Friday, May 28, 2010

One week

This time next week we'll be in Middlebury, CT for the Rev3 Quassy Half Iron distance triathlon. We're going to make a 3 day trip out of it. The drive is a nice easy 3 hours so the kids can easily survive.....PLUS they'll have the added anticipation of being at Quassy, an amusement park, for 3 days....not to mention the schedule of activities that the race directors have planned out. Autumn is already excited for family movie night on the Jumbotron on Friday night, Joshua is excited about the train and Lauren and I are excited to have a "mini-vacation" with the family.

With all the thought going into how fun of a weekend it will be, I forgot that I actually have a race to do!! And a rather long one at that.... It will be my 2nd half iron distance event so after I finished Boston it dawned on me that I needed to be ready for 3 sports, not 1! I've done pretty well so far with the biking and running....and I'm working on the swim...so I'm pretty confident that I'll have a decent race. Until it dawned on me this week that I really hadn't checked the courses out. Well, as expected for the northeast, there are some hills...well it appears a good amount of hills. Being from the northeast, it doesn't necessarily "scare" me, actually, on the bright side, it gives the course some character!

So as I was doing one of my last long runs before the race, I was thinking back to my training over the past month...and the fact that with only a week before the race I should taper at one point, right?? Well, thanks to Garmin Connect, I ran some reports for the last 30 days....

Running:

Count:20 Activities
Distance:126.38 mi
Time:14:36:20 h:m:s
Elevation Gain:5,215 ft
Avg Speed:8.7 mph
Avg HR:142 bpm
Calories:9,946 C
Avg Distance:6.32 mi
Avg Time:00:43:49 h:m:s

Cycling:

Count:23 Activities
Distance:607.04 mi
Time:32:34:34 h:m:s
Elevation Gain:26,221 ft
Avg Speed:18.6 mph
Avg HR:127 bpm
Calories:20,159 C
Avg Distance:26.39 mi
Avg Time:01:24:58 h:m:s


My training has been very solid up to this point, some great speed efforts on the track, some great long rides and intervals on the bike, so I'm excited about that. I just need to chill out next week and taper a little bit.

I'm also looking forward to meeting all of my Trakkers teammates next week. We'll be "hosting" a team water stop at mile 1 of the Olympic Tri on Saturday...guaranteed to be the best one on the course. Then at noon we'll be handing out free First Endurance products in the awards / expo area. I also hope to hit the practice swim in the afternoon on Saturday. On Sunday I'll be testing out one of the Trakkers devices, so I'll post the link to the site. You'll be able to watch me live, see my speed/pace and everything. Pretty cool stuff.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Pier Duathlon Race Report

Yesterday was the first multisport race of the year that I've gotten some time to prep for...post Boston. It was held in Long Branch, NJ right along the ocean. This is the first time I had done the race and I was planning to meet my brother there in the morning for our 7:30 start. I headed out at 4:30am to make the 2 hour drive which was rather uneventful, getting to the race site at about 6:20 or so. It was a cool overcast morning with a shore breeze and temps in the mid 50's. Got my bike racked and took a warm up run with my brother to check out the first few turns of the bike course.

The race was 2mi run, 9.5mi bike, 3mi run. I knew it was going to be a wide open race being that the distances were so short...and that we'd be running longer than we were on the bike. The bike course was tough...flat but it had A LOT of turns. I tried to rehearse it in my head before the race so I could be as efficient as possible on the course. The race was paying a decent amount of money and there were some pretty fast guys looking for their share. I didn't realize recognize anyone but I could tell. Being that it wasn't a long race and a cool day I put a small water bottle w/ grape EFS on the bike but wasn't sure if I'd need it....and I didn't.

As I'm leaving the restroom before the race, a guy see's my green Trakkers kit and strikes a conversation, telling me he had been at Rev3 Knoxville last week, how great it was, how great Rev3 and Trakkers team is for the sport of triathlon, etc. Pretty cool to be at a local race and hear the impact that Rev3 and Trakkers has had in their relatively short existence!

So we toe the line and there are some fast dudes. As we take off, there's some serious jockeying for position going on before we hit the first turn around. As we get to the turn around, a few guys turn left on the bike course (sign of things to come?) until they realize they were going the wrong way and turn back. This put me up front....waiting for them to pass me. First guy to go by is none other than the dude from the bathroom! He's motoring. One other guy comes by me and we stay in a decent pack, 1-2-3 for the duration of the run. First mile was 5:05...oh no, still an hour of racing to go! Run 1 - 2 mi, 10:26 (man those Saucony Fasttwitch 3's are FAST). Come into T-1 a few seconds behind the first two guys and out onto the bike....

