Sunday, June 26, 2011

Race Recap: 5430 Sprint Triathlon

This was a week ago, but while I'm listening to my go to song, Warrior, I decided enough is enough and it's time to get it done. Also, I just got my computer back from repair, so that's good. :-)

Anyway, here we go.

First triathlon of the season. Time to find out how well the training paid off, thus far, anyway.

We woke up at about 4 a.m. to make the long drive to Boulder. For our 1/2 Ironman, we got a hotel reserved, which is good, because I do not want to do that 50 minute drive that morning! But anyway, for a sprint tri, whatever. The forecast was good, if not a little cold. However, the water was 68 the day before, which was a HUGE boost of confidence to us. After wolfing down some breakfast, we hit the road. It looked cloudy and I thought that was a good sign, cause it would hold down temperatures, at least for awhile.

When we got to the res, we were probably 20-25 minutes early before trans opened, but nonetheless, we unpacked the car and headed up to the course. We hit the porta-potties for the first time, but definitely not the last, and then went up to a gazebo to get a good view of the res. After hanging out for a few minutes, we walked our bikes over to the transition area and split up to our respective areas. I was towards the bike out, and kind of close to the run out, so that was fine with me. And since we were there early enough, I snagged a spot on the end of the saddlehorses. Score!

I spent some time prepping my transition area (is it just me or as you do more tris, you have less stuff?) and then got body marked. As has been tradition, I got a smiley face a la Steve in a Speedo. He also gave me some great tips on shaving my legs the night before, so major props to him!

After getting body marked, I went over to T's transition area, where she had already been making friends. We wandered around, hitting the porta potties again and finding me some water for my water bottle. I was trying a different strategy on the bike this year with hydration. More on that later.

Here's Nelson, one of the TBD actual dinosaurs, my little buddy, in my transition area. He likes triathlon!

So we just killed more time before the start. We texted our friends Mark and Kris, who the previous day, had a great showing at Grandma's Marathon, with Kris qualifying for Boston! Kris had asked for help motivating her the day before, so she was returning the favor for me. We joked around and I could definitely feel the mood was light and happy. This is the way I wanted it to be.

With only a few minutes before we needed to be at the water, I put my wetsuit on and listened to a few songs to relax and pump me up. I closed it with Epica's "Never Enough". I said goodbye to Kris, and T and I headed for the water.

There were a lot of people warming up and I decided to take a quick lap around the swim beach ropes. I felt good and comfortable. The water was surprisingly warm, considering Aurora has been freezing for all our open waters at this point. T was also there to warm up, but I advised her to be careful since her wave was going much later then I was. I didn't want her to get chilled.

We listened to the National Anthem, then the first couple waves started lining up. I was in the 2nd wave to go. The 1st wave went off and I inched towards the water. As I was standing in the water waiting to go, T came over from warming up and gave me some well wishes. It was nice to get those, considering she's gone first in most of our tris.

I bobbed in the water, then the horn went off. My race was underway.

The Swim
I started towards the back of the pack, knowing I have the strength to catch most of the other swimmers and really didn't feel like getting mixed up in the fray. I waited a few seconds, then put my head down and off I went.

Within 50 meters, I was catching people. I saw a lot of people struggling, and thought it surprisingly odd, given that this tri is one of the more serious ones out there. I just kept going, avoiding bodies and feeling really good.

Near the turning point, I veered off course a bit, due to my own stupidity of relying on someone in front of me. About 5 of us were off and were pointed by a kayak to turn around and go around the buoy. Oops. Lesson learned for sure though.

At one point heading back to shore, I was having some breathing issues, which could be chalked up to lack of endurance, not used to the wetsuit yet this year, or any number of things. Regardless, I slowed down a bit, let my arms and body do the work, and surprised myself when I hit the shore. I knelt down to get reoriented, then lifted myself out of the water and jogged towards transition, beginning the wetsuit stripping process. Once in transition, I pulled off my suit, threw on my cycling shoes, helmet, and sunglasses and raced towards the bike out. I was now on the bike and off to complete the cycling leg!

