Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Race #3 of the Season: Barkin' Dog Duathlon

... or aging up sucks.

As I turn 35 this summer, I'm now in a new AG ... and am probably officially going to be comparatively worse for the next 15 years or so (unless I really kick my own ass into gear which ... trying).

Or better people are starting to show up and race the short course at Barkin' Dog. That could also be a possibility.

I'm not entirely sure I actually slept the night before, but I woke up fairly exhausted but on time (hooray!) to leave the house and go race. We got routed to a different parking lot this year, so it was almost a good mile walk down to transition. Since I have the state parks pass ... I should have just driven into the park and parked in the boating area ... maybe next time ...

Got set up, grabbed my packet ... and ended up finding a few Skirt sisters in Samm and Cassie. It was Cassie's first ever duathlon, so we helped explain some stuff, give advice ... tell her not to worry about the hill of death in the middle of the bike course ... the usual.

After that, it was a lot of standing around and waiting as the short course women were the absolute last wave to go off, but go off we did.

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Start. I'm with all the crazy lime, Samm is in the Runners Roost kit to my right (if looking at photo; actually off my left shoulder), and there's a sliver of Cassie in a Stargaze Happy Girl on the other side of me.

Run 1:

The fact that I had to walk a bit up the hill of the first 2K run told me it was going to be a rough day as I'm pretty sure I didn't have to do the last time I did this race back in 2016. Dangit.

I also swear we ran a bit further down the sidewalk than that year, but that could have been my own perception due to struggling lungs already. Great.

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Rounding the corner back to transition.

Time: 11:18 (4th division, 23rd gender, 48th overall)

T1: 

Fairly uneventful, as per usual. 

Time: :58 (2nd, 9th, 23rd)

Bike:

I forget exactly when Samm passed me on the run, but pass me she did. However, I was able to pass her back a few miles into the bike course. I hadn't ridden outside much leading into the race, but I wanted to push it on the bike, so push it I did.

I was able to see where Samm was on the backside of the tower loop - she was going in as I was coming out, so I knew she wasn't too far behind. I saw Cassie just about to turn up the giant hill of death as I turned back onto the main part of the park road, so I knew she was doing okay as well.

Unfortunately for me, no fastest AG bike split ... and that's okay, as I did the best as I could have done on that day.

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Like a boss. Also lopsided helmet due to the buff I was wearing underneath for my ears. Oops.

Time: 38:56 (3rd, 20th, 40th)

T2:

Once again, in, out, gone as best I could.

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"High"-fiving a little girl leaving transition. Why not, right? Also I look really tall as a result ...

Time: 1:11 (2nd, 20th, 37th)

Run 2:

Run 2 was a struggle and a half. I was heading over to the hill when I saw Samm come into trans, so I knew it was probably only going to be a matter of time until she caught me. I was walking way more than I would have liked, too.

(clearly hit my race goal of "pace well." clearly.)

Racing Underground changed up the run course this year to avoid extra foot traffic on the main park road, turning it into a straight out-and-back on the trails. I'm not sure whether I liked this more or less or neither.

In any case, my first mile was pretty slow AF (12:something), mostly due to me not being able to breathe. 

Samm caught me not too long after that, and we stuck together for most of the rest of the run. She told me she was having some struggles herself - not knowing if she'd actually be able to finish the race. So, we mutually helped each other out - I helped her just keep going in general, and she helped me to a killer neg split (mile 2 11:something, mile 3 10:something).

We were nearing the part where we needed to turn off the path and head up the road to the finish when she had it and I didn't quite, so we split up and she beat me by about 45 seconds (to take third in our AG).

Time: 34:35 (4th, 36th, 67th)

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Overall Stats:
Time: 1:27:00
4/5 division (F35-39)
23/60 gender
48/107 overall

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Post-race selfie. My thoughts exactly.

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The real reason I race: Flippin' Flapjacks.

Samm and I hung out a bit afterward, eating our pancakes, and then we biked back up to our cars. I packed up and busted ass to drive back into the park, as I wanted to try to see Cassie finished. We saw her starting up the hill on the second run as we were running down to the finish, so I knew there'd be a chance.

Unfortunately, I saw her walking back to trans with her pancakes as I drove into the parking lot. I was able to chat with her a bit post-race, though, to see how it went and all of that. She tripped at one point on the second run, so she had a bit of road rash from that, and her bike got tipped over in trans so her derailleur was a bit screwed up, making shifting difficult, but she survived and is not totally done with multisport for good, so I'm calling it a win. 

