Saturday, September 18, 2010

Odyssey Half-Marathon Adventure Race 9/18/10

By far one of the most challenging race I have ever done. I went into this thinking it was just another 13.1 mile race and I would breeze right through like it was another training run. WRONG! The first 3 miles went straight up to a peak of a mountain, topping out with a 1500 ft elevation gain! I was able to run most of it, but had to walk on several occassions as the legs and lungs were burning. I averaged 11:20 miles going up.

Right from the start I found myself in 4th, as I climbed, me another runner exchanged positions from 3rd-4th as we were forced to walk occassionally. This allowed for another runner to come up and overtake us, but as he pulled away, he was also forced to walk. I continued to exchange position with this guy, while also keeping 3rd place in sight, until we got to the top. I checked in at the first aid station at the 3.5 mile mark in 5th place. 3rd n 4th had pulled about a 100 ft lead by that point. They stopped for water at the station after checking in, and then took off. I checked in and took off, cutting that 100 ft deficit completely(I already had a water bottle in hand). I thought with the climb out of the way, I should be able to pass them and pull away going down hill! SOOOO not the case. In fact once we started the descent they were pulling away from me. I couldn't keep up and I was pushing my pace as hard as I could! I was flying down the mountain and my next 5 miles coming down were 8:18, 7:17, 6:55, 7:14, 7:47, and they were still running faster miles.

During mile 6, the one I ran a 6:55, was obviously where the steepest descent was. I was running fast trying to catch 3rd and 4th and all of sudden, the ground almost dropped out from underneath me! It took a dive bomb and I had flail my arms and sprint down this sudden descent to keep my balance. All the while shouting curses! haha I almost bit the dust, literally!

I never caught them, but pulling up to mile 8 I was still happy that I may finish 5th overall. I took a quick peak over my shoulder and they're was 6th place coming. He would catch me by the time we got to the aid station at mile 9. The trail afterwards turned into road and I was able to hang with him for a time. At least, until the road turned back into a trail and up more hills. My tank was running low at this point and I couldn't go with him.

By mile 11, I hit my last aid station and check point. I was hurting. The check point was in a camper site and I couldn't find the trail that led back to the finish line. I spent 3-4 min trying to figure it out until I ran into a spectator that was nice enough to point me in the right direction. The last 2 miles were hilly and painful. I finally finished, Exhausted and sore with a final time of 2:04:01 (unofficially). Meaning I might have broken 2 hours if I hadn't gotten lost! Bummer! The course record was a 1:48. I probably wouldn't of been able to break that, but coming within 12 minute of a course record would of been nice to be able to brag about! haha

Saturday, September 11, 2010

70.3 Patriot Half 9/11 Race Report

The taper leading up to the event felt awful! Nothing felt like it should have. Everything was stiff and achey, and even sore at times. Not to mention I had a developing soreness in my achillies tendon. When tapers don't go well, it messes with your head. Its quite frustrating and the day before the race, I really didn't want to do it. I had two major concerns going into my race. 1. How would I fair on the run? I have a history of blowing up half way through the half-marathon and I don't even feel 100% to be running 13.1 miles after a long bike! 2. How would the achillies hold up? I've never had problems with the tendon before and I didn't want to strain it. I really had no expectations going into this race. My primarily goal was to get through the run with out blowing up, and it wasn't looking likely with the way I was feeling.

Friday, I drove down to Williamsburg with these doubts and questions in mind. I got there early, so I decided to drive part of the bike course. The course description said it was flat, and it was. Very flat with a few rollers here and there. I would definately PR on the bike. Later I picked up my stuff at packet pick up. I got a cool gray tech shirt, my race numbers (217), and a couple other things. Then I headed down to Rory's to crash for the night.

Saturday: I didn't sleep very well that night, so I wasn't a very happy camper getting up at 4am. I forced myself to eat a thin bagel with peanut butter. I loaded up my car with my bike and gear, and headed back up to the race site. I got there around 5:30a. Got my race chip, body markings, and got my transition set up and was ready to go by 6a. It was still dark out and the temp was just under 60 deg. My cuz showed up to support me around 6:35 and we pretty much immediately walked down to the water for race start. There was a lot of walking between the parking alot and the water!

