Monday, May 31, 2010
I think there have been emails about this, but if not I saw that without limits productions is doing a series of open water swims in Denver. Web site is www.withoutlimits.com for more information.
Good luck to everyone racing Kansas 70.3 this next weekend.
Happy Memorial Day
Tuesday, May 25, 2010
Results from Waco:
Rakita took 6th Men's Pro, but was actually first out of the water with the fastest overall swim!
Tracy Thelan was 8th Womens Pro (her race report)
(Did I miss anyone??)
Thursday, May 13, 2010
Ironman New Orleans 70.3 was both fun and challenging for me. It was my first race longer than an Olympic distance so I was anxious to see what this was all about. A couple days prior, I mentioned to my sister and brother in law that I thought I was pretty sure I could complete a full Ironman but I wasn’t sure about how fast I could do it. Let’s just say that I took that statement back about 3 minutes after crossing the finish line.
Deciding to drive to New Orleans was a decision I made because I like to have my own car during packet pick-up and race day morning. I also didn’t want to bother taking my bike apart and putting it back together. My journey started April 15th from the Springs and I arrived in New Orleans Friday night(16th). I enjoyed seeing family and friends leading up to race day. The finest part about racing in New Orleans is the food. I have never had any real nutrition issues prior to this race so I decided that I was going to enjoy my short time there and eat po-boys(shrimp, oyster, catfish) for breakfast, lunch and dinner. This leads us to race morning.
Pre race: Our swim wave (25-29M) was the last to start so there was no rush but I’ve always been the type to wake up early race morning and be one of the first at the transition area. Whole grain Cheerios and Vanilla Soy Milk is my race day breakfast of choice. I also made sure to take my vitamins and an XS energy drink. My bags were already packed so I took off pretty early. Everything was running smooth in the morning as far as getting body marked and getting transition area set up. I always bring a ton of liquids and extras just in case but in the end my transition area is very simple and easy to work with. Out of the 2500 or so bikes, mine was the closest to the run out. I was pretty excited about that……At that time. We had about a 2 hour wait so, being the extrovert that I am, I decided to make friends with fellow triathletes.
Swim: Well, well, well. I’ll start by saying that swimming once every 2 months is not a great game plan for a successful swim. It was a running start into the water so the start was more spread out than I was used to. My goal was to finish the swim in 35 minutes but I had to adjust 30 seconds into the start. There were some decent swells in the lake and there was an art swimming through them that I didn’t quite figure out. To make a long story short, I finally got into a groove. Although sunny on the way back to the transition area, I managed to stay comfortable and save some for the bike. I finished the swim in 48 minutes, which was obviously way off my goal.
Bike: I have never been one to take forever in transition so I was on the bike and ready for 56 miles in about 2 minutes. The bike portion is normally my weakest part, although the swim and bike were my weakest this particular day. I felt great the first 30 miles then fatigue started to set in. I learned that it is ok to pee on the bike, but not until after the race. I stopped 3 times to use the bathroom and was part of the reason it took me 3:19 on the bike. Oh well, lesson learned. I normally drink a sugarless sports drink which lasted me a good portion, but had to revert to orange flavored powerade, which started to give me some stomach issues. In any way, I finished the bike with an easy last mile of spinning and stretching to prepare for the run.
T2 was interesting in that I always take my feet out and pedal on top of my shoes right before dismounting and didn’t realize that there were a plethora of “stickies” that were going to stay on my socks. I took about 30 seconds trying to get them all off of my socks but in the end, I believe it would have taken me 5 minutes to get them all off. I put my shoes on and took off. (T2 was about 90 seconds). I only felt the “stickies” for about ½ mile.
Run: Feeling good is an understatement when describing how I felt on the run. I felt wonderful but also thought about how this was my first ½ Ironman and didn’t want to push it too early. Weather was a little toasty compared to Colorado (85 and humid) but had no leg cramps or stomach issues through the first 11.5 miles. I was feeling really great and heard a second line band with 1.5 miles to go so I decided to put the legs into another gear. For those that don’t know what a second line band is……..Imagine a brass band (trumpet, trombone, sax, snare drum, tuba, etc. ) marching down the street with about 100 others marching/partying behind them (One of the things I love about my hometown). That was enough to pull me through the end of W Esplanade Ave. I started to feel a small cramp come on in both of my legs so I started to run a little funny but who cares. I was thinking about beignets and crawfish after the race. I turned the corner to head towards Café du Monde and Jackson Square only to find a huge crowd and many high fives waiting. I finished the run in 2:01 and that put me at 6:13 for total time. It was a great experience and look forward to racing many more 70.3’s.