*********

And, since I've done this race thrice now, it's comparison time!

Time 2014: 1:27:28
Time 2016: 1:21:31
Time 2018: 1:27:00
Difference: quite a bit slower than 2016, but still faster than the first time. And the first time had arguably the easiest bike out of all of them. Not complaining since I totally wasn't really trained.

Run 1 2014: 10:14
Run 1 2016: 10:32
Run 1 2018: 11:18
Difference: so slow. I'M WORKING ON IT.

T1 2014: 1:10
T1 2016: 1:02
T1 2018: :58
Difference: well, I keep improving at something. Also, this might be my first ever sub-:60 transition time. Score!

Bike 2014: 42:56
Bike 2016: 38:10
Bike 2018: 38:56
Difference: wow, this is where I lost the least time. I'm kind of impressed, honestly. I think it's just a lot of accumulated bike miles in my legs. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

T2 2014: 1:09
T2 2016: 1:04
T2 2018: 1:11
Difference: ... and I lost time here. *shrugs*

Run 2 2014: 31:57
Run 2 2016: 30:41
Run 2 2018: 34:35
Difference: a lot. The other area where I bled a lot of time. Again, working on it.

I'm considering doing this race again next year (as I really do enjoy it), but as a relay with Samm. I guess she really wants one of the AG champion pint glasses (which I got in 2014), and they only go one deep for short course (unlike long course, where they go three deep). She would run and I would bike. I think we would crush it, so that's probably next year. Watch out for Team Skirt!

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Race #2 of the Season: Rockies Home Run 5K

... the second race of my weekend double. 

Unlike the Donut Dash the day before, I was actually hoping to race this race. I didn't think I'd come close to my course PR (28:something)(spoiler: I didn't), mostly because I took some time off running for Italy and I really haven't been doing any speed work.

Since both of us wanted to do pretty well, we also decided we would run separately. 

I managed to hit most of my goals, too.

- have fun. Indeed, there is even fun in suffering. Also with pre-race selfies with Dinger, the Rockies' mascot.

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Not the Dinger selfie, but one of the two of us.

- pace well. Ha, well, not so much ... keep reading.

The gun went off and Brandon was gone. I kept him in sight for most of the first mile, but as soon as I had to slow down to walk, I lost him. The first mile of this race is one of the quickest opening miles around the Denver race scene (imho), and mine was probably too fast for current sustainability, at an 8:57. Oops.

Mile 2 starts uphill, and I walked some, before running again. And then walking at the aid station halfway through the mile. And a bit again. And then up the other hills on course. Dropped to a 9:45 for that mile.

Mile 3 was a lot of pain. Ran when I could (and, according to the Garmin file, ran quite fast), but I had absolutely no lungs. AT ALL. Saw the finish, turned into the stadium to run around the warning track, ran around it, struggled up the mini hill leaving the stadium (evil), walked once more, and then gutted out sub-7 pace to the finish, trying to hit my final goal.

- sub-30. So ... dang ... close.

Final Stats:
Time: 30:20
44/287 AG (F30-34)
217/2140 gender
654/3965 overall

I left it all out there on the course. I got sub-10 per mile (which I'm THRILLED with) and came pretty close to the sub-30 I would have liked. I said in my pre-race goals post that sub-30 might take some pain. Well, I had pain and still couldn't get it, so that's okay. I know where I need to work before the next 5K I want to do well at in early June (Skirt Sports).

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Friday, May 4, 2018

Race #1 of the Season: Donut Dash 5K

 ... because I run for doughnuts. 

This was a race that I got a lot of emails for and basically threw on the schedule because it looked fun, and fun is what I am about this year. I was okay with it even being the same weekend as the Rockies race because I figure I'd do what I did - race this one easy, and the Rockies race for serious.

On the plus side, I nailed every one of my race goals. 

- have fun. Oh yes, I had fun. 

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Pre-race. Yes, I'm wearing my ancient Skirt "I run for donuts" shirt. And non-technical donut socks (over tech socks).

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Mid-race selfie.

Goal? Hit.

- take it easy. My toes were the only things that hurt after this race (okay, so the two pairs of socks might not have been the smartest idea). However, trying to stay at a slower pace is surprisingly hard, but we were successful.

- plus 30 min. I even got plus-33 minutes. Awww yeah.

