Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Bonney Lake Sprint 2014 (0.35mile, 12.3mile, 5k)

I raced Bonney Lake the previous two years so knew I had to come back. BUDU racing does a good job with their races. Plus I had to try and defend my title. I knew their was rain in the forecast. As I warmed up on the bike, I saw the clouds in the distance. I crossed my fingers they would stay away for another hour. No such luck. Once I started my run warm-up the rain drops fell. The only good thing was I raced earlier in the season under similar conditions.

I dried up and sat under a tree trying to stay dry before donning the wetsuit. I walked over to the swim area and saw Richard right before entering the water. It was nice to catch up since we hadn't seen each other in awhile. I warmed-up and waiting to start. There was a delay because of the Olympic race taking place. Richard and I chatted up a little more then it was GO!!!


Course: Out and back, water temp 70+ degrees.
Race action: I felt good at the start. I saw 1 guy get out in front. I tried to close the gap with no luck. I ended up coming out of the water 10 seconds behind the fastest swimmer. I quickly ripped through transition and ended up leaving in first.
Next time: Start faster and stay on the feet.
Result: (7:39 for approximately 0.35 mile)

Course: 1 loop with a couple of small hills.
GearLYNSKEY TI BIKE, ROTOR 3D CRANK WITH AERO Q-RINGS, Rudy Project aero helmet, Shimano custom shoes, Zipp Firecrest 808s with Continental Attack/4000s tires, XLAB 400 torpedo.
Nutrition: Gu Brew (50 calories)
Race action: It was pouring rain. The rain was just as bad if not worse than Five Mile Lake. I almost laid the bike down twice, too much speed for the turns. I ended up in the opposite shoulder on a right turn, thank goodness there wasn't a car. My aero bottle between the arms somehow loosened up and kept moving forward. It was annoying but manageable. A guy, who ended up winning the Olympic, passed me within a few miles of transition. I tried to keep him in sight, but his pace was too fast. I dismounted my bike and started running into transition. I overshot the lane, so had to pick up my bike and run back through the gate. Ugh!
Next time: Make sure gear is in tact.
Result: (31:12 23.7mph)

Course: 1 loop on road/sidewalk with a few hills within the first 2 miles.
GearNEWTON DISTANCE SHOES with Xtenex Laces.
Race action: I saw 2 guys ahead of me as I left transition. I took a time check. They were 20 and 30 seconds ahead of me. I tried to close the gap. The guy closest to me seemed to be running the same pace. The guy in front of him ran out of sight. I am not sure why, but my insoles shift inside my shoes during rainy conditions. I finished the race with half of my insole sticking out of my shoe. The only reason I didn't stop was because I did not know my placing in the race. I neared the last turn closing in on the finish line to realize I was in first. The race director had to run out and place the last cone for me to round before crossing the line.
Result: (19:19, 6:14 per mile)
Finish: 59:28 (1st overall).
Upcoming: Maintaining fitness for the rest of the year

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Lakewood Summerfest Triathlon (0.5mile,14+++miles,5k)

It was hard to pass up on this race as it was only a 15 minute drive to the race start.

Saturday morning we arrived into transition to discover no bike racks or swim buoys. I wasn't sure if we were going to lay our bikes on the ground. At 6:30AM, one of the race officials explained the truck towing the racks and buoys wouldn't start. They found another truck and arrived around 6:45AM. After setting up our bikes we drove over to T-2 to set up out run gear and park the vehicle.

Course: 1 loop clockwise with 2 right turns, okay visibility, water temp 70+ degrees.
Race action: GO! As always, a few guys sprint all out at the start. I pass them after 200 meters and see at least 1 person ahead of me. I tried to keep him in sight. We came out on the boat ramp.
Next time:
Result: (11:19 for approximately 0.5 mile)

Course: 1 loop fairly flat with a couple of small hills.
GearLYNSKEY TI BIKE, ROTOR 3D CRANK WITH AERO Q-RINGS, Rudy Project aero helmet, Shimano custom shoes, Zipp Firecrest 808s with Continental Attack/4000s tires, XLAB 400 torpedo.
Nutrition: Gu Brew (150 calories)
Race action: I did not feel great from the start of the bike. I was sweating a lot and the effort felt higher than the last race (power was 12% lower for this race for the same effort). In the first mile a squirrel in on the line. I move left to give him room. He moves right then crosses right in from of me. Once I got onto North Gate Road I could see the lead cyclist escorted by a Lakewood motorcycle cop. I put my focus into closing the gap. During the race briefing we were told not to turn unless you see a sign and that there would be a person at the 2 main intersections on JBLM.
    The latter part of the statement was incorrect. I assumed the cop knew the route. I closed the gap to the lead cyclist to less than 100meters. The cop led us to a dead end and then proceeded to go in the wrong direction. I knew where I was, so I rerouted to get back on the course. I was now on part of the JBLM tri-course. The other turn was 100 meters before going under I-5. I didn't see anyone at the intersection, but took the turn anyway and hoped the gate was open.
     My instinct paid off. The turn put us on Dupont-Steilacoom Road. I couldn't see anyone in the distance, so just kept pushing forward to T-2. I ended up riding an extra 1.3 miles.
Next time: Stick with my instincts.
Result: (39:30 23.3mph)

