Thursday, December 9, 2010

2011 Goals and stuff

1. Don't ride the bike more than 75 miles at one time. I made many a promise to my butt on those long rides this year and promises made to your butt are ones that really shouldn't be broken.
2. Have Fun. Normally this is number one, but a promise is a promise. I plan to do more short fun races with friends this year to make up for missing so many last year.
3. Get Faster. Especially on the bike, I feel I lost a ton of speed focusing on the long rides for ironman so 2011 will be all about hills and sprints on the bike.
4. Get out of the clydesdale division. I was 8lbs away this year, and then the ironman build up started, and then the ironman was over and now I'm 18 away. In the past I didn't think it was possible, but now is the time to rethink what possible means.

So there they are, only 4, but they are 4 I can do and enjoy doing. After 2010 I am in much need of a break and to just let go and have fun. so 2011 is now officially going to be called "The Year of Fun"

Friday, November 26, 2010

B2B training stats

Here is the overall totals for the training leading up to and including the Beach to Battleship Ironman.
* Swimming --- 60.43 ------ 123.16 ------ 36,000
* Biking ----- 183.20 ------ 3018.6 ------ 190,000
* Running ---- 150.63 ------ 890.08 ------ 147,000
* Core/Other - 34.50
* Totals ----- 428.76 ------ 4031.84 ----- 373,000

so about 430 hours and 4030 miles of training / racing. I am still amazed that I did all that. I have to say consistency was my greatest asset during the year. and now just for fun, a closer look into the numbers.

Average per month
swimming - 5.5 hours and 11.5 miles
Biking - 17 hours and 283 miles
Running - 14 hours and 84 miles
total 37 hours and 380 miles

over the last 3 months ( Aug,Sept,Oct), the averages were a bit higher.
swimming - 7.3 hours and 14.5 miles
biking - 23 hours and 385 miles
running - 19.5 hours and 113 miles
total 50 hours and 512 miles

Biggest Months
overall was October with 55.5 hours and 584 miles
Swim was September with 8.5 hours and 13 miles
bike and run were October with 27 biking hours and 23 running hours, 440 biking miles and 130 running miles

lets just say October was a bitch and leave it at that.

Biggest week
overall was 9/27 with 18 hours and 210.5 miles ( ouch! )
swim was 7/19 with 3 hours and 5 miles ( that's not that much ).
bike was 9/27 with 11 hours and 176 miles ( beach ride, mucho pain-o).
run was 10/18 with 6.25 hours and 37 miles

lbs of fat burned
the calorie burn is the best estimate I could find on the web if you divide that by 3500 calories to burn 1 lb of fat you get 106.5, but really I lost 15 lbs during the initial 5 months and then gained back 5 during the big build up over the last 3 months. It was just too hard to exercise that much and not eat everything in site, so my recommendation is to lose as much as you can during that first few months because it won't be as psychologically defeating when you gain some back. Worked for me, and that's all that really matters :-).

Saturday, November 20, 2010

B2B - the nutrition episode

As I was writing up my race report I was adding information about what I was eating and drinking and realized that it was adding nothing to the story. I thought about it some more and decided to take it out all together but I wanted to detail what it is I did since having nutrition not be a part of the day meant I must have done it right. Let me also say this was my first ironman so I am not by any means claiming to be an expert. Let me also say that the one thing I have learned in my 10+ years of triathlon is that everyone is different so what worked for me may or may not work for you. The best thing to do is to try different products and find the ones to work and don't work for you so in a pinch you know what you can and cannot consume.

Race Morning:
I ate my standard breakfast of grapenuts with skim milk and dried cranberries, but also added half a banana and a piece of bread. about 700 calories

I ate nothing, but I had a 8oz bottle of water with my first packet of Hornet juice that I drank at 6:30.

Accidentally swallowed plenty of salt water but while I did see a jelly fish it was too early in the swim to be tempted to grab it and eat it.

started off with 20 oz of Ultima Lemonade in my aero bottle which had packet #2 of hornet juice in it. Consumed my first cliff bar right after the bridge to make up for no food on the swim, but the plan was going to be eat small amounts every 15 minutes instead of 100-200 calories on the hour marks. The only thing I would have changed about the bike nutrition would be to use 20 oz bottles in the rear instead of the 24 oz bottles, I had plenty fluid left over and having to raise my leg that extra 4 inches to get over the taller bottles was harder than you would think after biking for a 100 miles.
all in all I ate
1 cliff bar
3 power bar triple threat bars
6 fig newtons
1 pack of peanut butter and honey crackers
1 espresso love gu
1 peanut butter and jelly sandwich at special needs stop

and I drank
20 oz ultima
48 oz gatorade
48 oz water
plus two packs of hornet juice

When I started running I felt like absolute crap. It was mostly energy and attitude from being warn down from the wind for 7 hours on the bike. I took a gel immediately and then made the decision to eat only when I was hungry. This ended up working wonderfully and I ate whatever I felt like at the time. But once again it was only a little at a time. I had all my gels squeezed out into a gel flask so I didn't have to take the whole thing at once or waste half if I didn't want the whole thing. I was also wearing my tri-shorts with the two pockets on the sides so I could store bars and crackers if I wanted those as well. The only thing that I would change about my nutrition here would have been to bring more of my own endurolytes and to take the ones provided on the course first before then ran out then I would have my own stash to get me through the end. Luckily that didn't have any adverse effects as I had all of them on the first half of the marathon and ended up not needed them for the second.
Consumed on the run
4 gu roctane vanilla orange gels
1 power bar triple threat bar
1 pack peanut butter and honey crackers
1 100 grand candy bar ( my favorite )
15 endurolytes ( all in the first half )

4 orange slices
24 oz gatorade
at least 20 oz water
2 packs hornet juice

Post race:
cliff bar protein builder
cheese burger and fries
grande mocha

All in all I burned about 14,000 calories during the race and consumed about 3500, that's about 10,000 deficit, this really got me to thinking. One pound of fat is about 3500 so that would be only 2 pounds of fat and we know that not all of those calories came from fat but from stored glycogen reserves, muscles and what I was eating throughout the day. Even with all the science we have today there is so much misinformation out there and the fact that everyone seems to be different in the way they store and burn fat it's no wonder losing weight is so hard. One of my goals next year is to get out of the Clydesdale division, I have about 15 lbs to go and thanksgiving and christmas to get past. If I can even get close to 200 lbs next year I'll count that as a victory.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Beach To Battleship Iron Distance Tri Race Report

Warning, this is going to be long, very long. For those with short attention spans you might want to print this out and take it in short bursts. What do you expect? I trained for 10 months and it took me almost 14 hours to complete, of course it's going to be a long race report.

First the numbers:
Calories burned - 13742 or 981 / hour
Calories consumed - 3560 or 254 / hour
Endurolytes consumed - 15
hornet juice - 5 packets
rank Men / Master Clydesdales
Swim 1:17:44 113 / 2
T1 10:57
Bike 7:00:37 358 / 10
T2 9:44
Run 5:17:35 237 / 3
Total 13:56:34 272 / 5

I've decided to do a separate blog entry entirely devoted to nutrition so you won't see much in here about it unless it directly relates to the situation at hand.

The Lead up:
For 10 months and two weeks I trained for this event. The first 6 were mostly fun just stay in shape and get ready for the last 4 months of hell. Truthfully it was really only the last month that was hell. I was faithful to my schedule, stayed healthy, rested when my body needed it, and pushed through when I was supposed to. I did 3 rides of 100+ miles, and 2 runs of 20+ miles so I was ready. I injured my knee on the 145 mile ride to the beach but have been on anti-inflammatories and they have been working great, I did a 100 mile ride and 20 mile run weekend on them so I wasn't worried about it. Then of course the Monday before the race I get a cold. I took the week off from exercise, I rested, I took Zircon and was hoping it would get better in time. The day before I did an easy 10 mile ride and 1 mile run just to see how I would feel and I felt great, even with the lingering symptoms from the cold so I gained some confidence for race day.

Actually slept fairly well until midnight and then it was toss and turn until 3:30 when I got up to eat breakfast. Got dressed and packed my special needs bags up and headed to the bus. The hard part about this race is the logistics so staying at the host hotel where the buses ran to and from and which is right on the run course was really the smartest thing to do for me. The wife and girl could just hang out downtown and shop, they went to the kids museum, 10 min walk, and then rest at the hotel and wait for me to get to miles 2,9,16 of the run and then take a water taxi, which my daughter loved, to the finish. Really recommend the Hilton for those with families.

Times below will be from my watch and not the same as official as I didn't hit lap when going over the mats, but rather when I felt the leg was ending/starting. They are fairly close though.

