Sunday, May 31, 2009

chase run race report

ok so this wasn't really a real race, but it sure felt like one. The idea is that there are a group of crazy runners at 6am on a tuesday morning that all decide they want to torture themselves and get together to do so. Each runner gives the pace they think they can run this 4.75 mile out and back route. Someone does the calculations to get start times for each pace so that we all end at the same time, if we were to actually stick to that pace. There was a 1.5 mile warmup and 1.5 mile cooldown as well. I am still recovering from hip bursitis so I wasn't ready for 8 miles especially with a 5 mile tempo in the middle, so I parked near the start of the tempo part and ran back towards the group until we met, then back to the start for my warmup. This was a very good idea as when we were done, I was done.
I was running an 8:45 pace, I figured this was doable, but was still not sure since I hadn't done a 5 mile tempo in months. Luckily Cindy was also doing 8:45 so i had someone to share the pain. Our coach says to push each other and to not chit chat. There was one guy ahead of us at 9 min pace or a 1:11 min head start. I'm ready to get going because I see all the speed people waiting around and don't want to get caught.
finally we get going. We start off on a slight downhill and with all the adrenaline at the 1/4 mile mark we are doing a 7:50 pace, Cindy's like "I thought it felt fast" I was like "You are a step a head of me and every time I pull even you speed up", Cindy's like "I thought you were speeding up and pulling a frank", I was like "yeah right, you are pulling a Vivian". This slows us down a bit and now we can chit chat. If you are reading this coach, ignore that last sentence ;-). We hit the 1 mile mark right on 8:45, it feel hard, and we have just started. I try to relax into the pace and just not think about it. We continue to talk and run and when we hit mile two we did 8:40, this is good as the next mile starts with a short but steep hill up to the damn dam, then a flat to coach's parents and the turn around. I see her dad is the marker and once we do around him I tell him to back up about 20 yards. I look down and see this mile we are slacking and at 9:10 pace so I pick up the pace to around 8:30 till we get back to the short hill and Cindy says something like "if you keep this pace up I'm letting you go" I told her I had to surge to get the pace back where it should be. This is the last thing I say that can be considered a real sentence. I remember saying something like, I have to say this now while my brain can still speak with logic, we then pass our coach who is still on the out part and the 3 mile mark at an 8:46 pace. I think that we still have a 3 second cushion to work with and if we can just do a 8:50 for mile 4 we will make it to the end on pace. I tell Cindy we only have 1.75 miles to go and Cindy replies with f$%k, that word will make several repeat appearances over the next 1.75 miles. After about 5 minutes I realize Cindy is no longer talking. I am thinking to myself, please leave me, please leave me so I can slow down. But since she is not talking and only speaking in expletives, I know she is in pain. I try to keep steady and not say anything that will stop us because I am ready to stop and puke, or die or both. We do mile 4 in 8:39, This was a little surprising but since I wasn't looking at my watch as much and just concentrating on keeping the pace I guess it snuck up on me. And I have to give my partner a lot of credit, just a year ago she would have stopped and or slowed but she kept up and didn't quit, even though I know she was hurting. I think she was counting as I kept hearing numbers in my head, but mostly she was just running solidly beside me.
About this time i start hearing footsteps behind us. Everytime I turn and look, nothing, nada, no one, but i keep hearing the footsteps. We pass the 1/4 mile to go sign and the guy that started after us goes by. I say Come on cindy, she says something and we pick up the pace to try to keep him in sight. We go over the last bridge and I thought the end was a 100 yards away so I start picking up the pace again, but then I see it is not over in 100, but more like 250, so I slowed a bit until I really saw the end. I didn't want to get passed again so I had to keep going. Finally the end. stopped the watch at 40:59, or an 8:41 pace. No sooner than I looked at my time then the rest started coming. Everyone looked like I felt, it was hard, but it was supposed to be hard, so mission accomplished. This is one of those workouts I will look back at and know it made a difference. Not only physically, but mentally. We will do this again at the end of June and I'm looking forward to it already. the chance to push yourself to the limit and realize that not only can you survive, but you will get better and faster is worth the pain.