SWIM: The water was a cool but comfortable 74 deg. I found a good spot up front and waited for the horn. The first bouy was so far out that you could barely see it standing up on shore, let alone see it from in the water. The horn went off at precisely 7a and we were off. It was tough pushing through the current and it kept pushing everyone to the inside of the course. I don't think anyone swam on the outside of the orange buoys like they were suppose to, but we all did manage to get around the outside of the yellow one where we made the sharp left and headed down to the next buoy. Again, the buoys were so far apart, they were tough to spot and I had to stop a couple times through out the swim and pull up my goggles to see it! I eventually made it through the swim. None of the splits have been posted yet online, but once they do, I'll update.

T1: It was about 1/3 of a mile between T1 and the water. OK maybe not that far, but it was a long run to get there. I made my way in and the cold air was already bugging me, not to mention I was a bit dissoriented from being horizontal for the last 35 min-ish. I did my best to stay calm but stay quick as I placed my number belt, helment, shades, and bike shoes on, and took off. T1 felt strong, but probably not as quick as I could of been.

BIKE: The bike was the hardest part of the day. I was shivering from riding in the mid 60's air temp and while being soaked from the swim. It took me till I got to about mile 15 before I actually began the slow process of warming up. It took that long to crack into the 70's. At mile 20-25, the road was extremely rough. On these kind of roads, your body has to act like a shock absorber, sapping your energy quickly. While all this was going on, the cold temps were trying to cramp up my legs. I could feel my hamstrings and calve muscles getting tight. At mile 40, I hit a low, mentally mostly, but also feeling a bit fatigued. I still had a nother 16 miles on the bike and then I had to run 13.1 miles, and I was already hurting. I thought I was going to blow up on the run for sure. I decided to take a gel and within in the next 5 miles, I was starting to pull out of the slump. The last 15 min felt alright. Couple people that I knew past me on the bike. Holly blew by around mile 12, Craig past me around mile 42-ish, and Paul past me around 50. There was no touching Holly, she was gone, and ended winning overall in the women with a 4:55. Craig looked strong as he passed and with still 16 miles to go, I didn't expect to catch him on the run. Paul also looked good, but didn't get to me until mile 50. I knew I could run him down, but could I place a big enough lead on him to win?

T2: My 2nd transition felt great. I slipped my feet out of my shoes way before the dismount (probably way too early too!) so I could have a quicker time. Ran in, and swapped my helment for a sunvisor, and running shoes for bike shoes. Also grabbed 4 gels to take with me. The real test was on now. How long would I last in the run? How would the achillies hold up?

RUN: The run course it flatter than the bike course. My first 2 miles were both sub 8 min/miles, but they were achey. It wasn't until after mile 2 did I start feeling relaxed. Afterwards, my legs just felt better and better! By the end of the 3rd mile, I couldn't even tell I had been on a bike for 56 miles, it took me completely by surprise! Especially being that I had been hurting on the bike. I got my first glimpse of Paul at mile 4. He had already hit the 1st turn around just pass mile 4 and was heading back to the start/finish where he would begin a second loop. I clocked the time and found he was 2:40 ahead of me and judging by his pace, I felt like I was running a bit quicker. With 1/2 mile to go of the 1st loop, I spotted Craig heading back out for his 2nd loop. I still didn't think I had a chance but I wasnt sure. Soon after, I spotted Paul again. I was slowly catching him. I started my 2nd loop and was still feeling pretty good. I ran down Paul around mile 7.5 and gave him a few encouraging words asI passed. Now all I had to do was create a 9 min lead. Closing in on mile 9, I spotted Craig, and he was walking! He was blowing up and I made sure to also give him a few good words as I passed. Both men had started in the 3rd wave, which was 9 min after my wave. So, to beat them overall, I would needed to cross the finish line 9+ min ahead of them. I kept pushing hard. I was still holding sub 8 min/miles. It wasn't till mile 11 did I begin to hurt. My mile 12 pace had slowed to an 8:30/mile. I made sure to push even harder on the last 1.1 miles and ended up clocking a split of 7:51. I finished with an overall time of 5:23:36 and PR'ed by 36 min! I did the math on my watch, and if I am correct, ran a 1:37 half-marathon...AFTER a 56 miles bike! I was very pleased with my self. Soon after, paul came in. He had beaten me by about 3 min overall. Then, Craig pulled in with a 5:30.