The Bike
Very quickly on the bike, I could sense there was something wrong with my left calf/hamstring. I barely made it a mile before I had to attempt to stretch it out. I wasn't happy about this at all and kept going on the bike, but was watching a lot of people pass me. It's always humbling getting passed, and I was determined to minimize that.

The first 3-4 miles of the ride were all essentially uphill and I was suffering with my calf and hammy. I kept attempting to stretch them out and hoped that they would work themselves out eventually. Once we reached the first downhill, my spirit was lifted quite a bit. The ride began a nice descent and continued like that until near the end. I was flying! Now I was the one passing people. I was in aero for the majority of the ride and I was just loving it. My calf and hammy were less painful and I was consistently in the 20-25 mph range. Cadence was holding good and I just watched the countryside go by.

Near the halfway point was the aid station. You remember I talked about having one water bottle on the bike. Here was my reasoning behind it. At BolderBoulder, we got these crappy water bottles from Einsteins Bagels and I thought a perfect plan would be to ditch the bottle at the aid station. That way, I would save on some weight in the backstretch. For a cyclist like me, the weight savings is probably minimal, but regardless, I went for it.

As I approached the aid station, I finished my water and hucked the bottle. I planned on taking in some Gatorade at this station. When the volunteers asked what they could give me, I yelled GATORADE! and kept pedaling. The first volunteer missed me, but I got it the 2nd time from one. I drank some of it, threw the bottle, and kept going. I was proud of how smooth this worked and can count on it in the future.

The 2nd half of the ride was uneventful. I pedaled hard and eventually my calf worked itself out, but my hammy never quite did. I managed to do just fine though and at one point, was shocked at how well it was going. It sure gave me some confidence that I've been doing the right thing, that's for sure.

I approached the bike in, dismounted, and ran towards my transition area. I said hello to my little buddy Nelson, looked for T's bike (it wasn't there, good sign) and re-racked my bike. I changed shoes, took off my helmet, threw on my Rattlesnake Triathlon hat, and headed out for the final leg of the course: the run.

The Run
Initially, the run went poor. I felt it was really slow and I immediately chalked this up to lack of brick training. It was fine though; just something to work on. I kept the legs moving and saw people coming in as I was going out. I got a couple atta boys but for the most part, I was just focusing on running.

At the water stop, I walked through it to hydrate and get fluids. I took both a water and Gatorade. Quickly drinking them, I resumed my task at hand. I hit the turn around point and realized I was doing pretty well. I thought I might be able to crack an hour and 50, and I set out to make that my goal, with a secondary goal of under 1:48.

Coming in towards the finish, I was able to pick it up a bit and saw the finish line. As I approached it, I stopped and did my standard finish. For those of you who don't know what it is, I essentially slow to a walk just before the line, point at the finish sign above my head, and step across. I did that and felt an urge to just celebrate, so I raised my arms up and yelled. I don't know why I did this but I did. My first race was over, and I felt amazing!

I was handed a cold towel and a medal. I put the towel on my head to cool off and walked to transition area to get my phone so I could take a picture/video of T crossing the finish line. I also wanted food and Gatorade.

I got what I wanted and waited near the finish line. About 35 minutes after I crossed, I finally saw her bolting down the finish chute. I was able to get a small 4 second video of her doing her custom sprint across the line. I then met up with her and we congratulated each other and swapped stories. We also went to get her hydrated and more food.

The race completed for both of us, we loaded up our bikes and headed home, both feeling pretty good. I took some things away that were incredible and I also have some things to work on. It's looking up though, in my opinion, for 70.3.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Race #2 of the Season: BolderBOULDER

This race was about two weeks ago, so forgive me if this isn't one of my more in-depth race reports. That, and I decided to do this post tonight rather than tomorrow so I need to bust this shiznit out before eating and packing up the car for tri numero uno tomorrow.

Ahem. If you recall from last year, this race was our first 10K. Lessons were learned from last year namely:

1. Get to Boulder EARLY. We actually made our wave start with plenty of time this year.
2. For Brandon, use the freaking port-o-potties. Twice if need be. This prevented an in-run stop like last year.
3. FedEx Mobile Locker was a genius idea. Continued with that once again.