Come on out and join us, you won't be disappointed :-)

Sunday, May 24, 2009

woodlake tri race report

Morning started out at 4:45 with the alarm blasting, got up made breakfast and had a half cup of coffee. packed up the car and got dressed for the race and was out the door at 6:15. Google maps said I had a 1.5 hour drive, but it was only 55 miles so I was suspicious. The first part of the drive was as I remember from last year, it's just when you get close and the major roads get fewer that it gets a little confusing. So I come up to the turn off hwy 27 onto some back road that is supposed to take me to one of the roads that the bike course is on and make my turn. I see a sign that says "no outlet" that's not good, but I'm only supposed to go 3 miles so it's worth the risk. about 1 mile more and I see "pavement ends ahead" also not good. then when the pavement ends there is a sign for a business, I think it's a tire recycling center, but in the morning in a rush I can't be sure what it was, anyway time to turn around. Pull out the IPhone and reroute, it uses google maps, so it wants to send me back down the dirt road through the plant, I don't think so. I make my way back to 27 and start looking for a road south, I mean I'm only 5 miles away can't be that hard. after a couple more dirt roads I find the one I need and am back on track. There were more than a few people lost, I guess they were using google maps also, because I saw a few people making wrong turns and I pointed the right way to them, and they ended up following me, had a whole convoy by the time I got to woodlake.
I was still early so I got a good spot on the racks, no numbers here, first come first serve. picked up the race pack and went to body marking. the two ladies there were quite entertaining. the put my race number on my arm and my leg, the one on my arm was wrong so she crossed out the 0 and put a 2 at the end, she said want anymore? I was like they usually put your age on the back of your leg so you can see who you are racing against. They laughed and said, not here we don't. Then added well maybe on the good looking ones. that just seemed to crack them up even more. I later relayed this story to some women at my rack and they thought it was funny also, I guess i was having a bad hair day ;-). After getting all set up I still had an hour to kill, so I hit the picnic benches to relax for a while before warmup.
Did my warmup run and was feeling good, had a hard time making the decision as to wearing the wetsuit or not as a bunch of people were saying how warm the water was. I finally decided not to and headed down to do my warmup swim. Got in the water and changed my mind. Went and got the wetsuit and put it on just in time for the first wave's 5 min warning. Since I was in the last wave I still had 13 minutes to go. Swam out and over so I was out of the way and did some warming up. Felt really good in the wetsuit, glad I went and put it on.

so on to the race, finally...

Swim: 9:54, Started off to the left with a good line on the far buoy and a nice flag pole to site on. Hit the first 200 hard and was clear of the bunch, but in another 50 we were at the first turn and ran into the 2nd wave. Had to pick my way through 6 or 7 swimmers, and was in the clear again. The next turn was about 50 or so more, but a lot less congested and headed back towards the shore. never really found anyone to draft off, but the wetsuit was working well and didn't think I needed it. No foot cramps or major issues, sited well and felt strong the whole way.

T1: 2:06, had some issues getting the strap to pull down the zipper, but once I got it, the wetsuit came off easy and the rest of the transition was smooth.

bike: 53:57, not in as good a bike shape as I was last year at this time due to early season marathon training so my goal was to come close to last years time and hope my improved run would pull it off for me. Started up the first hill and my legs were just not into it. I think I was still sore from Thursday tough workout, especially the hip flexors so climbing was tough. After the turn around, they started to come around and I tried to really push the 2nd half back. When I rolled in I was only 30 seconds off last years time so I was quite happy and but my low back was hurting a little so I was a little worried as well.

T2: 2:03, could not run well right off the bike so I hobbled to the rack and started to changed the shoes, I had a hard time getting my left shoe on correctly, the back kept getting stuck, so this took longer than I wanted, but at least all the bending over helped loosen my back up.