Swim: 1:15:48
The swim was advertised that it would be with a strong current. They did warn us at the pre-race meeting that the low tide was scheduled for 6:50 and it would end up being a slack tide. I am thinking I might do some analysis to compare the times from this year with last but that would only be if I have the time. Let's just say the fastest time from last year was 41:16 and slowest was 1:45 this year the fastest was 54:35 and slowest was 2:19. When we lined up to swim I could see the stand up paddle boarders where actively working to not be pushed out to sea, so the tide was still against us at the start. The First buoy was only about 50 yards out, so I waited one minute until the majority of people had started and then picked a line that would take me wide left of the buoy to avoid the huge log jam that would be forming. It was still crowded when I got there and I got my first kick in the chest from a breast stroker, it wasn't that bad and I just kept on going. I'm more of a right side breather so the plan was to move to the left so I could see the mass while breathing and thus avoid having to sight as often. This ended up being a bad decision as we were swimming north and the sun was just peeking over the hotels that we were swimming by so when I would take a breath on the right it was all glare. I didn't panic, instead I just altered to breath every third stroke and as fortune would have it there were boats and stand up boarders following us the whole way so I could stay just to the left of the mix and still sight well. There was a water tower that I was advised by Dave on the bus that would be good to sight off of so I picked it up and used it well. I quickly got into a comfortable pace and started passing people. Every so often a "left drifter" would start to push me out so I would have to speed up and get in front of them, or in the case with on particularly stubborn guy who really wanted to go off course, slow down and swim over their back to stay straight. One guy punched me in the mouth, I'm sure by accident, and probably got a bloody knuckle from it. There were a few spots on course where the water got rough and I actually got dizzy from it, but my experience with the bay bridge 4.4 mile swim saved me and I knew if I just kept going it would be ok. Finally we got to the left turn that was just passed half way. Now we would be doing the same course as the Wilmington sprint tri and I went back and read my race report from them to remind me how to navigate best to the marina where we would be getting out. The trick is to swim in the middle and not get too close to the turns since it is similar to an S curve getting there. Once again I saw a ton of people cutting corners which actually adds distance so I was happy I did my homework. When we got close I started using my legs in hopes to warm them up and get some blood into them. I hit the dock and tried to get up the ladder, but the legs were useless. Fortunately there were two volunteers helping people get out. When I finally got on the dock and stood up straight I got a big case of the dizzies and started wobbling towards the strippers. Wetsuit strippers that is. They were wonderful, at this point better than actual strippers as they undid my zipper and then pulled it down, instructed me to lay on my back and ripped it off, all in less than 15 seconds. I then hit the fresh water warm shower to get some salt off before starting towards T1. I guess it took about 2 minutes to hit the timing mat as my watch said 1:15 but official was 1:17. I heard a ton of people in the changing tent, and after the race complaining about the swim but I thought it was great.

T1: 12:37
having to jog 400 yards to the changing tent with numb toes was not fun. Luckily I had on the wetsuit booties to keep my feet warm but even with them on my toes were still cold. Finally made it to the tent and got my bag to change. Tried to dry off as best I could and change, after I got off my booties my toes really started to freeze, because I was so cold I probably put on too much. I had an undershirt/long sleeve cycling jersey and a vest on top, just shorts on the bottom and gloves. Then jogged over to the bike where my socks and shoes awaited.

Bike: 7:01:36
My bike computer says 6:40:38, so all the stops you get to read about took about 20 minutes off my time. Average speed while riding was 16.8, including the stops it was 16 mph which is exactly what I thought it would be. This leg was the toughest for me, mentally and physically. As mentioned above I injured my knee on a 145 mile ride to the beach but ironically it wasn't my knee that bothered me during the race. I hate the bike, ok I don't actually hate the bike, but after 3 hours I am not happy. Looking back at it I think I was in that mindset from at least August on. If I could pinpoint one thing I would have changed it would be my mental attitude towards the long bike rides. The bike started off ok. The wind was out of the North at about 10 mph and by the beach there isn't much to break it up so if you are going north you get a head wind so we started off going north into the headwind that would suck they life out of me for the next 80 miles. We did get one break when we hit the section that went on I140. That was actually quite nice to be just riding with a cross wind. It was cool to enter on the interstate on the bike, the cops had traffic stopped while you went from the on-ramp and over to the far left lane. When there was a break in the bike line they would let the cars go and they had to stay in the right lane. There was a line of cones to the left of the line separator so we had some room between us and the cars doing 70+ mph just 4 feet away. At one point I was riding two feet from the cones with at least 5 feet to my left before the painted line when I heard someone yell "on your left", I looked to my left and saw there was plenty of room for him to pass so I just nodded my head and said come on by, but the dufus yells "on your left" again. Whatever bonehead there's plenty of room for you to go by I ain't moving over any closer to those crazy pissed off bastards in their death machines who were late getting home to watch all their recorded shows. Finally he went by and made a point of shaking his head like I did something wrong, yeah one if every crowd. After the fun on the interstate we turned onto hwy 421 and started going North again, right into the wind. It was relentless, not gusting, but a constant break applied to your forward progress. Finally we got to turn off and it eased a bit, but then around mile 45 we turned onto 210 and started going, you guessed it, FUCKING NORTH. Luckily the special needs hand-off was at mile 51 so we got a break. I got off, stretched, bathroom break, filled my water bottles found an angel to let me borrow some Shammy butter and started back into the wind again. As I was heading out of transition I saw I guy going out without his helmet. I yelled up ahead, stop that guy without the helmet! some of the volunteers looked at me so I yelled it again, they just turned around and kept handing out the water and heed. luckily another biker heard me and alerted the guy who stopped and went back. Luckily the bike ref was not there or he would have been DQ'd. So back into the wind I went. I kept telling myself that when we turned off 210 we would get a tailwind and everything would be alright. Alas this was not come true for another 20 miles. Somewhere around mile 70, I just lost it. I was swearing up a storm and saying I wanted off this bike and was ready to call my wife to tell her to come pick me up I was quitting. I pulled out my phone in a last ditch effort to call her to get some support and I looked at it and it said "no service". I can't tell you how long the list of swear words was that I had for AT&T at that moment because it was just too long. I did notice that I had received 2 txt msg's while I had service so I went to look at them. The first one from my wife saved my race, it read "please let me know you are ok. Text me whenever you can. I LOVE YOU very much". Well that was just what I needed to hear, I mean how could I possible quit now? After all the sacrifices she had to make all hear to help me get here, it wasn't just about me anymore. I typed out a message to her "Honey that was exactly what I needed to hear right now. you saved me. I LOVE YOU" hit send. but "no service" mother fucking AT&T you suck. Anyway I told her later, and I know you are not supposed to txt and cycle, but that was not going to stop me. Finally we turned out of the wind and into a strong tailwind. It felt so much better and then I saw the 80 mile marker and just stopped. I had to get off, use the facilities, tree, and stretch out my back, neck, it bands, and mostly my hip flexors. After about a 5 minute break I got back on and felt refreshed. I decided I would stop at the next 10 mile markers and do the same. It really helped my mental attitude and I think it definitely helped set up my run. At the mile 100 marker I was relieving myself, tree again, and I hear someone yell out "Bill Reid". It was Karyn, my partner in crime for all these long months of training. I was beginning to wonder what happened to her as I expected her to pass me much sooner on the bike so I was happy it was this late in the race as I wouldn't have to run so fast to catch her on the run. The next 12 miles went by too quickly and soon I was approaching the traffic and two bridges that needed to be climbed to get to the battleship. It actually felt good to get out of the saddle so I stood and climbed both. I rolled into T2 still not feeling great, but determined to at least run to the Hilton at mile 2.5 so I could see the family. I just have to say this one more time. I HATE THE BIKE

T2: 8:43
Pulling into T2 someone grabbed my bike and helmet and pointed me towards the changing tent. There weren't a lot of volunteers here and I was a bit confused at this point so it took me a while to find my bag and get into the tent. Both the mens and ladies tents were small and didn't have doors that could close so while they were covered, they didn't provide much cover, but at this point who really cared. I got those stupid ass bike shorts off and put on my tri running shorts with a ton of shammy butter and then applied some body glide to the nipples and around the waist were my race belt sits to avoid chaffing. Changed my shirt and shoes and headed on out. I had to txt the wife to let her know I was 25 minutes away and then tried to find some water to fill up the bottles on my race belt, but no luck. Karyn said the ladies tent had them stacked up on the table, but the mens side was out. But it wasn't long till I got to an aid station so it wasn't too bad, but at the time it was the end of the world. Finally time for the run.

Run: 5:17:43
I crossed the timing mat and said out loud and now I start my second marathon ever. Those first two miles sucked bad, after a short jog I came upon my favorite bridge, it was steep and long, I still felt like crap so once again out loud I said "I am making an executive decision that I will be walking this bridge both times", you can just assume from now on that when ever I say "I said" or "said to myself" that is was out loud, I was in my own little world. So my first mile was 12:35, not good, but not bad either and my legs were not adverse to running so the downhill felt fine but then bridge number two appeared. Holy shit do I have to do this again on the second lap? Yes you do dumb-ass, I said to myself, in face you have to do over those bridges 4 times. On the second half of the first bridge I started imagining that if I pretend to trip I could just all off right here and then I wouldn't have to run the other 24.5 miles and I wouldn't have to deal with having quit. But the easy way out did not win over and I kept going. Mile two was 11:20, hey, I picked it up! woo hoo! those two miles are the only two splits I remember, in fact I have no clue about any other mile splits and I don't care to know. Good lord has anyone else noticed this race report is really long? and I still have 24 miles to go... I made the right hand turn at mile two and everything was about to change. I saw my coach, Brennan Liming, and she came up and asked how I was doing, I gave her the not so good, but I'm still moving forward answer and she said, "ok, just keep going" not much help there, but seconds later I here "GO BILL" and she keeps yelling that for the next 300 yards, that put a huge smile on my face and just then I hear the volunteer up ahead say to the lady in front of me at the turn "Good job number 202" wait, Karyn is 202, could that possible be her? and just like that she turns around and sees me 20 yards behind.