It's weird lining up in the second wave of a 5K for "over 10 minute milers," since I try not for that to be me on a typical basis ... but today wasn't a typical day.

We ran the whole first mile, purposefully checking the Garmins and making sure we weren't going too fast. 10:15 pace? Whoa there, back it off, no need to sprint. We'd surge occasionally to get around walkers/large groups, but other than that, took it easy.

It is frustrating, though, that even going at a slower pace, I can't maintain it, breath-wise, for a full 5K. Someday I will be able to do that again. Needless to say, we took some walk breaks. Which weren't all that frustrating, if I'm being honest with myself, as it was just in keeping with the easy peasy theme of the day.

Place-wise, even though I wasn't really trying, I still ended up in a decent position ... proving to me that I really need to probably stick to a single sport.

Final Stats:
Time: 34:06
53/131 AG (F30-34)
229/711 gender
434/1082 overall

Just about an 11:00/mile. Perfect.

Donuts were Safeway (and Krispy Kreme) ... both of which I don't particularly like, so I only even ate one donut post race. But, I did get a medal, so there's that.

donut_dash3

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

April Round-Up

I think I set myself up well for success this month, knowing we had our Italy trip ... but I also knew that life is sometimes a thing.

Well, life was still a thing, but I still managed to hit my goals! And I did have ridiculous walking numbers ...

Swimming: 5600m (3.48 mi)
Cycling: 61.59 mi
Running: 21.03 mi
Lifting: 11 sessions (2:21)
Other: eight walks (18:00), one yoga session (:16)

I hit my very modest goals ... and I should have even surpassed all three ... but that's where life became a thing. The run goal actually looked iffy (despite running twice in Italy), but the two late-month 5Ks helped push me over the edge. Phew.

May has started out okay (this actual week, not so much), but I'm hoping to refocus here and get back rolling ... particularly since multisport season starts Sunday. Eep.

I do have some minimums I'm hoping to hit - 10,000m swimming, 200 mi cycling, 50 mi running - which are a touch ambitious, but I also know Brandon's going to be gone a good chunk of this month, so I have nothing to do but train!

(Okay not really, but it's time to get rolling ...)

Thursday, April 26, 2018

A Few Good Race Goals

Oh hey, I'm finally going to start racing this season!

This is one of my later starts to race season this year and I weirdly feel some trepidation. Why, I'm not entirely sure, but whatever. 

I've got the 5K double this weekend and then my first multisport race of the season in Barkin' Dog next weekend. Which I'm pretty sure I'm completely not ready for, but I used my free race entry from volunteering for it, so I guess I'm showing up.

Donut Dash 5K:

This race is for total shits and giggles. I have a shirt (and a swimsuit, let's be honest) that says I run for donuts ... so I literally will this day. B actually ended up having it off, so he'll be running with me.

My goals are to:
- have fun. Selfies shall abound.
- take it easy. I don't want to hurt after this. At all. Unless it's my stomach from the donuts.
- plus 30 min. And ideally over 31, 32 minutes. If I can make it 33, all the better. 

The main reason why is ...

Rockies 5K:

Which we're doing on Sunday and would preferably like to do well at. 

Said goals are to:
- have fun. This is a permanent race goal. If I'm not having fun, I shouldn't be doing it. Probably won't mean mid-race selfies, though.
- pace well. Forever an issue, but it doesn't mean I can't constantly keep working at it.
- sub-30? My running has been okay and I've even gotten some mileage ... but it's kind of gone downhill since we took about a two week vacation to Italy where I ran twice (but did get in a lot of walking). So we'll see on this one. It might take some pain.

Barkin' Dog Duathlon:

I missed this race last year. I didn't sign up thanks to an awful spring of training and decided to go to Boston and LA instead. Since I volunteered for the Ralston Creek Half, and Racing Underground volunteers get a free race entry ... I decided to use it for Barkin' Dog again. And also short course again.

Running's been okay and cycling has also been okay and I will probably be cramming in some bike miles on the course next week prior to the race.

I've gotten first and second in my AG before at this race and there's a chance I could do it again ... but it all depends on who shows up. And oh crap, I just realized I aged up this year. Dangit. So who knows.

Therefore, I believe my goals should be:
- have fun. Because obviously.
- pace well ... Two runs with a ride in between. Short so I can go close to all out, but not so much that I'm completely dying on the second run.
- ... but go hard on the bike. I've had the fastest bike in my AG the two times I've done this ride. Yes, I'm aging up, but can the streak continue??? I'd like to at least try.