Run: 27:27, Last year I did a 25:12 on this run course and I was hoping to break 25. It is advertised as 3 miles, but my GPS puts it at 2.85, so under 25 is definitely in my reach. Started off with upper 8 min/ mile pace and felt a little stiff, but knew it would come to me. After a half mile things started feeling good and I picked up the pace a bit. a quarter mile later my stomach said stop running or else. So I stopped and walked and started looking in the woods for a secluded spot just in case. Luckily the feeling went away after a minute and a half and I was able to run again. Even with the 1:30 walk I was at 9:45 pace. Mile two was going real well, I was running 8:15 pace and legs were telling me I could do more if I wanted. I was a bit concerned about my GI issues so I kept it where it was, but right at the end of the mile they came back and worse. This time I had to walk for 2 - 3 minutes and was really in danger of going, but once again it finally went away. I started running again right at 2 miles and it was right at 10 min pace, so even with the extended walk break mile 2 was still 10:20 pace. This time when I started running I only had .85 to go and I knew my time was screwed so I didn't push anymore and just ran a 8:40 pace. This felt too easy and I just got into a depressed mode as I knew I could have had an awesome run time if only...

I'm still waiting for that race where I can have all three go right, but for now it's time to put this one behind me and start preparing for the 6 hour adventure race coming up on the 6th of June.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

White lake sprint Race Report

oh so close to the perfect race for me. It's been a long time since I've had a race where the swim/bike/run have all come together and just been perfect. If not for the Swim, this would have been it. But I am getting ahead of myself.

Morning started off ok with breakfast and gatorade, was ready to go and was just watching tv. We headed out around 6:15 to get there nice and early to get setup, warmed up and ready. Felt good on the bike ride over to the race site, it was about 2 miles so I used it as my bike warmup with the first mile easy, then picked up the pace to race pace for the last bit. Racked the bike setup a little before going to get the chip and body marking. Found out that the swim was not going to be wetsuit legal as the water temp was 79 degrees. With a bike ride over I didn't have shoes to walk around in so I was barefooting it and normally that doesn't bother me, more on this later. After getting all organized, went for a quick mile warmup, legs were feeling good, not great, but good and it was still early so my hopes were up. After warmup and final check of transition I still had 30 minutes to wait, but I couldn't take the transition area anymore so I headed to the lake. With about 15 minutes to start I got in for a quick swim warmup. After warmup I was standing around in the water and my left foot cramped up. I walked it out and was thinking this is good because now it won't happen on the swim.

Swim: 18:26, started off great, had a good line and was out in front. Was just starting to settle in when my right foot started to cramp up. normally it will work itself out, but it just kept getting worse and worse until I had to stop and massage it out. I thought this was a bad omen, but once it was gone, I started back up and tried to stay on line and just go at a good pace. Got out of the water in 17:30 and crossed the timing mat in 18:26.

T1: 2:18 took a little too much time here, but was still sulking about my foot cramp.

Bike: 40:14, Ended up getting 2nd in my division on the bike, didn't think it was that great, but it was windy and it must have affected everyone the same as I was really pushing the bike, the first lap and the second even more. Can't wait to see the pics as my face was just in pain the whole way. The only time I wasn't pushing hard was the last 200 yards when I pulled my feet out of the shoes to get ready to transition. I was also happy to see that there wasn't a lot of drafting out there.

T2: 1:42 Was not expecting much on the run after that hard ass bike but still I didn't dawdle here, got my socks and shoes on, took off the helmet, got my race number and hat and jogged out.

26:10 Started running and I was like wow, my legs feel good, what's up with that. I figured it wouldn't last, but still I wanted to keep a 9 min pace and try to settle in and get right around 27. I just kept going and my legs kept getting better and better. Got to the turn around in 13:36. last year it was 14:11. half way there and I just needed a 13:24 to break 27 on the way back. When I hit the water stop I grabbed some to splash on my head, took a quick swallow and picked up the pace one more time for the last 1. I was averaging 8:40 at this time and new I still had some left. Made the final left onto the main road and turned it up again. I did not want to get passed on the final stretch. But as fate would have it I was passed by one guy in my division. He flew by me and I knew I wouldn't be able to keep pace. 3 seconds later another guy went by me. But he as going just a bit faster, so I slid in behind him and tried to get ready for the final kick. We hit the final straight away and I tried to go around him, we ran neck and neck for the last 30 yards, but my legs just wouldn't go any faster and he got me on the line.

Total time 1:28:48 good for 5th in Master Clydesdale's but without that foot cramp would have gotten third. I'm over it now, but it took a while. Very happy about my bike and run, not so about the swim which is usually my strong suit. I've got woodlake coming up on the 23rd. That was my best race last year so got to be ready