she slowed a bit and I caught her and we would end up running together until the 13.1 mark. On top of that good news it was now only 300 yards until I got to see the family. I came up and saw the wife and girl with camera ready, posed for a couple pics,

tried to get a hug from the kid who wisely declined, then got a big kiss from the old lady and sprinted, sprint being relative, off to catch back up to Karyn. The crowds on the Riverwalk were awesome full of energy and cowbells and I was running with my training buddy and on top of world. We still took our scheduled walk breaks to eat/drink and at the steep sections, but mostly we were running our normal talk capable training pace. In fact when we got to the 1/4 mark at 6.5 miles we were 1:11, I did the math and if we kept that pace we could do a 4:44, of course both of us knew that wasn't going to happen, but 5 hours was in reach. The bridges would have the final say in that and since you already saw the final run time you know that didn't happen. The lake greenfield section was my favorite, slow steady ups and downs, just like the tobacco trail we had done our long runs on so I was really happy at this point and sent a txt to the wife at a walk break that we were 20 minutes away. Once again when we went by the hotel I got a high five from the girl and some more pics taken. Saw the coach and Karyn's husband and got pumped up from the crowds. Of course the bridges took some out of us and Karyn's stomach started to bug her so she told me at the special needs hand-off that she was taking a longer break and for me to just go on. I didn't want to leave her, but I also wanted her to be able to do what she had to do with feeling guilty about slowing me down and then not be able to take care of herself, so I got my crackers, arm warmers and head lamp out of my special needs bag and headed off solo. I think at this point I was at 2:25 for the run, so we slowed but not by much. Running solo for me is no big deal, especially 13.1 miles and with the volunteers, crowds, my family and coach to see again I was still feeling great. Such a difference from the bike. I did walk both the bridges again as an executive decision is an executive decision after all. I cruised by the family for the last time and told them I would finish in about an hour forty five, but then I looked at my watch and thought that would put me in under 5 hours for the marathon and there was no way that was going to happen so I turned to my daughter who was running with me on the sidewalk and said, "tell mommy I meant 2 hours" she said ok and went back to tell her. I love her. Then I saw my coach and told her I felt better starting this lap then the first one, she said great, keep going. Sage advise... After a few more "GO BILL" 's I was on my way to the final turn around. This lap was definitely harder, I had to force myself to keep going at points and to take advantage of downhill sections even when it was time to walk because I really felt breaking 14 was in reach but I needed to put some time in the bank for that last bridge. I have no idea what the time was at the 3/4 turn around this time, but I did see Karyn who was about I would guess 3-4 minutes behind me at this point and was looking good. A quick high five and passing and back to the grind. When I got to mile 20 I took a picture of the sign and posted to twitter/facebook with the caption "and then there were six" Yes, I am insane.

This time passing the Hilton there was no family, but coach B was there and she ran with me for about a mile and kept me company and focused. We parted just before the first of the bridges with just under 2 miles to go and 27 minutes to make it under 14 hours. I didn't know at the time but Karyn was only about 400 yards behind me at this point and would get even closer by the finish. The second bridge took it out of me, even walking up it was hard at this point, but at the top there was less than a mile to go, 15 minutes to break 14 hours and nothing was going to make me walk again until the finish. After getting passed by hundreds of people on the bike, I was steadily passing walkers and joggers the whole run. But for some reason in the final mile I got passed by 3 people. I had nothing left, no sprint, could not pick up the pace, just kept running. I didn't care that they passed me I was just amazed that they could pick it up like that after so long. They obviously didn't go hard enough during the race. I did txt the wife while walking up that I would be done in 10-15 minutes so they were there and ready for me when I came in. I came upon the mile 26 sign and still didn't see the finish shoot. what the hell is this? some cruel joke? I mean I can hear the announcer and crowds, but can't see a thing. One guy assured me it was just ahead after that turn, but I wasn't believing anyone I just needed to see it. and then finally there it was, I made the turn, heard my name, but nothing else that the announcer said, gave some high fives to the spectators and crossed the line with a big ass smile on my face. Just then all the tired hit and every muscle in my face went limp and I could feel the exhausted expression take over and POOF there goes the finish line picture. can't wait to see that one... So there ya have it, I'll try to get a couple more out with post race thoughts and of course the nutrition blog, but I think this one is long enough as is. If you made it this far, thanks for coming by and reading, please leave a comment so I know you were here. This one really meant a lot.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Anna's Angels 10 mile race report

I guess I'm a bit behind on this one, but time is something I don't have and probably won't have much of until taper begins in 4 weeks time.

I wasn't actually planning to run the race this year but at the last minute my coach was like why don't you do the race, it's on your recovery week so just go do it. That was enough. Last year I had a great race and remember the course fondly so I was excited. Well, until the morning off anyway.

Woke up not feeling all that great and the weather was a bit warmer than predicted so driving to the race I was not that thrilled. My plan was to do a 1.5 mile warm up then race at tempo pace and 1.5 mile cool down. My coach told me not to kill myself since I needed to be ready for the next week of ironman training so since I did 1:28 last year my goal was to be in the 1:27. I read last year's race report so I had an idea what to expect on the course. Miles 1, 6, 9 were hard, 2 and 10 easy and the rest rolling, at least that is what I wrote in last years report.

I had the Garmin on this year and wanted to go out with 9 min miles and pick it up as I started feeling better. I lined up just in front of the 9 min pace flag and when the gun went off I just tried to run comfortable without looking at my watch and ease into it. Well I was feeling really comfortable running up the hill that runs from .5 to 1 so I looked at my pace and I was doing 8:20. Oops, well it doesn't hurt and I'm in the rhythm so why not? I decided to keep my pace and ease up at the top of the hill. Mile 1 was 8:27, mile 2 is mostly downhill with a slight up at the end so I eased up and just did an 8:34, it felt a lot easier after the 8:27 up so I was happy, but still a bit nervous about running 10 seconds per mile faster than my goal so I backed off even more for mile 3. I met and passed "Hairy Man" on this mile. He was ahead of me the first 2.5 miles and I was gradually catching him, but for some reason he was running just outside the cones and of course cutting every corner. At one point a cop yelled at him and told him to stay within the cones and after that he did. A lady passed me at this point and said "hey there's hairy man" she said he does that at every race. So that's how he got his name. Mile 3 8:50. Felt good and recovered so it was time to pick it up and just in time for the rolling to really get started. I didn't remember mile 4 being that hard but Frank had said it looked hard on the elevation chart so that might have influenced my thinking, but still 8:42 felt good. I knew mile 6 was going to be hard so I eased up on mile 5 which ended up being mostly downhill to flat and did a 8:39, people were going by me but I somehow managed to control myself and not give chase. I would catch most of them on mile 9 anyway. Mile 6 starts with a long uphill, then a short break of flat/down before ending with another uphill section. slowest split of the day at 8:52. Mile 7 and 8 were just plain wonderful, flat and/or down so I was able to recover, get some water and gu in me and prepare for mile 9. miles 7 and 8, 8:33 and 8:32. Mile 9 is long slog up to the interstate overpass and then a bit more up and since I read last years report I knew to get into the climbing rhythm right away and it paid off, about half way through I was passing all those people that passed me from miles 5 - 8, some where walking and others just hanging on. I just said "good job" and kept my pace and focus on myself and before I knew it I was at the start of the last mile. Mile 9 8:31. That 8:31 gave me serious confidence for the last mile and while I was at mile 9 at 1:20 last year, this year I was at 1:17:58. Last year I hauled ass down the hill only to suffer and slow on the last .3 rolling to an uphill finish, so this year I sped up, but kept it in check and when I hit the rolling section I was able to pick up the pace and finish strong. Mile 10 - 8:06. Total time was 1:26:04. I beat last years time by 2:04 and I didn't even kill myself. Just goes to show you never know what kind of race you'll have until you have it.

Probably could have done an 8:30 pace for this race so next year I'll be back to kill myself and see what I can do, but I think an 8:30 paced half marathon is in my future also, can't wait for next year so I can use all these miles I am putting on to add some extra speed.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Patriot's Half IronMan - long version

What follows could get very long and full of details. My thoughts are rolling through my head and I want to get them down in hopes of piecing together what if anything I may have been able to do differently. You have been warned.

The Friday before I took the day off from work to finish packing and prep the house and cats for a weekend alone. We picked the girl up from school after lunch and headed up to Williamsburg. It's a 4 hour drive and traffic as not bad. Checked into the Great Wolf Lodge and headed to the race site for package pickup. Picked up the package with no issues and even bought two pairs of sock guy socks for $5. Then we headed to Ruby Tuesday's for dinner. I had a chicken Parm and a sangria. Everything seemed to be going great. I felt a slight twinge in my lower back from the drive and probably should have stretched it out a bit before bed. Back at the lodge, the girls went to the arcade and I spent some time getting everything ready for the morning. Mixing drinks, putting stickers on, getting out clothes and so on. Hit the bed at 9PM right on time with a wake up scheduled for 4AM.

Race Morning woke up at 4, ate my normal breakfast of grapenuts with dried cranberries 16 oz of water and added half a banana. Packed up the car and headed out right on time at 5. Once at the race site and in transition I had everything setup and ready with 30 minutes to spare. I put on the wetsuit, chugged 8 oz of hornet juice and ate a gel. Headed down to the swim start and got in a nice easy warmup in the bay. The water temp was announced as 74 degrees. I heard a bunch of people saying 74 was generous and how did they come up with that? As if they had some internal thermometer. The air temp was still in the 50's so of course the water felt warm. But no one was complaining about getting to wear their wetsuit. I saw one girl close to shore squatting in the shallows with a strange smile on her face, obviously taking a pee break. Can you make it a little less obvious? I mean walk out 10 more feet and you don't even have to squat. anyway onto the race...

times below are the official times from the race results, I race in the master's Clydesdale division and there were 18 total in that division.

Swim: 39:11 - 6/18
the swim was actually quite nice. They have a nice wide open area to warmup in and to start so the pack was spread out wide and I had no issues of getting kicked at all. The first turn buoy was a long way out which meant the pack was lined up and once again no issues making the first turn. We swam with the current after the first turn, but the sun had just started coming up and it was bright so finding that second buoy was tough. Once I found it, it was smooth sailing to it but then after the second turn we were heading to shore but now we were swimming directly into the sun. I couldn't find the exit for about half the swim until I stopped in the water and shaded the sun with my hand and located. Luckily the exit was right at a perfect spot to sight and I cruised in. Now getting out of the water was tough. It was so shallow we had to walk about 50 yards through the water to get to shore, took me about a minute and my quads were not happy.

T1: 3:19 3/18
T1 was hike from the swim exit so most people's times were in the 3 minute plus time. I didn't mess around, ran to transition, stripped off the wetsuit and got the bike ready to go. no muss no fuss.