Overall and surprisingly a great day. The achillies tendon didn't bother me, thanks for the prayers everyone! And I didn't blow up on the run! And now here I am, exhausted and can barely keep my eyes open. My bed is calling and its time for a very restful night. I'll update racing splits when I receive them.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Colonial Beach Olymic Triathlon Race Report

So last night I got a great nights sleep and woke up promptly at 4:15a. I ate some wheaties for breakfast and left as soon as my cousin came in around 5a.

It was a cool and almost clear morning. We arrived around 6a as the sun was coming up over the horizon. It was really cool. I quickly got numbered, picked up my timing chip, and had everything set up for my race. I had a few butterflies, but I have always been told having a few butterflies was a good sign, so I felt pretty good about what I was about to do.

Once I got everything set up, I saw my buddy Lars. We talked for a bit and then headed to the water to warm up for my swim. They said water temp was 82 degrees and it felt GREAT! Also, the river was a salt water river and I could feel the extra boyancy.

They lined us up in the water right off the shore and blew the horn. We had to swim into the sun, which made sighting the boeys a little bit more challenging. 250m into the swim we made the 1st right hander and I could feel a current pushing me. 250m again and we turned once again towards the shore. Once we reached the shore, we had to pop out of the water, run over the timing mats, and then pop back in. As soon as I hit shore, I was a bit disoriented(spl?)and struggled to find my land legs and my heart rate spiked. So getting back into a rythm again once I hit the water was tough at first. 200m before the swim was over, the fastest female swimmer caught me and flew right past. I tried tucking in behind her to draft, but it only lasted for maybe 50m, and she was gone! She must of been a year round swimmer. My 1500m swim lasted 26:30.

I hit the shore and ran into T1. Threw my bib belt, shades, and helment on and took off. It went SO smoothly and fast, I thought for sure I had missed something, but a quick glance over my stuff and I couldn't see anything missing, so I took off. I was in and out in 1:19.

The coolest part was as I left T1, the Bell family was waiting there cheering. They are one of my swim families that I coach swimming year round. Kudos for them waking up so earlier and driving an hour down to watch me race! THANKS GUYS, YOU'RE AWESOME!

I mounted on my bike and once I got going, slipped my feet into my shoes. It took me like 15 minutes to find my land legs. I had 6 miles of flat rode before I started hitting the hills and it took me 4 of those miles to be able to get use to being vertical again. It was tough at first, but once I really got going, I was flying. Even some of the uphills I was flying at 21-22 mph, it was just a fast course and Everything just felt Great! I took gel packs at 10 min and 50 min into bike for fuel and water every 10 minutes. The middle 12 miles were rolling hills and actually weren't as bad as they had looked on friday. There was one nasty climb going both ways, but other than that, I was flying. I finished my 40k(25 mi) bike in 1:10:35 or an average pace of 21.4 mph. Absolutely the fastest bike ride I have EVER done, by far.

I slipped out of my shoes maybe a 1/10 of a miles before T2. I ran into T2, set my bike on the rack, and sat down to put my socks n shoes on. The socks slipped on almost effortlessly, despite being moist from sweat. Slipping out of my shoes before T2 helps evaporate any moisture. Then slipped the shoes on and pulled the draw string shoelaces and took off. Again, everything went so fast, I had to take a 2nd glance to make sure I got everything. I took my last gel with me. I was in n out of T2 in 1:24.