Tuesday, May 11, 2010
2010 Colorado Marathon
Sunday, May 9, 2010 – Fort Collins, CO
3:32:59 – 8:07 pace, 7/47 AG, 136/975 OA – BQ!
I had done this race twice before. My last race here was my marathon PR – 3:26:20 - and my first time qualifying for Boston. After my unsatisfactory race in Boston last year I wanted to qualify again and maybe go back to Boston to see what I'm capable of when fully healthy.
I started training for this race way back in September. My focus was to build up substantial volume and hold it for several months, then work on speed and long runs in the month or so preceding the race. During the eight months leading up to the race I ran over 2300 miles, with a peak week of slightly over 100 miles. As is my norm, I also raced frequently and set several new PRs along the way. In other races I set new personal course bests in almost every race. Despite the generally lousy weather I managed to have decent long runs with closing miles at or near race pace. My speedwork went well. Based on all this, I was fully expecting to set a new PR. I was thinking somewhere between 3:15-3:20.
On Saturday, I met Buzz Borries, Dan Boucher, and Dawn Barker for supper. They were all running the half marathon. They all ended up having decent races and Dan set a new PR, while Dawn finished her first half marathon nicely.
Race morning seemed OK. The weather was just about perfect, around 40 at the start and warming to the mid 50s as the race progressed, sunny and almost no wind. However, the bus got to the starting area a bit later than I was wanting, and by the time I got through the potty line and completed some basic routine prerace items I didn't have much time to get in a decent warmup. I did what I could and got in the line for the start. I figured I would ease into the first mile to loosen up, then pick up the pace to what I felt would be sustainable based on my previous recent longer races. This worked well as the first mile was 7:45, then I dropped to the 7:20 range. I was cruising along and not really feeling like I was running hard. I went through 6 miles at just about 45 minutes, a 7:30 pace, right on target and feeling good. At 8 miles I was just over an hour, still on target and feeling good. Shortly after that I could feel my calves starting to tighten up. It seemed very early for that and I had run a 10 mile race a couple months ago at a much faster pace with no issues at all. I felt like I was keeping the same effort, but in the next few miles people started passing me and I knew I was slowing down. Somewhere in those miles I knew this wasn't going to be the race I wanted and I backed off some thinking I could still salvage a PR. I went through the half at 1:40:34, about a minute and a half slower than my last race here. I thought maybe by backing off I could run the second half better than the last race and get that PR. But it just wasn't happening. As I could see the possibility of a PR slipping away, the goal now turned to maybe breaking 3:30. That still seemed possible even as I went through 20 miles. Then I seemed to slow a bit more and the focus was to just get the BQ. I had to really force myself to keep going because by then my legs were getting really tight. I shortened up my stride and increased the cadence to allow myself to keep moving forward at a decent pace. I recall passing the 25 mile mark in the last race with over 18 minutes to finish thinking I could walk it in if I had to. This time when I passed 25 I only had 13 minutes and I knew I had to keep up the effort in that final 1.2 miles. Mile 26 was my slowest mile of the race as the course was getting crowded with people from the half marathon and marathoners trying to finish in good form. When I finally made the last turn and could see the finish line I was able to muster up a final bit of energy and run the last .2 at a slightly stronger pace. I crossed the line in 3:32:59. Only 3 minutes under the BQ time, but nonetheless I had made it.
I met up with Buzz, Dan, and Dawn after the race and we went to the beer garden.
I'm not overly disappointed. It wasn't like the race was a complete failure. I'm just chalking it up to being an incidence of everything just not coming together on race day. I did make the real goal of qualifying for Boston again. Now I have several months to decide if I'm actually going to Boston again. The race itself is an amazing experience, but the associated costs of travel and accommodations are quite an expense.
After I recover I've got a bunch of other races to train for this summer including my first attempt at the Pikes Peak Ascent.