Bike: 2:54:34 7/18
As I was heading out of transition, I hit some strange combination of keys on my bike computer and just like that it stopped working. I played around with it for the first mile trying to get it to work, but was unsuccessful so I just had to let it go. I told myself just go by feel and off I went. The only indication of how fast I was going would be at the 5 mile markers where I could do some math and try to figure out my speed over the last 5 miles. The first 5 miles went by and I was at 15 minutes. oops that means 20 mph, a bit too fast, but my legs were feeling good, so I wasn't too concerned. I consciencely slowed and let some people go. Yelled at few people who were insisting on drafting, and some were very obvious about it. Next up was mile 10 and I was under 30 minutes, so my attempt to slow did not work, but I would find out later it was due to the wind being at my back on the out part and of course that meant it would be in my face on the way back, but I wouldn't find that out for another 30 miles or so. I pulled out my power bar and started eating. It wasn't easy and as I was chewing, @andresduquepc12 from twitter went by me. I tried to yell at him, but my mouth was full and I don't think he heard me. He started 9 minutes ahead of me, but swimming is not his strong suit. ok, some more slowing and drinking and eating and the next thing I know I'm at mile 20 in 1:01 and still feeling good. Now the rolling part starts. I still haven't shifted out of the big ring, but I did stand a couple times so I could give my legs a break. It was rolling from 20 - 40 with some rough spots on the roads, but overall a nice ride. I picked up a water bottle at mile 36 and refilled my aero bottle. So far I've had 20 oz of ultima, 24 oz of gatorade and 16 oz of water. Over the next 17 miles I still have another 24 oz of gatorade to go. so all told I had 98 oz of fluid over the 3 hours. Also during 20-40 I had my fig newtons. I had slowed a bit now and I think at mile 40 I was at 2:03, so still a very good time and ahead of my planned pace, but the last 17 miles would be into the wind and slow me down a bit. There was a problem with traffic in this section and I had to slow to avoid cars several times, but the roads where once again really nice. I was now starting to catch some of the people that went flying by me in the beginning. With 5 miles togo I decided to go with the gel instead of the last powerbar as I wasn't really hungry, but I did want some more calories. So a Gu Roctane went in. the last few miles were torture on my butt. I really just wanted it to end but I still hadn't shifted out of the big ring, so I guess the claim that you wouldn't need to shift out was true. I was hoping to get a 2:50, but since the course was really 57 I didn't feel too bad about the 2:54 and I was very happy to get off the bike. As I was pulling into transition I heard the announcer call out that @andresduquepc12 was headed out for his run, so I guess he finished the bike about 2 minutes ahead of me.

T2: 2:54 12/18
This was my lowest ranking and due to the fact that I had to stop to use the port a john. Considering that 2:54 was not bad. At my last half my T2 was over 5 minutes so this was a big improvement. I just noticed that my T2 was 2:54 and my bike was 2:54, of course the bike was 2 hours and 54 minutes but still...

Run: 2:17:19 8/18
started off the run feeling good, the first part we had to run next to the path that the bikes were going out and coming in on so we were on the grass. after about a half mile we hit the real running trail and my ankles were much happier. Got to mile 1 and I looked down thinking I was going to be around 9:30 and my watch said 8:50, ok, slow down and just go easy. Mile two comes up just as we turn onto an offroad section. the path is nice packed dirt and completely shaded. My watch said 17:50, I was a little concerned because I didn't want to be going that fast, but my legs felt good, so I didn't think too much about it. I was cruising along thinking I should start drinking my gatorade when boom! my right hamstring cramps up out of nowhere. Normally when my legs cramp, I can feel it coming on slowly until it happens, not this time. I had to stop and stretch it out. After about a minute I straightnd up and started to walk. I walked through the rest area and got some water and orange slices, and then started to run again. I'm not sure what caused the cramp, but it did not come back again, so I'm going to chalk that one up as a freak occurance. The thing that was really starting to worry me was that my stomach was not being receptive to food or drink. I hit mile three and was still at 29 minutes, considering the long stop and walk I was quite happy. when I got to mile 4 the plan was to run to the mile marker and then walk until I hit the 10 min pace. So I got to mile 4 at 38:30 so I walked 1:30, forced in a couple sips of gatorade and then started to run again. Mile 5 came on in 48 minutes so I was really running well, but the no food thing was really wearing on me, so after a 2 minute walk and some more forced gatorade it was time to run again. There were plenty of rest stops and I was able to get some orange slices down, but after the rest stop at mile 6, no more solid food would go down. I couldn't even think about a gel. At mile 7 I was still doing well, I think I was at 68 minutes when I got to the marker and rest area, so I tried taking a long 3 minute walk in hopes that my stomach might come around after a long break, but nothing doing, all I could manage was some more gatorade. I had managed over the first half to get down 12 oz of gatorade and I just hoped it would get me through. After that long walk I decided to run the next two miles straight through and started repeating my mantra of "Kick ass - don't cry" that I got from my buddy dr. dre ( AndreaDuke15 on twitter ), this worked great but on the trail part, around the spot I got my cramp, I passed a guy who was just hurling like mad, this did not do my stomach well at all but I got to mile 9 at 87 minutes. That's when it all came apart. I walked a minute and took some gatorade, but now my stomach was not liking that either, so no more gatorade for the last 4 miles either. I started back running and after about 3 minutes my legs just said no more, we are done. I had to walk for about 5 minutes before I was able to jog again. Gone now was the run to the mile marker plan and all I could do was jog as long as I could, then walk till I recovered. I was lightheaded and a bit nausous, but I didn't feel dehydrated or over heated which is normally my problem so I just kept moving forward. When I got to mile 11 I had 26 minutes to get back and still break 6 hours. This gave me some hope and was able to put together a long run stretch of about 6 minutes before it was back to jog/walk again. Finally got to the half mile to go and still had 8 minutes to go so I ran through the water stop and dumped a bunch of water on my head and then walked until I thought I could run to the finish and that's what I did. They was a photographer at the finish line and asked if I wanted to take a picture with my medal. I was like not right now, and he looked at me like I was crazy. I just wanted to get some water and head down to the river to soak.

Total Time: 5:57:15 7/18
At the time I was very disappointed because I thought I could have broken 5:50, but in retrospect I'm very pleased. My initial goal was 6 hours and I beat that by 2:45. I've been putting a lot of thought into what I did wrong to not be able to eat or drink like I should on the run and all I can come up with is I drank too much and went too hard on the bike. With the lower temps and humidity I suspect I was not sweating nearly as much as I usually do, in fact I remember seeing other people with salt all over their shorts and looking at mine and not seeing it. I had about 33 oz per hour and I think 20 is about my norm in training so I should have been a bit more careful. I'm just not used to being in that position, especially after this summer from heel. Also I've been average just about 17 mph for my long rides, so the 19+ was probably more that I was ready for. If I could have taken 6 extra minutes over the last 5 miles I probably could have finished my run in 2:05. My legs were functioning well and besides the one cramp issue, I had no muscle issues, just energy and dizzyness. This definetly gives me some things to work on in training over the next two months leading up to the ironman. I hope to have at least 2 more long bricks to test out some theories and get some nutrition practise in.

Patriots half IM race report - short version

welcome to the short version, the long version containing the many thoughts that have been going through my head will take a bit longer to put out and hopefully won't be as disorganized as I think it will be.

first off let me say I would recommend this race to everyone. It has something for everyone, it was wetsuit legal, a relatively flat bike course with some nice rollers and a totally flat well stocked and fairly well shaded run course.
The times that follow are unofficial and basically what showed up on my watch...

Swim: 39:05 - the swim was actually quite nice. They have a nice wide open area to warmup in and to start so the pack was spread out wide and I had no issues of getting kicked at all.

T1: 3:15 - let's just say it was a long run back to transition, and I had to remove the wetsuit, so 3:15 was actually quite good.

Bike: 2:54:18
The bike was really nice. A mostly flat course billed as you won't have to shift out of your big ring, and I didn't. Felt great on the bike, the last few miles were tough and it measured out as 57+ miles instead of 56, but overall I liked it.

T2: 3:03
This included a quick Port o potty stop so not bad considering my last half IM I had a 5 minute T2.

Run: 2:17:28
The run is where it all fell apart for me and to go into details would take way too long, for the short version I'll just say my nutrition plan needs to be adjusted. Was on pace for a 2:05 half IM at mile 9 and then boom, 2:17. So while I am thrilled I broke 6 hours it just leaves a bad taste in my mouth that I could have done much better.

total time: 5:57:10
Just under my 6 hour goal, but I really felt like 5:50 was possible. I really need to get a handle on my nutrition if I am going to be able to finish the Iron-man in November.

I bet you can't wait for the long version...