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

March Round-Up

I missed some workouts this month for sure (when do I not?), butbutBUT I managed to hit my mileage goals, so everything is wonderful!

Swimming: 9800m (6.09 mi)
Cycling: 85.34 mi
Running: 42.88 mi
Lifting: 16 sessions (4:53)
Other: two curling sessions (2:30), one barre session (:10), one stationary bike session (:10), three yoga sessions (:48)

Curling is almost done for the season - we've got one more mixed doubles match left (our last game we'll be out of town for) and we might participate in a bonspiel, but other than that, that's going to stay quiet for quite a while. I attempted to do my Pure Barre DVD ... but that wasn't wise on a day that I already did a decent strength workout. Couldn't get through it keeping proper form, so did the prudent thing and turned it off. The stationary bike session was me getting on the bike in Costa Rica and a case of "something is better than nothing." The yoga has been tossed in here and there and has felt great.

Swimming, like always, should have been higher - probably around 15k? - but I hit my main goal of 7500m so I'm happy.

I've been on the trainer more than I'd like lately, but I'm still getting my rides done, and I surpassed my goal of 75 miles. By a lot. I finally did one of the longer rides from the house and I got invited to go ride dirt with Katie (she had a bike I could borrow), and that was my longest ride in a really long time.

Running was the main joy, as I hit my 40 mile goal. Those 42.88 miles are also the most I've run in a month since last August (camp, Pikes Peak), which is a touch embarrassing to type, but whatever. I'm working on it. I'm also already at 100 miles a third of the way through the year which means I'm on pace for at least 400 and hopefully more than that. Hopefully.

I didn't really add in plyometrics yet, but I have been somehow fortunate to always schedule my TIU workouts on the HIIT days, so there's that.

******

In other news, I came to the decision that I'd like this race season to be fun. I'll still probably try to go for my 5K PR (because speed *is* fun), but I'm not sure about any of my other speed goals. I've registered for the Donut Dash 5K and the Colorado Rockies 5K, which are on the same weekend. The Donut race I don't plan on taking seriously at all, while I may try to actually race the Rockies race. Brandon will be joining me for the latter, too.

I emailed Racing Underground to use my free entry for the short course at Barkin' Dog, so that will be pseudo-serious as well.

I guess "serious" isn't the proper word. Fun is races I enjoy and can enjoy myself during. I don't particularly enjoy the olympic distance when it comes to triathlons, so I won't be doing any of those. Sprints, however, I like. So I will. But I'll also "race" them (as much as I race anything ...) because, as I said above, speed is fun. This means that a fast(er) half-marathon this year might be off the table; I haven't decided that yet. A slower, half, however, IS in the works, as I may have talked my friend Lindsey into doing the Blerch half with me in September. A race where I can eat cake and sit on couches in the middle of it? Sign me up!

******

I'm not setting ambitious April mileage goals - 5000m swimming, 45 mi riding, and 20 mi running - solely because I have an almost two-week vacation to Italy and I want to enjoy it. Will I be bringing running shoes along? Technically, yes, I shall (older ones, for walking around purposes), but I don't want to stress out about training. I want to spend the time exploring with Brandon. 

My walking numbers should be off the charts, though.

And, realistically, I should be able to hit those goals (and surpass them) no problem, but, well, life.

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

WRtW March Event

Women Run the World events at Skirt Sports are now every other month so last week was this month's event.

It was a touch different in terms of format - we didn't have a speaker (well, kinda) - we had food!

No, seriously. We had Amy Kimoto Kahn, who runs the Easy Peasy Japanesey blog and wrote the cookbook, "Simply Ramen." She spoke a bit on her background and then demonstrated "sushi tacos," an even simpler way of doing hand rolls.

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Amy talking. Slightly smaller crowd as we had a $5 sushi fee.

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Cheat note: for the tuna, you don't need sushi grade. Yellowfin from Whole Foods works just fine. Freeze and chop!

The best part of all of this, of course, was the food.

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Appetizers. Some edamame/hummus mixture on a honey rice cracker. SO GOOD.

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Close-up of one of my sushi hand roll/tacos. This one was with crab. I may have eaten many ...

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Dessert. Some adzuki bean/coffee custard thing. Taste was good, but texturally it was hard for me to eat.

While I've liked past events with the speakers and the nuggets of information, this was a super nice change up, especially with the food.