As I ran out, I saw my cousin and the Bells. The adrenaline was pumping and I felt SO good at first. I thought I was going to blow away this 10k run. Then maybe a 1/4 of a mile out, it was like my legs were hit with a hammer. Everything tightened up. I took me 2 more miles before I was able to loosen up and open up my stride a bit. I took my gel maybe a mile n half in. I didn't want to take it too soon off the bike and get sick. There was 3 water stations placed almost every mile for the 1st 3 miles, and then you hit the turn around and hit those same 3 again. It was nice being able to grab water every mile. The run was pancake flat. I felt alright up to mile 5. I was starting to hurt a bit. I didn't have much after hammering the bike. I felt myself slowing up a bit and a couple times I almost walked, but knew I was only about 8 minutes away from the finish line. I finished with my cuz and the Bells cheering with a run split of 46:15 or a pace of 7:28. That pace shocked me a bit when I saw my results. I thought for sure I was barely hitting an 8 minute mile, but I'll take it. No Complaints!

Overall I placed 26th out of 176 entries with a time of 2:26.04ish (not sure how many entrants actually showed). Also, I placed 1st in my age group! and won a $25 gift card! I was quite proud. lol =) Overall, it was a great day! I tried thinking what I could do differently, and honestly I really couldn't find much. Probably should of kicked more at the end of the swim to warm up the legs. Kind of zoned out in the swim and forgot about that. And minor tweaks here and there. Everything just went so smoothly.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Colonial Beach Triathlon on Sunday!

Today I went to packet pick up. My race isn't till sunday morning, but I decided to go today to see if I could ride the bike course and get a good feel for it. As I was driving into Colonial Beach, however, the roads that the bike course was on, were narrow and had a bit of traffic on it, and with a speed limit of 55, I didn't feel comfortable riding by myself. I did however drive the course. It is an out and back ride. The first and last 6 miles are FLAT, almost as flat as a pancake. Afterwards you hit a few rollers and eventually you get to one big hill. Its bigger on one side, so I will only go up that side once and then coming back will be able to fly down it.
The run is even more flat and runs along the shore. It's a pretty cool run course, and driving around it, there was plenty to look at.
The water looked choppy today and had white caps all over the place. I've never swam in such a wide body of water before. The past tri's were either in a calm lake or a pool. I'm looking forward to battling the chop! The whole course looks like a lot fun and fast.

I know a lot of people make predictions or goals to try and accomplish for their race, and I am typically one of those people. But this weekend, being its my first race in over a year, I've decided to go out and just hammer away and see what happens. I just want to give it my all, leave everything out on the course, and have no expectations and no pressure. Just do my best and I get what I get.
With that said tho, I want to beat my competition too! lol. I found out that the relay team I am going up against has a state champion cross country runner. I already knew they had a jr national swimmer. So I don't think I stack up very well against them, the only way I know I can beat them is to beat their cyclist up pretty bad, but I looked him up on google (i know, stalker lol)and found some results dating back over the past decade. Looks like he's experienced, and cyclings my weakest leg. So, I am not going to be too concerned with them.

On the other hand, ever since my buddy got me into triathlon, ive been wanting to race him. And everytime we sign up for the same race, something happens where one of us can't race. Well hopefully, if the weather doesn't rain, I think I'll get my first shot at racing him. I am much faster on the swim and run, but the man is sick nasty (yes I said sick nasty lol) on the bike. So he'll easily erase any lead on the bike, and I'll have to track him down on the run, maybe.

Also, theres only 5 guys in my age group. I'm sure 1 or 2 of them will be really fast. I'll let you all know how I stack up to them on Sunday.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Motivational Monday

So after a long and tiring weekend with swim team stuff, I've decided to take the day off from working out. Saturday, my summer team had our swim-a-thon. For every 100 & 200 Laps they swam, they got to pick a coach to pie in the face. Several kids got it, and several kids chose me to pie! There's 7 of us coaches and I got 10 pies, while my the next most was my assistant coach who only got like 3.