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Race Plan

Visualization is a big part of my races these days. Generally I write down a race plan and read it every night leading up to a big race and try to visualize myself executing the plan and anticipating any problems that could occur and what to do if they pop up.
The Swim: My start time is 7:09. Get in the water and warmup with some easy swimming. The course will be a rectangle with all left turns so try to line up on the right. I tend to drift left when I swim so starting on the right will keep me on the right side of the buoys and out of the washing machine start. Don't get caught up in the scrum and sprint at the start. Go easy and stay steady. Sight often and keep buoys in sight. After making last turn towards the shore start adding in some kicking to get the blood flowing into the legs again so they are ready to run out of the water.
goal time 38 minutes
T1: There is a long run to transition, so get the goggles and cap off and go. If wetsuit is on, start stripping down to waist while jogging. Wetsuit off, shirt on. Helmet fastened, then glasses and shoes. Take a quick gel and sip of water then go.
Bike: Stay steady just below the burn for this first 25 miles, then the rolling section occurs. strong up the hills and recovery down. The way back is a gradual decrease in elevation so it's hammer time. power bar at 45 minutes, fig newtons at 1:30 and depending on stomach power par triple threat or gel at 2:20.
goal time 2:50
T2: Don't forget your race number. socks and shoes on, grab hat and fuel belt. fuel belt should have two gatorades filled and two empty bottles with just the powder to fill on the course.
Run: gel every 3.5 - 4 miles, start off around 9:30 and pick up the pace when feeling good. It's a two loop course so pay attention on first loop and be ready for the grind on the second. Ice in the hat if they have it at the rest stops and keep hydrated.
goal time 2:15
goals for this race
of course finishing is the number one goal but 6 hours is definitely in reach and if I'm having a good day I think I can get 5:45 but there are many factors in this, including length issues in course measurement, weather and mechanical issues. Don't get caught up in the time during the race, just go at a strong pace that you can hold for 6 hours and go as fast as possible.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

10 Things I Love about the Taper

I know most people hate to taper, but I love it. Here are 10 reasons why
1) I wake up in the morning and I'm not sore or tired.
2) I can do my Yasso 800's and JOG all the recoveries.
3) After track I actually want to do the whole cool down.
4) I can finish my long run and not have my shoes be soaked with sweat.
5) No chafing.
6) I can sit in my chair and not feel saddle sores
7) Doing the race plan and visualizing the race course builds excitement without the pain.
8) I Have time to write a blog entry.
9) No chafing ( this is most important and worth two ).
10) My brain actually works well enough that I can think of 10 things.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

August Stats

Finally August is over and I survived the 3 weeks from hell, but barely.
let's see how the numbers went.
Minutes Miles
Swimming 445 14
Biking 1396 389
Running 1092 104

total time 49 hours
total distance 507 miles

Holy shit did I just do all that?
once again biggest month ever in miles and time for all three. The biggest week was the week of August 9th with almost 15 hours and 155 miles, not sure how I survived that one...

luckily I have a half ironman to do in September so it will be an easier month. yes that did feel odd to say that. Looks like the week after the half IM will be the hardest with a 16 mile run and 100 mile bike for that weekend.

The fun continues...

Saturday, July 31, 2010

July stats

July marked the first official month of my ironman training and now it is over and it's time to look back at the numbers.
Monthy stats Time in mins miles
Swimming 406 13
Biking 1131 315
Running 798 78
Totals Time in hours Miles
38.92 406
Since I haven't publishing this yet This has been my biggest month by far this year.
400 miles and almost 39 hours - I was wondering why I was so tired this month. And when you factor in the heat and humidity I feel better knowing there is a reason for it.
For comparison - my biggest month previously was May at 32.5 hours and June with 356 miles. I have 3 more miles of swimming and 35 more miles on the bike than past highs. May was my longest month on the run with 85 and still is.
The week of July 12th was my biggest week to date with 11 hours and 120 miles.
I just got a sneak peak at my August and other than the first week which is a recovery week, it's going to eclipse July.
I definitely need to take this recovery week seriously and not to a lot of volume or intensity so I can be ready for the rest of the month. Luckily I have a Half Ironman on September 11 so I will get a chance to back off and recovery again for the 1 week of taper and hopefully coach will be nice and give me a recovery week after.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Mid Year Recap

With 6 months of the year gone it's time to look back to see if I'm on track. First a look at the numbers

Averages Monthly Hours Monthly Miles
Swimming 4.62 9.75
Biking 13.89 225.76
Running 11.68 70.64
Total 30.19 306.14

Biggest week miles June 14 - 111 miles
Biggest week hours June 21 - 10.5 hours

Biggest month miles June - 356 miles
Biggest month hours May - 32.4 hours

1) My number one goal this year is consistency. So far if missed 8 scheduled workouts due to sickness or injury or just being plain worn out. I'd say that is a win so far.
2) Work on your mind - Positive thinking, visualization and not sabotaging my own training and racing have all been on track and I think have really helped this year.
3) Eating better - I have had a few transgressions, but in general I've been eating much better and have lost 10 lbs since January without calorie restriction.
4) Work on the core - started off really well with this one, but when the races started coming it has dropped off. With only 3 races in the 2nd half of the year I need to pick this back up and be more consistent with them. I might add them to my calendar instead of just doing them when I had the time. I think I need that constant reminder

Race results for the first half of the year were great for me so I would say I just need to keep doing what I've been doing, refocus a bit every now and then and that Iron Distance race will be mine.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Tidewater Internation tri race report

Distance was a little odd for this race.
1500 meter swim / 21 mile bike / 10 k run - so not officially an olympic distance, but close enough.

Had to travel to Virginia Beach for this race, and it was on a Saturday so the schedule was a bit hectic, but we managed to get up there, eat some pasta, check into the hotel and get settled just before 10pm, so I was happy to be getting close to 6 hours of sleep. Woke up race morning at 4:20, watched the weather channel until 4:30 then got up to eat. That's when I realized I forgot to stop and get milk and water for breakfast. Went out of the room to check for vending options, but they only had ice. Downstairs everything was closed and I could not see anything close out the doors. Luckily the tap water did not suck and I went ahead and had my grapenuts with dried cranberries with just water. In a pinch it ended up being not bad. Then started the packing up process and was out the door right on schedule at 5:30.
Arrived at race site at 6am and parked and was in transition in no time. One snag that bugged me was they advertised on the site women's specific sizes and since my wife is small and always complains that she never gets a shirt that fits I ordered a woman's small. When I went to pick it up the lady looked at it funny, then up at me and I said, "yes I asked for a woman's small, it's from my wife" she said, "oh okay, I need a woman's small" response was we are out of woman's small but he can have a men's small. I said if you can't give me what I ordered, give me an extra large. The woman was like you can't change sizes, so I said ok, I asked for a woman's small, give me what I ordered. She looked a bit confused then went to ask someone. She came back with, take the small and come back at 7, side note race starts at 7, and we will try to exchange it. So I took it, then went back 2 minutes later to someone else and said, "they gave me the wrong size". he looked at me, then at the small and said, yes they did, what size do you want. XL please, here you go.
So luckily the rest of the day was uneventful, at least until the results...
On to the fun stuff
Total time: 2:27:07

Swim: 26:44 - The swim was a two loop 750 meter course. with a short run in the middle. The first loop I nailed my sighting and directions and swam straight to the two turn buoys, I jogged back to the start and looked at my watch and saw 13:00. The second loop was not as smooth. I had the bright idea to swim left and let the current carry me to the turn buoy. I guess there was no current as I went way left and wasted some time getting to the first buoy. I hit the turn and knew I was behind so I picked up the pace and pushed all the way back. Ended up going 44 seconds slower on the second lap so my bad directions cost me about a minute.

T1: 2:31 - long jog to transition, full wetsuit to remove, then helmet, glasses, shoes and go.

Bike: 1:00:48 - This also was two lap course and it was an out and back. It was all flat and there was not much wind, so very fast. Early on I had picked up a shadow and didn't want to get a drafting penalty so I put in a couple surges and lost him. then on the second loop one guy went by me and I tried to hand on, at legal distance of course, and this helped me pick up the pace again. Just under 21 mph ave it was one of my fastest bike splits, so I was very happy. But the run in the humidity was about to come.

T2: 1:51 - pushed hard on the bike so this transition went slower than I would have liked, but nothing went wrong and I remembered my number and hat, so I'll take it.

Run: 55:15 - guess what, another 2 lap out and back flat course. Started off ok, legs felt heavy, but not bad and after 1/2 mile I started getting smoother and feeling better. First mile was 8:35 so I said to myself when I get to mile 2 I'll walk until 18 minutes since my goal was to break a 9 min pace for the run if I could run an 8:30 with a walk every two miles I would be right on, but I got to mile 2 at 17:15 and was feeling good so I just kept running and decided to walk when I got done with lap 1 at the water stop. But once again I got to mile 3 at 25:05 and had a nice cushion of almost 2 minutes, but I just couldn't stop and walk in front of all those people, so I kept going. Mile 4, then 5 came and went still no walking, still kept saying I'll walk at the next water stop. But then finally I turned onto the final stretch with about 1/2 mile to go into a head wind and I had just gotten water and it was still in my hand so it happened, I stopped and walked while I drank and mentally got ready for the final push. started running again and hit mile 6 at 52 minutes I was thinking I would finish under 54, but someone apparently messed up the course marking as the final .2 took me 3:15. still broke the 9 minute per mile goal with an 8:53.

If you like flat and fast, this is the race for you. At just under Olympic distance, 21 on the bike instead of 24 something, you can really fly. In fact the swim had more hills on it than either the bike or run.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Gary Kirby Sprint Tri - Race Report

Finish time 1:08:14. Wanted to break 1:10:00 so very happy with my time. It was a great race and fsseries, the volunteers and participants were all great. I had one negative and I want to get it out of the way first. They seem to do this at all races, and it's not just fsseries. when they post results they don't put category and they never post a break down of age groups. And this race, they didn't give out age group awards so I finally put together a really good race and I am still wondering how I did in my age group? Once you have the final results it just can't be that difficult to print them out and post them. but like I said, other than that it was an awesome day. So on to the race.

PreRace: it was a small race and I arrived in plenty of time to get my packet and setup my transition area. The bike course was 4 laps of a 3 mile loop so I figured I would ride one loop as warmup and get a preview of the course. Well I got lost as the marking was not that great. Backtracked my way to transition and was nice and warm. I went looking for a race map when I got back but none were available. Odd? I found a staff member and told them my concern and he assured me there would be plenty of volunteers to show us the way during the race. So onto the pool to do some warmup laps.

Swim: 5:17 - wanted to do sub 5 but if you count getting out of the pool and running to the mat I think I would have been close enough. The side to go under the lane lines was on the opposite side of what I was used to so it took about 5 laps to get used to and then just when I got the hang of it, it was time to get out.