Course: 1 loop on 99% trail.
Race action: I entered transition and saw no bikes racked. I quickly racked my bike, switched gear, and headed out. In the first 200 meters it was flat, then went up. As I was going up I could hear the crowd getting loud to signal the next racer. This meant I had a cushion of a few minutes. I was cramping a little. After cresting the hill, it was downhill then flat with lots of turns. With less than 1/2 mile left I saw another racer. I kept the pace up as I neared the finish line. I stopped to give LA a kiss and then crossed the line.
Result: (19:49, 6:30 per mile)
Finish: 1:11.58 (1st overall).
Upcoming: ?

Friday, July 11, 2014

Five Mile Lake Sprint Triathlon (0.25 mile, 14 mile, 3 mile)

I was still debating on going to Nationals. There were 2 local races taking place the last weekend of June, so I thought it would be a nice test to see if I could handle racing Saturday and Sunday. I went out to ride the Black Hills course early Thursday morning prior to the race. I tried to sign-up for the race and it was sold out. Bummer for me. I quickly went to the BUDU Racing website and signed up for Five Mile Lake. I did not want to be shut out of both races.

Saturday morning I checked in and got all my gear set-up. The weather was not very good as it was raining on and off. I rode a loop to make sure I knew the course. This race used to be known as Federal Way Escape. They extended the bike course a little over a mile.

Course: 1 loop clockwise with 2 right turns, okay visibility, water temp 70 degrees.
Race action: GO! It was chaos. I felt like I was in a washing machine. I couldn't believe how many guys going all out. Someone pulled my strap off the velcro. Luckily they didn't hold on or my wetsuit would've filled with water. After the first buoy, I started moving through the crowd. I turned for shore and there was guy to my right. I came out just ahead of him for 3rd.
Next time: Sprint the first 100 meters???
Result: (5:35 for approximately 475 yards)

Course: 2 loops with a few turns and one small hill.
GearLYNSKEY TI BIKE, ROTOR 3D CRANK WITH AERO Q-RINGS, Rudy Project aero helmet, Shimano custom shoes, Zipp Firecrest 808s with Continental Attack/4000s tires, XLAB 400 torpedo.
Nutrition: Gu Brew
Race action: I jumped on my bike right behind MD. A couple hundred meters up the road I saw the lead racer. I tried to keep him in sight, but could not manage the pace. I took a turn and felt my back wheel skid. I decided to back off the gas on all corners and turns. I really did not want to have quality time with the pavement. I felt good throughout the entire bike ride.
Next time: Little less air in tires because of wet roads.
Result: (32:28 24.4mph)

Course: 1 loops on 99% road with the last 200 meters on trail.
GearNEWTON DISTANCE SHOES with Xtenex Laces.
Race action: I came out of transition right behind DM. I kept the gap close as I ran right off his left shoulder. In the first 1/4 mile, he stopped suddenly. I quickly side stepped and looked back to see if he was ok. DM kept running, so I focused on getting to the finish line. Around the 1 mile mark, I was passed quickly by the guy who ended up in second overall and the fastest run. A little after the 2 mile mark, I was passed by another racer. I was now sitting in fourth. I took the turn into the park. I heard some yelling behind me. It was a spectator encouraging the 5th place guy to pass me. I kicked into overdrive and held him off.
Result: (18:04, 6:01 per mile)
Finish: 59:28 (1st in age group and 4th overall).
Upcoming: Lakewood Summerfest Tri

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Boulder 70.3

LG and I talked about doing this race last November. The race opened in December and was sure to sell out. I talked it over with my better half and we decided to make it a short family vacation.

I stopped riding the bike in early September and got back on in late March, so a little over 6 months with no cycling :-/  During that period, I maintained some fitness with 2-3 swims and 3-4 runs a week. I threw in a few run races (Turkey trot with stroller and 2 dogs, Santa 5k with stroller, Arizona Rock n Roll half, St Paddy 10k with stroller, and YMCA 10k with stroller).

It is tough to train for early summer races in the Northwest. You choose to go outside and get soaked or sit on the trainer. We were fortunate with several sunny days in April and May. My power numbers slowly started to come back in mid May. Everything was coming together until late May when I got a horrible cough and a stomach bug that lasted 2 weeks. I didn't swim for a week. I also cut back on the bike and running with short and easy workouts. I started to finally feel better the week before the race. 

During my final week, I did a few key workouts and it showed I might be able to still put together a decent race. Thursday morning while getting in one last bike ride my right aerobar extension seemed very loose. I thought no big deal. I got home that night to find 1 of 2 screws connecting the aerobar extension to the base broke in half. Another screw broke as I was trying to loosen up the aerobars. I was in complete panic mode. I call DC to help me out. He contacted JOYRIDE and they looked at it Friday morning. It was good news bad news. They were able to get the screws out, but the extension was so corroded that a screw would not work. Thankfully my wife uses the same aerobar set-up and Joyride had enough time to swap out pieces.