Immediately following, I drove 2 1/2 hr to newport news for a year meet. It was an indoor pool that had a glass top on it. The glass had coverings on it, but it still easily reach into the 90's. Sunday was even worse, the outside temp reached triple digits. I was dripping with sweat just standing outside. Inside the pool again was hi 90's and stuffy. I'm glad we didn't have as many swimmers that day, cause we were able to go into the lobby where the AC was pumping nice cold air, keeping everything as a consistant 70. The meet ended around 7ish and I remember passing a Walgreens around 7:30. They had an electric board outside in which it read 98 degrees still. 98 DEGREES AT 7:30 IN THE EVENING! HOT! I got in a 30 minute run between meet session, the heat made sick temporarly, but after a cold shower, I felt pretty good and got my runners high before the last session.

Today, I was searching youtube for a motivational video. I wanted to post something since I hadn't been on since Friday. So here it is, its from the moving "Facing Giants" i think. Haven't seen it yet, but might go rent it now.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Motivational Monday

Ford Ironman World Championship at Kona Hawaii. You can watch the rest of the parts on youtube.

Monday, May 31, 2010

Motivational Monday and Heats a Killer

So this may be a bit long cause I have to make up for not blogging on Saturdays ride. Plus, I wanna post another motivation video from youtube that I really like. Plus I have to blog on todays Work outs.

So first, Heres the motivational video "No Excuses."

Saturday was great. It was suppose to storm in the afternoon but never did. Instead it stayed overcast and mid 70's most of the day until the sun came out from behind the clouds. It was great for riding. I had a 2 hour ride to do and I went with my buddy Lars, and older gentlemen who insanely fast on the bike and a multiple Ironman finisher. He actually just qualified for Kona not to long ago! Best of luck to him.

We rode on Quantico Marine Base and he took me down some rodes that I hadn't even known existed before. We past multiple artillary ranges, some of which were for tanks. You could see old brown/black burnt tanks out in the distnace that had been previously fire on.

He taught me a handful of things on riding that I never knew. Like how you should flex your foot as you push down on the peddles so you use more of your calf muscle and less of your quads, thus saving your quads for running afterwards in a race. He never runs out of things to talk about, so the conversation is always great and it makes the miles fly by! We ended up riding 32 miles in just under 2 hours or about 17 mph. We both were hitting peaks in our training, so we didnt have much in the legs to push the pace any fasters lol. He'll be tapering for Eagleman Half the next two week, I am just in a recovery week this week and will continue working hard after this week.

Now on to todays work outs! I was at the pool by 9ish this morning. I had a work out of 2500 to do today.
4x200 swim/kick/pull/swim or skips
1x1500 swim which I broke up by 500 FR no equipment, 250 FR w/ fins, 250 FR w/ paddles, 500 Fr No equipment
200 EZ

Following immediately after, I had a 45 minute run. The temperature lately, has been HOT upper 80's/lower 90's. I haven't trained this much in this type of heat EVER. So my body is still trying to adapt and adjust to exerting itself in this hot humid weather. Not saying I don't like running in the heat. I enjoy sweating and running with out a shirt. Feels good, but it bout kills after a couple miles. The legs are burning, stomach is getting a bit sick, and the chest is cramping a bit. I just need to adapt. Ironman Louisville is in late August which I will one day do, so I HAVE to get comfortable at running in the humid heat.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

A little motivation + a run and a bike today.

A little motivation for everyone. I know its basketball, but I still think its inspiring to work harder!

Nothing out of the ordinary to report today.
Today was a 45 min run, which came out to be about 5 miles. I trail ran it again. My knees were a bit stiff this morning but no pain. Once I got about a mile into it, things started loosening up. 70 degrees and still a bit humid out and again I was soaked at the end of my run.

Immediately following, I hopped onto the bike. I know its backwards in the order of a triathlon, but I feel like if I run first then hop onto the bike, I can improve my bike faster than if I just hop on the bike first and then. As I get closer to race day, I will begin to switch it back to cycling first, then running, to make my training more race specific.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Dating a Triathlete

I picked this up a long time ago. Bits and pieces of it are true, but this is a bit extreme haha. Enjoy!