T1: 00:45 - I was number 26 and number 28 passed 27 and was right on my heels so we both sped through transition without any problems and were onto the bike.

Bike: 34:42 - My first 21 mph race ever. I was worried about the 4 loops course, but really enjoyed knowing what was to come each lap and had a great bike. Legs were feeling awesome and really pushed it. The course was basically a flat section followed by a hill, followed by a downhill. The hill was long, but not steep so I could stay in the big ring and aero the whole way. There were two traffic circles on the downhill that I needed to come out of the aero bars on, but it was easy to keep the speed up. Really enjoyed the 4 lap course as the spectators were cheering loudly each lap. And like they said no problems getting lost :-)

T2: 1:06 - Yes I did put socks on, I figured it would cost me 10 seconds and that was about right, but I was very happy to not have blisters after the race.

Run: 26:26 - This was hard, no other way to put it. First mile I was trying to keep pace with a 17 year old guy who I had found out early played lacrosse at this high school, I went by him at mile 1 and he said. "This is so hard" He was number 4 so made up a bunch of time on him. first mile was 8:50 Next I was chasing number 17 ( I think), she was a 14 year old girl who I had passed coming in on the bike but she ran out of transition just before me. She stopped to walk at about 1.5 and I never saw her again. It was hot and very humid. Not really hilly, but I felt each one. At the mile two water stop I was at 17 minutes so I took a walk break to drink some water and dump some on my head. The kids at the stop got all crazy excited when I did that and I told them to just through some at me. This made them even more hyper, but gave me a bit of a lift. Number 29 passed me leading up to the last hill but he was not in my age group so I didn't need to beat him, but I did use him to pace off of until the last hill that seemed to go on forever before a short downhill finish. It felt so good to be done and almost made my goal of breaking 26 for the run. With the heat and humidity I was very happy with the result.

I will update this with the official results when they come in some time tonight. It looked like I might have won my age group, but like I said at the beginning I just don't know... yet.

One quick observation that really made me laugh. After the race there was a guy on my bike rack that was showing his daughters what he had to do for the race. When he was done he said to the youngest, now I am going to ride my bike home. She said without missing a beat. "Why didn't you bring my carriage so you could pull me behind you?"

************************************* results finally posted ****************
Overall / swim / Bike / run out of 122 men
14th / 19th / 12th / 42nd
Clydesdales out of 17 clydesdales
2nd / 1st / 3rd / 2nd
thought I had signed up for age group, but I guess not, but if I had still 2nd
2nd / 2nd / 1st / 7th out of 20 aged 40-44

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Inside out sports 10k race report

To be honest when I looked at the course for this race and saw how hilly and challenging it would be I was not looking forward to it. A training race is what I kept telling myself. In fact I didn't even sign up for it until just before the start. With no pressure or thought of a PR I started the race thinking if I could just break 55 I would be happy. Earlier in the week when I talked with my coach she was saying I should go out conservative at around 9, then pick up the pace on the way back, but I was feeling good that day and told her I was going to go for 8:30 and see how fast I could go. Then Saturday came and my legs were dead and I just didn't have that great day before race adrenaline that I usually get. Long story short, I ended up breaking my PR for a 10k by 17 seconds. Now for the long version...

Race morning driving to the race site I was cranking the heavy metal to try to get psyched up. It was hard since I wasn't really feeling it this morning. The last song that played while I was parking was Run To The Hills, one of my favorites, very fitting I thought since this course was all about hills. Jogged to the start, about .5 miles, and was already sweating from the humidity. Registered and then had to jog back to the car to get the chip strap and race belt I had forgotten. Then jogged back to the race to watch the 1/2 marathon start and chat with some friends.
Race started with a long downhill before a 2 mile hill to the turn around and I just wanted to run hard and stay just outside the lactic acid zone. Felt really good on the downhill and just let gravity do it's job. People were passing me, but I knew what was coming so it didn't bother me. About 1/2 mile it turned up and the first water stop was there. Normally I would bother with water so early, but with the humidity and since it was on an uphill I figured why not and took a cup, drank half and dumped the other half on my head. Ended up being a good decision as many people after were complaining about lack of water on the course and this was the only water stop for the 10k, we saw it once at 1/2 mile then again on the back part at 4.5. Started going up the hill to the airport overlook where the turn around would be. I know this hill very well, run it all the time and the best way to take it on is to get a good steady pace going and just keep it up. So I settled into what I thought was about 8:45 - 9:00 and began reeling in some of the people who started too fast. It felt good to catch and pass a bunch of people going up the hill and really kept me focused. The course was not marked, so I had no idea what pace I was running, I just knew it was uncomfortable but not too hard that it would kill me. We got to the turn around in 21:12. I thought the turn around was 2.5 miles so I figured I was right at 8:30, later I would find out it was 2.4 miles and 8:50 pace. I was feeling really good now with a 1.7 mile downhill to come so picked up the pace and kept my uncomfortable feeling going. At about mile 4 I caught a guy I had been chasing all the way down the hill. He had a garmin on so I asked him where we were and he said 4 miles. I looked at my watch and we were at 34:17 or an 8:34 pace. Right about this time a 25 year old girl ran past me and I decided to stick to her pace and hope to bank a little time before the final beast of a hill right at mile 6. We turned onto black creek trail and I got 3 cups of water, two for my head and one to drink. Black creek is mostly flat but has a gradual rise on the out part before we turn around and come part way back to go up to Weston Parkway and the finish. When we got to Weston the first time I was still feeling good and I thought the turn around would be just ahead and then the finish in site, but I was so wrong. We had to go about 1/2 mile more before turning around and each time we went around a corner I would swear that this would be it, but it wasn't. Finally we hit the turn around and I felt like I was on my last leg with 1/2 mile to go. Fortunately the gradual downhill back to Weston revived me enough so that I could make it up that last hill. It wasn't that long, but it was steep, very steep and when you got to the top and thought it was done, there was another short steep hill to get onto the sidewalk. By the time we got to the parking lot, my legs were on fire and I was shuffling something fierce. The girl I was pacing off took off for the finish as I just tried to stay upright on the short (.05 ) downhill finish shoot. My last blog post was titled "It didn't really hurt", but this one really did hurt, the kind of pain you feel when you have nothing left to give and you just want it to stop. I went across the line in 53:17, watch time, and 53:22 gun time. My previous PR was 53:34 set back in March.
I am very happy with this result for several reasons.
1) I had nothing left at the end, so I gave it all I had
2) I managed to pace myself by feel, without course markers
3) I didn't back out of the race when not feeling 100%
With my A race for the spring coming up on June 12, international tri, I have gained some confidence and know my training is on target. The tri has a flat 10k at the end so if it's not too hot, I think a sub 54 is a possibility.
But first I have two really hard weeks to build before a short taper for my two week race block.
Happy Training

link to route map

Monday, May 10, 2010

It didn't really hurt

I've really been focusing on the mental side of training and in particular running for the past year. I learned a new lesson on Saturday. Acknowledgment. It wasn't until mile 9 running up my favorite .54 mile long hill, nicknamed half mile hill aka the spillway, aka I hate this effin hill, more on that later.
The run started off hard, hadn't run since track on tuesday and was still recovering from strep throat which I refused to acknowledge until I almost passed out and/or hurled 20 minutes into a workout on wednesday, so my legs were complaining about the 10+ minute pace. We hit the out, or downhill, part of half mile hill and my ankle started acting up, I walked a bit, stretched it out and kept going. I guess I was complaining about a bunch of things, mostly the humidity, because Frank, the usual chief complainer, said I was complaining a lot today and he would try to not complain as much since I was doing such a good job. I acknowledged he was right and sought to put an end to it. Luckily we were starting the S hill and it would be too hard to complain for a while. Frank was doing 8, so we left him at the water spicket and continued on. I was running with Mark and told him I didn't feel like I had it today so if he wanted to go faster it was ok to leave me behind after the turn around 1 mile ahead. He said he needed to save some for the spillway anyway so he wasn't going to. I just figured he was being nice as he had been running a few steps ahead of me the whole time. At the turn around there is a long gradual uphill back to the water spicket of about a mile and we were trailing a pair of carrots that were running just a bit slower than us, so our gradual reeling in of them kept us at a nice even pace and I started to notice my legs feeling better.
I downed gel number two as we hit the water and the ground leveled out. I had water on me, but Mark stopped to get water and I kept going thinking he would catchup quickly. I slowed to take in the gel and fluids and allow him to catch up and the carrots started gaining on me again. At this point I thought it would be good time to wring out my shirt and after wards felt 2lbs lighter and much better. I thought it was real odd that at mile 7 I would feel better than mile 2, but I wasn't going to let that bother me. We noticeably picked up the pace as every time I would even up with Mark we would speed ahead. At one point I said "hey, just because I catch up to you doesn't mean you can speed up". He said he just liked to surge when he felt like it, then slow down to let me catch up. I should have noticed at this point, but I didn't, that he was having a bit harder time as he was using more hand gestures communicate and less talking, where I was talking more. When we hit the back or downhill part of the S hill, I let off the brakes and just ran ahead comfortably allowing gravity to do the work. I thought he was right behind me so I tried to stay out ahead and do some pace work since he had been leading the past 8 miles. When we got to the spillway, he stopped and said I would have to go on ahead because he was out of gas. I asked if he needed water or anything and he said he just needed to walk a bit so I started up half mile hill.
I got about half way, my form was off I was running crooked and labored, breathing was all over the place, I just wanted to get to the top so the pain would stop. That's when it hit me, I asked myself, "Does this really hurt?" I mean pain, sure it was hard, but was there any pain or was my brain just trying to fool me into taking it easy? I kept running, I thought about it and no, there was no pain. This realization did something to me, I straightened up, my form was back to normal, my breathing evened out and I sped up. I acknowledged that it was hard, made some adjustments, and it got easier. It was all perception, because I thought it was so hard and painful my form got hosed, once I acknowledged it and fixed my form and breathing I could once again run efficiently without the perception of pain. I finished off the hill and ran the rest of the .4 miles back to the start and ended with a 1 minute negative split for the out and back route.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Glen Eagles Challenge Long version: part 2

I think I'm getting old, forgot all about finishing this off. Well better late than never.