We flew out Friday evening. Flight was scheduled to depart at 7:25pm. Southwest delayed the flight 3 more times. We departed Sea-Tac at a little after 9. At Denver airport, the baggage claim carousel was malfunctioning, so we lost another 30 minutes. We walked into the hotel room a little after 2am. LA slept thru entire flight, carousel hold up, and drive to the hotel. He woke up as we were getting ready to unpack in the room.

Saturday morning we headed over to LG's house. I put my bike back together only to discover my seat clamps are cracked. There was nothing I could do, but cross my fingers. LG and I headed out to the race site to check-in and turn in our bikes.

Sunday morning we were up at 4am and out the door within 30 minutes. We picked up 2 more racers and headed to Boulder. We pulled into Boulder a little after 5:30. This gave us plenty of time to set-up a canopy for the families to hang out during/after the race and then our race area. I ended up forgetting my watch. I sprayed on sunscreen before putting on my sleeveless XTERRA VENDETTA.

Course: 1 loop clockwise with 2 right turns, okay visibility, water temp 67 degrees.
Plus: It was great to have a designated area to swim that did not interfere with the race, so I warmed-up 10-15 minutes.
Race action: I was in the 5th wave. They sent us off and I notice a few guys getting out quickly. I felt good during the swim and had mostly clear water through the first turn with a little traffic for the remainder. I exit just behind the guy who started in front of me.
Next time: Push the first 200-400 meters to stay with the faster guys.
Result: (28:52, 1:29 per 100m)

Course: 1 loop on decent roads. The first few miles are a gradual incline then its fast for the next 20-30 miles. The second half of the ride is slightly rolling.
Gear: LYNSKEY TI BIKE, OAKLEYS, Rudy Project aero helmet, Shimano custom shoes, and XLAB 400 torpedo.
Race action: I felt good throughout the entire bike ride. I made sure to drink frequently. Near the 50 mile mark, several guys in front of me turned right, so I followed. We ended up adding 0.6-0.7 miles to the ride. Luckily we got back on track with only a few miles left.
Next time: Get the bike checked out sooner. Know the course!!!
Result: (2:25.41 23.06mph)

Course: 2 loops on 90%trails with a shorter hill and a longer hill within the first 2 miles then mostly flat.
Gear: NEWTON DISTANCE SHOES & VISOR and bottle of GU Brew Blueberry Pomegranate.
Race action: I had to control the effort at the beginning because quads were cramping and breathing was labored. Normally, I take a drink every mile but changed it up to approximately every half to try eliminate the cramping. I felt stronger after the 5k, so started grabbing coke at the aid stations. I saw my 2 favorite people just before going out on the second loop. I caught up to a 30 year old, who passed me around mile 5,  and encouraged him to keep running as we only had a 5k left. He ran with me for a little over a mile and then faded as I was trying to get er done. As I neared the finish, I saw my 2 favorite people again, so I stopped and gave them each a kiss before crossing the finish line.
Next time: More time to acclimatize to altitude.
Result: (1:36.38, 7:22 per mile)
Finish: 4:34.00 (9th in age group and 63rd out of 1544).
Overall: It was the first race in a few years that I really enjoyed.
Upcoming: Take the week to recover and decide if I want to try and do Nationals. Should I do the Olympic race Saturday and Sprint race Sunday?

Monday, January 20, 2014

Rock n Roll Arizona Half Marathon

A group of us decided to go to Arizona for some fun in the sun. Who can argue with 75 and sunny?

Originally when we planned the trip I was not going to run. A buddy told me to sign up for Boulder 70.3 in June. Once I committed to that race, I had to sign up to run the half marathon.

I wasn't sure how my Achilles would feel about training for a race. It was still healing from last spring. My plan started 10 weeks ago. I wanted to run 5-7 times a week. The Achilles told me that was not going to work. I found that 4 runs a week was the magic number. I also swam 3 times a week 2000-3500 yard workouts.

The plan each week was 2 easy/short runs, 1 tempo or hill workout and one longer workout. Every once in awhile I threw in one extra run and kept it very easy. Some of the training was done with Lucas in the stroller as long as he was willing. He slept or looked at the scenery around. I had to cut 2 of the workouts short because Lucas had enough.

Race morning we headed out the door at 6:15AM. Traffic got crazy 1 mile from the site. We ended up parking in front of a Thai restaurant that opened at noon. It was only a 1/2 mile to the start, so we walked the rest of the way. I got in a short 10 minute jog and lined up in the first corral.

It took me almost 30 seconds to cross the start line once the race began. I passed a lot of people in the first mile. My plan was cruise the first 5k and progressively build my speed. I felt strong thru 7 miles. I started to have a rough patch miles 8-10. I had a hot spot on each foot. I knew they were turning into blisters miles 11 to finish. If I walked it would take me longer, so I powered thru to the finish. I finished 11th in my age group, 112th overall out of 13,000+ with a 1:26.08.

Once we got back to the house I checked out my feet. Just as I suspected, a blister on each foot a little bigger than a quarter. JOY!!!

The best part of the day was watching the Seahawks pull out the win. It was a good day!