The race start and finish were closer to each other this year and since we had an event after the run near the start line, that's where we parked this year. Worked out fabulously and the walk to the car felt good to stretch out the ol' legs.

As I posted a few posts ago, we had a few goals for this race. If you don't want to click back, I'll share them once again:

1. Beat last year's time.
2. Crack a 10:00/mi
3. Crack 60:00 total.

One and two were the main; three was a stretch. We hit one and two and were close from nailing three.

Since this wasn't an A race for us, we decided to run together. I'd pace Brandon through the early miles and he'd get us through the later miles. This worked out okay for the most part ...

Mile 1: 9:01.38
"Holy crap, that was fast. But that also felt great! That being said, we should probably slow it down a bit ..."

Mile 2: 9:28.46
"That's better."

Mile 3: 10:08.46
"Um, what happened there?" To be fair, mile three had a lot of twists and turns and was pretty much everyone's slowest mile. It was for the few people we knew running it; it was for freaking Ryan Hall. In consensus: mile three sucked.

Mile 4: 10:02.59
"Stupid high point of the course."

Mile 5: 9:40.48
"Better. Much, much better."

Mile 6.2: 10:33.92
"Stupid last hill that's not even as bad as advertised. Stupid run into the stupid stadium. Stupid run around the stupid stadium. HOLY CRAP FINISH LINE SPRINT!"

Last 1.2 miles seemed kind of slow, but they hurt. And going up into the stadium I kinda wanted to vomit. That's how I knew there was no way for me to find any extra time to crack 60:00.

Final Stats:
Overall place: 15,309 of roughly 49,000
Division/place: F27/243 out of 831
Gender place: 5515 out of 26963
Net time: 1:00:51 (9:47/mi pace)

2011 BolderBOULDER 10K
Pre-race! Right after our Starbucks stop.

2011 BolderBOULDER 10K
Runner with Chick-fil-a cow! That FB? That was our wave start, too.

2011 BolderBOULDER 10K
Start line.

2011 BolderBOULDER 10K
Brandon in the FedEx Mobile Locker line ... letting us all know his Sioux pride.

2011 BolderBOULDER 10K
Me in line ... in my standard race shirt.

2011 BolderBOULDER 10K
Backdrop thingy for photos. But only for stupid Brightroom.

2011 BolderBOULDER 10K
Bleacher thingys.

2011 BolderBOULDER 10K
Runners in the final mile.

2011 BolderBOULDER 10K
Runners heading up the final OHSOHORRIBLEOMG hill into the stadium (which is around the corner obscured by trees).

May Round-Up


At this point, May was almost so long ago that I don't even remember, yo. We did run the BolderBOULDER which went well (which you've already read with Brandon and will hopefully with me ... tomorrow. after our race. hopefully.). In any case, I'll just skip to numbers!

Running: 38.29 miles (average went down about one second/mile)
Swimming: 3.11 miles (average went down about 30 seconds/mile)
Cycling (outside): 47.49 miles (average went down about one mph)(boooo)
Cycling (trainer): 5.72 miles (stupid wind preventing outside cycling)
Lifting: eight sessions. On a twice a week plan, so this works.
Other: one session treadmill sprints

Besides the bike time going down (booooooo), everything else seems to be looking up some. Swim is tricky, but I'm slowly navigating those literal and metaphorical waters.

Obviously we're already well into June with our first sprint tri ... tomorrow! BB10K RECAP SOON I SWEAR. SRSLY.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011


I know. I have pictures uploaded and everything! I'll try to get on both my June recap and my BolderBOULDER race report this week ... as tri #1 is Sunday. *eek*

I will say, though, that the ass-cold open water swims have been NOT FUN. Anyone with any advice with how to deal with those (yes, we have wetsuits, but they're long johns, not full-sleeve) would be much appreciated.

Exhausted as though I may be, I'm off to the gym to lift and get in my workout of the day. Ugh.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

May Recap

May went very well.

It started off with a two-a-day, doing a swim and the Mark Allen lifting plan in Montreal. From there, I actually got into a routine and started training properly for my 1/2 Ironman.