So where did i leave off. oh yeah, finishing the epic canoe from hell and spraying sunblock on my cut up legs. The plan for the second half was go out on the bikes as far as possible and pick up all we can on the way back. Got across the street and found #18 right off. Then we got a bit lost, the map and the trails were not lining up correctly but eventually we made our way to where #17 should be. But after a quick search Tim re checked the coordinates and realized we had two #17's on the map and we were at the one that did not exist. Oh well, can't have a race with at least one major screw up so at least we only wasted about 15 minutes on it. Got back on the trail and made it to where #19 was. There was a 4 person team there searching for it, so we joined in and eventually they found it, but all is fair in AR so we got it as well. We then headed off in search of the #21. We leapfrogged the 4 person team and now they were following us, and we were heading into the mud pits. We were going along well when we hear the group behind sound like they thought they were at the right place, so we stopped, but I thought it was further ahead so I tried to yell at Tim to get back on his bike but he was busy following someone and couldn't hear me so I just biked along parallel to him yelling every now and then until he heard me and went back and got his bike. Next I saw something out of the corner of my eye and thought that might be it, but it was something else and then Tim saw something orange and bolted after that so I went ahead and saw the other group had found it along with the old couple we had met at the beginning so I went back and got tim and we picked it up. We now had all the ones we were going to get on this side and it was time to haul ass back. This was where the fun part was. We encountered several mud holes on the way back where it was impossible to tell how deep it was until you got into it. I learned my lesson on the first one and walked around them after that, but Tim kept trying to go through. There was one hole in particular that was about 3 feet deep. He went right through the middle and the mud went up to the seat. Got back across the street, picked up a couple more of the easy ones and then headed to the single track. After we found the first one Tim made the astute decision that we should head back and get the three other running targets that are worth a lot more points. So we went as far as we could on the bikes found the first one then had to run to the next two. Tim was good enough to locate the barb wire so I got to avoid that. After about 20 minutes of jogging we found the other two and headed back to the bikes. Luckily they were still where we left them and we still had 15 minutes left. There were two easy bike targets left that I thought we could get to, so off we went. Picked up those and made it back to the finish with 3 or 4 minutes to spare.

whew, that was long, if you thought is was long reading this, you should have tried writing it.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Glen Eagles Challenge Long version: part 1

My teammate requested that I do the long version, at first I was like, but he was there, shouldn't he know what happened? But then I remembered he is old and drinks bourbon so he may have already forgotten what happened, or that he was even there.

so for those masochists that want the really long version...

This is part 1

Race started at 10, so I planned to leave the house at 8 to get there at 8:45. Of course I woke up at 4:45 anyway, turned off the alarm that was set for 6 so it wouldn't wake up the wife and started to get ready. I checked the mandatory gear list one more time and found out we needed something to bail out the boat, just in case. So I cut an old gallon jug in half, as recommended on the race website, and added it to the list. Had everything else I needed so mixed up some gatorade and headed out the door. Arrived at the race site and called Tim to see where he was, due to no signal he couldn't hear me, but I could hear him fine. I yelled where are you? he said I can't hear you, I said Beam Me up scotty, he said "I can't here you all I heard was something like beam me up scotty, I said, see you can hear me, he said I can't hear you, talk to you when I get there. After unpacking a bit and checking on the bike I walked around soaking up the atmosphere and listening to some of the nervous conversations going on. Some notes for next time.
Bring an old card table to setup for map plotting and the canopy in case of rain. They said the race site opened at 8, get there at 8. They told us where the Transition area was going to be, get a map of the area and become familiar with it and look for any "paddle only areas" that might be included.
This race was on a peninsula that was about 4 miles long by 1 mile wide. That info was very important and overlooked by us. It's ok to soak up some atmosphere, but when there is 30 minutes before prerace brief, it's time to start concentrating on the race and what we are going to be doing. At 9:00 they did the prerace brief and we got the rules and what we could and could not do or go. Then we got the map with the first 11 points plotted and would get the rest at 9:55 with a start at 10.

Race Start:
We got the passport and started mapping coordinates. Should have brought the other tool to use as the one we got from the race was either not as good, or I just wasn't comfortable with it. I was making mistakes left and right, using the wrong lines, going the wrong direction, etc so I left it up to Tim and then I went back and double checked. Somehow we ended up with two different points for #17 but wouldn't realize it until much later. Looking back we got them all spot on, except of course for the 2nd #17.

The plan was to go to the furthest point, grab the high point value targets and work our way back. We have done that in the past, so it seemed logical to stick with this way. We never thought about carrying the canoe the 1 mile across the peninsula, at least not until the end when we saw other teams actually doing it. We ended up paddling close to 8 miles and we still didn't get all the paddle only targets. We were making really good time with the canoe, and we found all the targets we looked for in a reasonable amount of time so on that account we improved.
We had to carry the canoe about 100 yards or so done to the lake to put in and on the way one of the paddles fell out when it hit a tree. When we got there I told Tim, HIS paddle must of fallen out. He fell for it and went back to find it. Had some good shots of the nuclear plant on the way to our first 3 targets. Found them fairly quickly and were headed back. At this point we had paddled about 3+ miles and were 1:30 into the race, I was still having a hard time believing how far we had to go back to get to the TA. The next stop we were going to do some trekking. We parked at the very end of the peninsula and bushwhacked through some heavy stuff and our legs got nice and shredded here. ( once again looking at the map the next day we could have made a better decision as to where to dock, but such is life...) We met an older couple doing the race together who were either really confused, or trying to mess with us, they told us the target we were looking for was back 150 yards or so. They went on their way and we turned around and Tim spotted it about 20 yards the other way. We decided they were really confused. Next we split up a bit to look for the next target that should have been right around the corner. Ended up being a bit of a ways in. I spotted it and called for Tim. Not sure if I mentioned this yet, but Tim is old and can't hear very well, so I had to yell like 8 times at the top of my lungs before I finally heard him coming my way. Next time I should bring a bull horn ;-). Got the target, hit the trail and headed back to the boat. We had a bit of a cluster fuck here and we kept going out on the wrong mini peninsula, like 4 of them before we finally found our boat. We found a couple other racers canoes, resisted the urge to steal them, or push them out into the lake, and kept going. I broke out my PB&J sandwich, thanks dr. dre for the great idea, and ate it while paddling across the lake for the next two targets. The first one was right in the middle of some horrible smelling muck. There were plenty of frogs jumping around and I almost lost my shoe when it got stuck in a mud hole. The second one was easy as we saw a guy coming down from where it was, so Tim jumped out while I stayed in the boat and picked it up in no time. Now we needed to traverse back across the lake to get to the take out spot. We had given up on the last paddle target as it was past our put in spot and we were going on 6 miles now and our shoulders were on fire. We made it out without dumping our stuff in the water and carried the canoe back to the TA for some food, change of shoes and shirt and water. I sprayed some sunblock on my legs and holy shit did that hurt. Sunblock not so good on open cuts, I also noticed a blister forming on my left heal from running in my boat shoes with no socks, but too late to fix that now.

Part two will be coming soon...

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Glen Eagles Challenge Race Report

So much happened in this race I could probably write a book on it, but I'll try to just highlight the good, the bad and the ugly.

The good:
Overheard in transition before race, "Are you excited?" "YES!, and I'm scared to Death". I think its awesome when people are willing to face their fears and try something new.
We found all the targets we went after. This was one of Tim's goals since in the past we have been known to miss them even when right in front of our eyes.
I didn't run into any trees.
Had a blast getting completely muddy, scraped up, and exhausted.

The bad:
After looking at the map and with post race experience wish I could do it all over again in a different way. Of course that would require portage wheels for the canoe, or renting a two person kayak.
Annoying woman after the race at the pizza tent saying, "Oh there is a mushroom, I love me some veges on my pizza, I bet there is a ton of that one left since everyone else eats the meat." I said "Actually the mushroom is almost gone, it's really good" She just looked at me like, "don't ruin my superior attitude with you facts", and said nothing.

The Ugly: ( this is actually good too ).
Tim attempting to ride through a 3 ft deep mud puddle and getting stuck in the middle.
This conversation that took place at 5 hours into the race.
Me: "Do you want to bushwhack to the road that way?"
What Tim Heard: "Are you bushed?"
Tim: "Yeah, aren't you?"
what I heard: "yeah, let's do it"
Then a minute later...
Tim: "I thought you said "Are you bushed and I said yeah aren't you"
what I heard: "I thought you said Do you eat bush? and I said yeah, don't you"
ok, so you can see our brains were not working so well at that point.

That was a fun race and I would like to do more, but now is the time to focus on the ironman coming up in November so AR will have to wait till next year.

ps: I may get more motivated later to write up a more detailed race report if requested, but I am tired and sore today and it's time to veg in front of the tube.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

So you've had a bad run.

So you've had a bad run. What to do now? First thing is to look at it honestly and try to figure out why it was bad. Questions you can ask yourself are:
1. Are you injured, tired, or stressed?
2. Was there something on your mind that distracted you?
3. How was the weather?
4. Could you be over trained?
If the answers to these questions don't give you the answer, it could just be that it wasn't your day. Don't beat yourself up about it. If you can identify what it was that caused it to be bad, write it down so you remember not to repeat it. If not, just acknowledge that it was a bad run, log it, file it, record it however you want and get on with your life. You shouldn't hang on to the bad ones just like you can't hold on to the good ones. Each workout will be different and its own experience. Don't deny it and pretend like it didn't happen, learn what you can from it and move on. To help, think about what you tell a good friend and try to change your “self talk” to be like that. You want to be honest so you can learn and grow, but not so negative that it will ruin your day or next workout. We tend to be so critical of ourselves and say and think thinks about ourselves that we would never even consider saying to a friend.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Triangle Ortho Sprint Tri Race Report

So first the short version for those with short attention spans.
Had an awesome day. Finally had good days in all 5 legs. When final results and official splits are posted, I will post them at the end of this blog, but for now I will give the splits on my watch.

