and we all jogged into the finish area. I was looking around when Tim yells from up ahead, what are you waiting for. I was like I didn't know you were going to sprint, relative term ;-), and caught up so we could all cross the line at the same time.

overall 6:57:20 - 3rd place all male team - amazing...

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

The non yoyo yoyo diet

So a couple months ago I decided I wanted to lose 5 - 10 lbs for my race next month. The only way I have been successful lately in losing any weight was to track my calories in and calories out and make sure there was enough of a deficit to actually lose weight. So for two weeks I wrote down everything I ate and logged all my workouts calorie expenditures and had 500 - 1000 less taken in then going out. I should be about 3 lbs less, but to my dismay I was the same body fat % and weight. After all that time and energy into planning meals, eating the right kind of foods, cutting the calories. Nothing, nada, nicht, mola. So for the next two weeks I decided to not count calories or plan or keep track of anything. Just eat when I was hungry and eat what I felt like eating. I didn't go out of my way to over eat, or eat junk food. I normally eat fairly decent anyway, but there was no deprivation. If I wanted M&M's, I ate them. It was great, I had more time, did less thinking, wasn't hungry when I went to bed. After two weeks, same body fat % and weight. I just don't get it.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008


It's not you, it's me... At least that's what I told her. I just think we need some time apart, maybe see some other people or something. For the next 8 weeks I'll be taking a speed and agility pliometrics class instead of going to the track. It was a hard break up, we've been going steady for 5 years now and it's been great, but lately I just feel like I need a break. So when this class popped up on the radar I went for it. I've been wanting to try a pliometrics class for a while, but they always seem to be on track day. As I left the track on tuesday after a hard workout I heard her whisper "You'll be back..."

I'm sure I will :-)