Running - 40.6 miles
Cycling (outside) - 47.91 miles
Swimming - 2.98 miles
Lifting - 9 times
Cycling (trainer) - 20.22 miles
Off days - 6

Very happy with the month overall. I'll be looking at doing a lot more cycling next month, but for now, we're looking pretty good.

Race #1 of the Season: BolderBoulder Recap

The BolderBoulder wasn't even really on my racing calendar this year. The race that I really wanted to do in May, the Rockies Home Run for the Homeless 5K I was unable to get off for, so after bribing a friend of mine, we switched schedules so I could get off Memorial Day and instead do the BolderBoulder. Last year, I enjoyed this race, but didn't necessarily care about doing it again anytime soon. However, circumstances being what they are, I decided since I really wanted to race, it was going to be my first race of the season.

T and I woke up very early, and like we do every time we wake up that early, wanted to go back to bed. She forced herself up and prodded me for awhile to drag my haggard carcass out. Finally, I did. We ate breakfast and because of the time issues we had last year, left the house early to make sure we got to Boulder in plenty of time.

This year, instead of parking at the finish line, we parked closer to the start due to the fact we were going to be attending a Geocaching event after the race. We went to a Starbucks to grab some warm drinks as it was an overcast day and nearly drizzly, then made our first bathroom trip of the morning. I give Starbucks a lot of credit; they had lots of water available.

After Starbucks, we decided to work our way over to the start of the course so we could find the FedEx locker and not have to wait in line for like 14 hours like we did last year. We got turned around though and had to ask some race dude for directions to it. A lesson: always thank your race volunteers cause they have to deal with goobers like us that don't know stuff.

After stashing our stuff at the FedEx line, we hit the porta-potties, about 20 minutes before our wave was scheduled to go. We were there a lot longer then we should have been, but thankfully got to our wave in time.

We waited for a little bit then off we went! Our first race was underway.

The first mile was very fast, about 9:01. T was setting the pace for us on this day, and I was ok with this, because I knew if she could get us through the first couple miles, I could get us through the last couple miles. I asked her if she was ok with the pace she was setting, and she said yep. The 2nd mile, we walked for a bit, but still were moving very quickly, holding a 9:28 pace through the 2nd mile.

I should note a couple things at this point. We had a couple goals for this race. One was to beat our time from last year. The 2nd was to come in under a 10:00 per mile pace. The final one, our "stretch" goal was to crack 60:00. At this point, I was very confident about beating goal one, about 70% on goal 2, and about 10% on goal 3. Still, felt great thus far.

Mile 3 was slow. In fact, it was slow for EVERYONE! Again, another point to note. The course was slightly altered this year, to allow for a more "technical race". Mile 3 was very winding, as well as pretty uphill. So naturally, we were a little slower in mile 3. Plus, our pace from the earlier two miles might have been starting to affect us a bit.

Mile 4 was a grind. The meat and potatoes of this run, as far as I'm concerned. You start noticing the beer people are drinking on the side of the course and have to stay focused. It's time to dig in and remember your training.

In Mile 5, I got a 2nd wind and was feeling awesome. T, on the other hand, was struggling. I kept my eye on our time, and by this point, knew that beating last years time was in the bag. Under10:00 per mile wasn't a lock, but would most likely happen, about 90% confident. However, I knew under 60:00 would take a miracle, so instead of pushing it to risk injury, I allowed T to walk when she needed to. Fully supporting her, we made it up that stupid hill that everyone whines about and made the final turn into Folsom Field.

For those of you who don't remember, when you turn into the field, you have to run a bit around the stadium to the finish line. I told T that once we hit the stadium, it was every man/woman for themselves and I held to it. Since T has a fascination with sprinting across the finish line and me, I do my little pointy-thing at the finish sign, we had no problem splitting up. I steadily increased my speed, feeling really good, and slowed just before the mat, doing my little pointy-thing and stepped on the mat. I turned around and saw a sprinting blue streak coming towards the line. T crossed, found me, high fived, and we enjoyed our accomplishment. 1:00:48. Two of 3 goals reached. Not too bad.

After the race, we signed up for the Denver 1/2 Marathon, enjoyed a caching event, and later ate like pigs at a BBQ. Overall, a great day, very impressive, and yet still can build. :-)