Swim: 13:29
T1: 2:49
Bike: 33:01
T2: 1:11
Run: 26:14
Total: 1:16:44

So on to the long version.
I did this race two years ago and my time was 1:22:46. I didn't check my old times before the race, or read the race report like I normally do for repeat races. I remembered it well enough so I didn't think I needed to, and fortunately I didn't.
I had an excellent prerace brick yesterday and was feeling really psyched up for this race. Went to bed around 10, luckily I had a really busy day so sleep came quickly.
Woke up at 4am, but since this was a local race and I had packed up the car last night I didn't need to rush. I wanted to eat breakfast at 5, so I could leave at 6 to get there in time for a good spot. Got in the car and cranked up the heavy metal from the 80's. Got there in plenty of time, claimed my spot on the rack, got my chip and body marking done, used the port o john's before the crowd and had time to chit chat before heading out for a warmup jog.

Swim: 13:29 - this was a time trial start for an open water swim. the lake isn't big enough to handle a mass wave, so we started 1 person every 5 seconds. I like this better than a pool because there are no walls and you don't get the scrum at the beginning. After last weeks debacle I was mentally prepared for this week and did not go out too fast. Instead I felt smooth and steady from the start. I sited often and swam a good straight line. With 200 yards to go I started kicking really hard. There is a big hill that we have to run up to get to the transition area so I wanted the legs ready. Took 1 minute off my time from 2 years ago.

T1: 2:49 - legs were good on the hill and I was able to get the wetsuit off most of the way and actually ran the whole way to the bike. Once there I took at quick drink, got the suit off shoes on, helmet, glasses and away we go.

Bike: 33:01 - still recovering from the swim and now it's time to go hard on the bike. After about two miles there was a really long uphill. I passed about 5 people on this hill. In fact for the whole bike I think I passed about 15, and got passed by only 2. There was a lot of pain on this course, but I really wanted to get as close to 20 mph average as possible. I was on track until that last really long hill. I think I ended at just under, but that included the run to and from the bike rack. I'll count that as a win.

T2: 1:11 - my only goal here was to not forget my race number. So mission accomplished. No rest here either. Get it done and get going.

Run: 26:14 - After about 1/4 mile of nice downhill and flat the course started going up. and it kept going up for about a mile. I was running hard and hoping to get close to an 8:30 average pace, so when I saw 9 minutes at the 1 mile mark I wasn't happy, but I knew that mile 3 was mostly downhill and I just needed to hang on until the downhill starts. When we finally got to the downhill part, around 1.5, I really wanted to take it easy and recover, but I also wanted to break 27 for this run and that 9 minute first mile told me to get the lead out, so no rest and hit mile 2 in 17:23, that felt much better, but I still needed to hammer out mile 3 because I knew there was a 1/4 mile uphill at the end right before the finish. When I hit the hill, I still had enough to power up it and cross mile 3 at 25:40, then finished off the run with all I had left. Not quite a sprint, but it was close.

So finally I managed to put it all together and have a really good race. Made my goal times for all 3 sports and the total time.

Next up is the Glen Eagles challenge 6 hour adventure race on Saturday. Then another good training block before a sprint and my A race Oly tri in June.

Official Results Posted.
Age Group out of 19
total/rank/time - swim r/t - T1 - Bike r/t - t2 - Run rank/time
5/1:16:44.5 2/13:30 5/2:51 4/32:58 8/1:14 11/26:14
Overall Male out of 152
46 32 46 33 80 92

Saturday, April 17, 2010

The Pre-Race Brick workout

This is my favorite workout of all. The idea is to shake the taper out of your legs and get them ready for your race the next day, but to not deplete them or tire them out. So for me it goes like this.
out and back on bike for 8-10 miles - going out is warmup - them coming back you hammer at race pace.
transition - the faster the better, don't lolly gag.
Run - take off and get into race pace mode as fast as possible, then relax into the pace. Usually takes about 1 mile.
Cool down - think about what you want to accomplish in each stage of the race tomorrow and for the whole race.

Today's went like this for me.

Headed out on the bike feeling a bit cold, told myself to shake it off I'll warmup soon enough. warmed up after about 3 miles and started thinking about past mistakes I've made in races and remembering not to do those. Hit the turn around at about 15-16 minutes. After turn around started hammering the pedals and got into a good pedal stroke. Breathing caught up just in time for the first hill and I powered up without issue, after recovering got back into hammer mode until I felt the acid burn begin then backed off just a bit. Wanted to feel it just a little but not too much. Got back home in 27 minutes and was flying high on the endorphins. Transitioned in garage and driveway for 1 minute, then headed out for the 1 mile loop. Immediately fell into good running form and at the half way mark, legs had transitioned into running legs from cycling legs. Only 1 hill on second half of run so I pushed up it and really enjoyed the downhill finish. Was slightly faster than my goal race pace, did an 8:07 mile, goal is 8:15, so I was extremely happy.
Goals for tomorrow -
whole race - put it all together
swim - 3 S's - smooth, steady, site
t1 - resist temptation to put on warm clothes
bike - hammer time - the whole way
t2 - don't forget your race number
run - stay strong and remember the final .25 is all uphill

1st try of the season is tomorrow.

Friday, April 16, 2010

The #i8this challenge part deux

So after much thought I have finally decided on what I will do for the next #i8this challenge on twitter. I've analyzed my eating/drinking habits and decided the best place for improvement would be my between meal snacks. Most of the time I eat fruit as my snack, but occasionally I will eat candy or chips. So for the next two weeks I will concentrate on eating only healthy food in between meals and will try to mix in a protein with it. Need to add nuts, pumpkin seeds and nutella to the shopping list so I can mix with the fruits.

For more info on the #i8this challenge, and how to join in go here

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

5280 1 mile open water swim race report

Let's just say I'm very happy I did this race before my first triathlon of the year. The night before I wasn't nervous at all, I think normally the swim is my best leg of the tri and since the bike I was planning to do after was just for fun there was really no pressure. Of course when morning came the nerves arrived. The first part of the day went ok. I packed up the car and made sure I had everything I would need, I even brought an extra swim cap in case they didn't have any. At the last minute I remembered that I probably I would need a towel.
Arrived at the race site 45 minutes before the start, picked up my race packet and chip and started to get ready. The swim cap they gave out was white and had our numbers on it. By coincidence the spare cap I brought was also white. There also was not an official transition area to layout stuff or to leave it while racing. So I found a bench and began to get ready. This is when the fun begins.
First I put on my wetsuit. This is a new wetsuit and I do remember trying it on when I got it and thought it fit well. Today, for some reason it seemed a bit long. So when I went to put on my chip, there was no where on my ankle for it to fit. In hindsight I should have put it on under the wetsuit leg, but instead I put it on over the wetsuit. I had just got the wetsuit on and they were calling the swimmers done to get a pre-race briefing. I grabbed my goggles and white swim cap and headed down, listened to the speech and jumped in for a warmup swim. Before I knew it they were calling us out for the start.
The start went really well, I managed to get to a spot that was not that crowded, but I could still reach the bottom so I didn't have to tread water. As soon as the gun went off the initial sprint was under way. After about 200 yards I noticed there was a large group out in front of me. I was probably doing my 100 pace and was starting to feel the burn but thought I might be able to hang on to someones feet. Big mistake, at around 500 I was starting to hyperventilate and a little panic crept in. In all the races I've done this has never happened before so it was a new experience, but not a good one. I knew I needed to slow down and recover and get into a rhythm, but I didn't want to lose my position, so I gradually let off the gas until I could breath better, but I think by that time it was too late and the lactic acid buildup was well under way. After the turn buoy I started feeling better, but people were passing me and I couldn't hang on anymore, so I tried to stay on their feet as long as possible and then when they were gone, get back into my steady speed. Finally we got to the end and I started kicking to get the blood flowing through the legs again and got out and ran over the mat.
Somewhere in my head I thought, I didn't hear a beep. oh well no big deal. I then notice the official timers looking at me funny, I figured it was my unique hair do from taking off my swim cap. I looked at my watch and it was still running, I had hit the wrong button getting out and I had started it about 15 seconds early so when I finally got the timer to stop it was 30:10, I figured it would end up being around 29:45 and that made me happy as I was hoping for under 30 and with my blow up at the beginning I figured that was really good. I waited a few minutes and two friends came out and we started talking, at this point one of the time keepers came up to them and took their timing chips. At that point I thought, "did they get my chip" I looked down and it wasn't there, and I don't remember them taking mine off. Great, that meant I lost my chip somewhere in the lake, but I thought the timekeepers would get my number off the cap and I would just show up on the results late.
After we changed from swimming I headed out with one friend to ride the bike course for the tri that was going on in conjunction with the swim. It was a tough bike course with a lot of hills, but the weather was perfect so I was thinking I would have liked to have done the whole thing.
When I got home and was unpacking my bag I took out my cap and noticed that the cap they gave me was bone dry and my spare cap was soaking wet. That's when I remembered the stares I was getting from the timers. No chip, wrong cap, he must be a bandit. This all means I won't be getting an official time for this race, but at least I learned a ton of things not to do and hope that all the screw ups will be done for the year.
Next race is the triangle ortho sprint tri coming up on 4/18 - so ready for the tri season to the begin. It's been a long time and I'm anxious to put my new running legs to the test.