*Dating A Triathlete*
A little insight into the world of a triathlete :)

"I am an outdoors type of person." Really means: I train in any type of weather. If it's raining, snowing, 90 degrees w/100 percent humidity, or winds gusting at 30 mph. I don't want to hear any complaints because I will still train in it and you're just a big wuss for complaining about it.

"I enjoy riding my bike." Really means: with or w/o aero bars, alone or in a peleton, I don't care. If you can't do a spur of the moment 30 miler then you're not my type. I will let you draft, but if you can't hang and I drop you - I will see you later. I am a capable mechanic, but don't expect me to change your flats or tune your bike. You need to learn that on your own.

"I enjoy jogging." Really means: Let's run hills until we puke. I have just as many shoes as you only mine are better because they are functional and all look the same.

"I enjoy dining out." Really means: I enjoy eating out, in or anywhere else I can find food. Don't be shy because with the amount of food I eat, you can have that main entree instead of a salad and you will still look as though you eat like a rabbit in comparison.

Don't get your limbs too close though as I may take a bite out of you. Most importantly don't expect any taste off my plate unless you can bring something to the party like more food. Eventually though if your not burning 4,000 calories a day your going to plump up and have a terrible complex due to watching me eat deserts and not gain any weight. Friends and family will eventually decide not to dine with us anymore due to my horrid table manners. Oh, and don't ask me any questions during breakfast, Mid Morning Lunch, Lunch, Afternoon lunch, Dinner or Recovery Dinner as it does not lend to efficient food intake.

"I enjoy quiet walks on the beach." Really means: Walks on the beach warming up into an 8 mile run and then plunging myself in the lake for a 2 miler. If you get in my way you're going to find out what a mass start is.

"I find fulfillment in charitable work." Really means: If I am not racing, I am volunteering and I expect you to be there along side me as I stand out in 90 degree weather for 8 hours handing out sports drink to cyclists going 20 mph. Just stick the ol' arm out there and hope it doesn't get taken off.

"I enjoy sharing quiet moments together." Really means: It's taper time. Just back off because I am strategizing and in a pissy mood because I am worried about my "A" race and can't workout.

"I am an active person." Really means: Aside from my 40 hour job, and the 8 mandatory hours of sleep a night. 10 hours a week are devoted to me during the off-season and 20 during race season leaving us 4 hours. 2 of which are spent inhaling food and you not talking to me, so let's make the best of the 2 hours we will spend together on average each day. If you are a licensed message therapist or doctor this would make the most optimal use of our time together. Nutritionist is also acceptable, but I probably already know just as much as you.

"I enjoy road trips and leisurely drives." Really means: You have your choice of Kentucky, Wisconsin, Idaho, Florida, California, Arizona, and New York, but don't expect to do much site seeing. If I get enough support from you we might be able to include Hawaii in there.

"I enjoy site seeing." Really means: Lets grab a mountain bike and get our HR's up to RPE 19. There's plenty of time to look around on the descent as trees and bushes whiz by you at 40 mph.

"I like stimulating conversation." Really means: while we are running, we can talk about food. Then we can talk about how we decided what to wear on this run based on the temperature at start time versus the temperature at the time we expect to finish, how horribly out of shape we are, how many miles we did last week, and how many we will do this week and next week. Then we can talk about food.

"I enjoy relaxing soaks in the tub." Really Means: I'm going to stop on the way home and buy two bags of ice, throw them in the tub with some water, and sit in this torture chamber for 30 minutes.

"I'm interested in photography" Really Means: My camera is permanently perched a tripod in front of my trainer. I obsess over taking photos of my bike position and analyzing them to get the perfect setup.

"I'm into in technology" Really Means: My HRM and bike computer are my best friends. Until you can give me some hard data that can improve my training, don't bother trying to buddy up to me. You could one day break into the top three if I find you as entertaining on long runs and rides as my mp3 player