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.