Now here's the test, I hadn't ridden much if at all during Boston training, but put 300 miles on the bike in the last two weeks, would it pay off? I was never a strong biker, but have made some good gains. First half mile of the bike I start to pull the first two in and I'm within a few bike lengths of them. All of the sudden, the first right turn comes up and they go right past the signs and go straight! Since we were the first 3 guys coming, the volunteers weren't ready yet and once they realized that the two guys in front of me made the wrong turn they started yelling. So now I just ran my rear off for the first 2 miles and I'm in front of this race again....like the hunted waiting for them to catch me again. As I said above, the course had a bunch of turns but was pretty well marked with signs, volunteers and police, so I was pretty confident I was going the right way. At about 6 miles in we made a horse shoe on a road around a small lake....I looked back and there was NO ONE! Did I make the wrong turn? Was I having that good of a bike? As we headed up back to transition area, about 3 miles to go it was a long straight road with a significant cross wind. Just kept me head down and kept charging. Into T-2 I go....great dismount... Garmin read 9.8 mi, just shy of 25 minutes, 23.5mph

Head out of T-2 and legs didn't feel too bad. First run turn around I see two guys in front of me...WTF?? Turns out the two guys that were in front of me on the bike cut 2 miles out of the bike course and were 5 minutes ahead of me!! Now I was fired up. I couldn't let it get to me because the guys behind me were about a minute back. I put my head down and clipped off two 5:35's up to the last turn around on the run. Up to about 1:30 between me and the next guy, so I had some breathing room. Crossed the finish line at 52:40, run 2 - 3mi, 16:37. Splits aren't up yet to see how they compare.

Once we cross the finish line I told the race director what had happened, figuring the first two would be disqualified I would end up with a win!! The best part about a win...the $500 first place cash prize!!<) The two guys in front of me crossed the line at about 5 min and 4 min in front of me, but I didn't see them at all after the race. Went back to transition, loaded up, did some bench racing with my brother who had an awesome race....17th overall out of 275 finishers....only a year after he started running and cycling!

Got changed and headed back to the awards ceremony. As they announce the awards, they call me out in 3rd place....WFT?? Talk to the race director....guy that finished 2nd told the RD that I took the wrong course...I went too long?? I told the RD what mileage my Garmin and my bike computer had, he said that was exactly what he measured....disqualified 1st and 2nd and handed me $500 cash!! That is the largest prize purse I've won and it made the 2 hour drive worth the effort for sure. Now I can also say that Trakkers green is the color of money!!



I had spent the night at my Dad's house with Joshua because Lauren and Autumn were headed to the American Doll store in New York city for the day. When I got home from the race Joshua was super excited. He had a great morning with Pops and Grandmom. Pops had him operating the backhoe and driving the dump truck!! Joshua didn't want to leave, although he was so exhausted he could barely stand up. It was awesome of them to watch him for the morning and now he can't wait for the next sleep over!

So I'm a couple of weeks away from the Half at Rev3 Quassy. I may do a sprint tri this weekend that's only a half hour away so I get some experience in the water before the half. Rev3 will only be my 6th tri, so it may be smart to get in the water before Quassy.

Friday, May 7, 2010

The Switch

Before I get to the title of this post, I wanted to catch up on our busy week. Mothers Day is quickly approaching and we have a fun day planned...after church we're headed to the Iron Pigs baseball game in Allentown, then my mom is coming over for a Mothers Day dinner! Haven't really had a free night to catch up on anything at home, Monday night was Swim in Zone night, Autumn is really catching on to swimming and becoming quite the fish! Tuesday night was the quarterly Runners World wear testing shoe distribution. I usually help out at these, but Lauren was working late so I figured I'd just pop in, help unload and organize all the shoes while trying to keep the kids entertained, grab my test shoes and go...well turned out they were low on shoe fitters and there were over 150 people waiting outside, so I helped out with that too. By about 7:15 the kids were ready to leave without me!! (I ended up with a nice pair of Saucony Omni 9's to try out, and a pair of Nike Pegasus for Lauren) They had done great...moving boxes, picking up the papers that come in the shoes, etc, so I decided to treat them to McDonalds which doesn't happen too often. This McDonalds had the largest indoor playground I've ever seen.....

Then Wednesday night we headed up to the first 5k in the Lehigh Valley Road Runners summer series. What a great time, a low key 5K, $5 entry and a huge potluck dinner. The kids had a blast playing with the other kids, running around, exploring the creek, etc. It was great to hang out with friends and enjoy a great time. I pushed the kids in the double stroller and ran with Lauren. I found out that they've grown considerably and that stroller isn't near as easy to push, especially on the gravel up the hills of the Parkway!

Last night Carolyn and Mike took Joshua to see Sesame Place Live at the Stabler Center and Lauren was speaking to and helping out with First Strides in Bethlehem, a great program that teaches women how to begin to run and work their way up to finishing a 5K. So, Autumn and I watched Arianna while everyone was away. Autumn loves to help out with Ari and be "the mommy", so she was a huge help. And Ari just loves Autumn it's so cute. We had a nice dinner and by this 7:00, Arianna was ready for bed....."mommy" to the rescue.....

So tonight (Friday) will be catch up night from the "whirlwind" week.

And back to the title.....The Switch. I've finally made the mental switch from "run mode" to multisport training. To the pool twice now and I've put some great riding in over the past two weeks. It feels great to have the early morning sunrise back, and some warmer temperatures. Here's a picture I just had to take from Wednesday morning, about 3 miles into my ride and I look over my shoulder to see this...

My bike legs feel like they're coming back and "The Switch" has been made. Looking at my logs, I've put half of my total riding miles for the year on in the last two weeks!! I'm only a month away from Rev3 Quassy half ironman and I'm feeling more confident that I'll be ready. It's my 2nd half iron distance event and I'm not looking for a PR but to enjoy the event, the weekend with the family and meeting a bunch of new people.

If you get a chance, check out www.lvrunningscene.com. The Lehigh Valley has a huge running community which really needed something like this to connect people and bring together as well as highlight all that the Valley has to offer to runners.