Tuesday, July 31, 2012

New Bike :-)

So I was planning on waiting until the winter to pick up a TT/Triathlon bike. But this one came up on the mailing list of the Tri Club I belong to here in Colorado.

Went to go see it and ride it on Sunday night. Fit great and I'm a big Specialized fan.

It's a 2009 (bought in 2010) model. The previous owner had only ridden it a few times - it's amazing how frequent that situation comes up with TT/Tri bikes :-)

Has a nice Zipp cockpit upgrade and Fizik saddle (which is my favorite saddle brand - also on my road bike).

The wheels are just training wheels (Asyrium) and nothing special. But with what I saved buying a used vs new bike, I can afford to pick up a nice set of race wheels over the winter.

It's squirrely as you expect a TT bike to be. Feels like the Cann-O-Swill (crit) that I own - way out over the front wheel. But I can definitely get in a good aero position on it.

Looking forward to throwing it on the trainer with the video camera and setting everything up just right. Then also getting a sweet wheel-set to really make it fly.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

2012 Sand Creek 11K? - Race Report

I raced the Sand Creek '10K' on Saturday. The reason for the confusion around the distance is that the pacing bike led the racers off course on two key spots on the course.

We ended up missing one loop around Central Park, but then headed into a nature preserve area that the 10K racers were not supposed to race in (it was part of the 1/2 marathon course). Once in that area - the marshalls didn't really know what to do with us - so they kept sending us down different loops, up and down... sheesh.

They sorted it out as the main pack came through I think, but for those of us strung out in the lead pack, there was a bunch of chaos and confusion. Which is never a good thing while you are trying to focus on racing. The course also transformed into a 90% paved, slightly hilly course to a 90% dirt 'Xterra' type event with some decent hills.

The end result was that the actual distance of the 10K, was more like 11K - although I think some of the mid-pack racers ran closer to 9K; based on what I could figure out from talking to folks after the race.

The good news is that due to the heat (it was like 80 degrees already at the start), I knew that I wasn't going to PR that distance. I also ran a strong race. I knew something was messed up when the bike in front of us in the lead pack turned left instead of right - but I wasn't going to stop and have a conversation about it. From that moment on, I knew we were terribly off course. I just put it in my head that I'd run at 10K pace and whatever happened happened. As a racer, you always are working to be better at dealing with the unexpected (GI issues, flatting, being mis-directed, etc..) - the better you can just put that out of your head and get down to the task at hand (racing), the better. So Saturday's race was a good test for me.

The other good news is that I ran a strong race. Faster than I would have guessed with the heat, dirt and hills. That also put me in good podium positions with the other racers - who pretty much ran the same course as me. Nobody from the rest of the pack really caught us - even with the less distance they ran.

  • 3rd overall out of about 140 racers / 100 men
  • 2nd in my division (my division being 40-49; I would have been 1st in the usual groupings of 45-49) 
  • 2nd overall Masters (40+) - which is kind of silly when you cut divisions at 40-49... weird

I looked up the racers around me in the standings (www.athlinks.com) and based on past recent races, I think we all pretty much raced to our predicted standings. Plus - I know who was ahead of me at the start, and factoring out the couple 5K folks, I knew there were only 3 ahead of me. I also talked to a couple of them after the race.

Rest of the day was good. Swam a great set later in the day with some good cruise intervals in the pool.

That didn't carry into Sunday's long run though. My stomach was trash when I left and just kept getting worse. Something I ate off the Frozen Yogourt bar last night I'm guessing. It was bad. Still got in about 10mi, but had to walk a few times as well as took some time off the side of the trail trying to yak my guts out. It's too bad though because my legs feel like they could have done the 18mi I had on the plan.

Ahhh well - there's things you can control, and things you can't. I can't control errant pacer bikes, confused course marshalls or if something has been a little too long on the condiment bar.

Seems like I was destined to work on my mental game this weekend.

At the start. The guy on the right out of the picture and the  guy in the white shirt coming up on the right  were 2 of the 3 guys that pulled ahead of me at the start and beat me. I kept contact with them for a while, but fell off about mile 2. Nobody else passed me.

Coming into the finish. Glad to be done as always.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

2012 Race Season in Pictures (so far)

2/12/2012 Platte River 7mi
It was 9 degrees at the start. I actually did an 8.5mi run before the race to make this a good 'race-with-fatigue' training run. btw - I wasn't cold at the end of the race!!

3/4/2012 Crown Hill 3mi
Denied any kind of PR. The temperature was much improved over a month prior, but the wind was howling ! I lost a pair of sunglasses that blew off the top of my head while I was warming up. Didn't even realize they had blow off and never did find them. Bummer. 
4/1/2012 City Park 4mi
Temps did a complete flip from the first race. Freakin' hot out (well 70 degrees, but that's hot for racing). Tossed my shirt prior to the start. Coming into the finish in this photo. I felt like I was slowly cooking from the inside through the race!
5/26/2012 Bolder Boulder 10K
First 'A' race of the season. Great race weather, always a tough (hilly) course. PR'd my 10K distance. Made the dry heaving at the finish line worth it. A few other guys weren't so lucky to keep it to just 'dry' heaves. Yuck - look away, look away!!
6/3/2012 Foothills Mini-Sprint Triathlon
My first ever triathlon! Was so nervous at the start of the swim, but once I got on the bike, I felt 'home'.  I'm not sure I even sat down on the bike ride - just sprinting out of the saddle most of the way. Great run course too around the lake. I got crap from one of Paige's team mates for wearing my cycling shorts. She joked, "Hey - go Mr. USA". 1st in my division and 2nd overall (take that young bucks!)
6/30/2012 Lookout Mt. Triathlon
Upgraded to a tri-kit. Much better transitions. SUPER hilly bike and run course - almost like an Xterra event! This is the start of one of the big bike climbs. I think I'm looking at the hill to come. I've mentioned before - I LOVE hills in a race. You can inflict damage on the guys around you - the trick is to mask the pain. I think I do ok at that - my grimace looks like I'm smiling. 1st in my division, 10th overall men.

7/14/2012 - Sand Creek 10K
It was actually more like an 11K - pacer bike led us off course. Ended up being like some trail race - probably 90% dirt trail with lots of hills. And the start was like at 8am in the middle of July (about 80 degrees) - what's up with that?!
Still a fun race. Placed  3rd  overall .
6/23/2012 Paige's Lake to Lake Triathlon Event
Luke and I wrote a bunch of encouragement on the sidewalk. This was near the finish line. Same picture also made the post-race pics on the web-site! I wrote some other encouragement like 'BEER' with an arrow pointing to the finish as well as "do it" - inside joke we have from Ben Stiller's character in Starsky and Hutch re-make. She didn't see any of them of course (near the finish - all you can see is the finish flag). Paige took 4th in her division against a very big and very seasoned field. 
7/10/2012 - Paige's Aqua/Run Event (1mi swim / 5K run)
This was the start of Paige's race - although I'm not sure which wet-suit person in the picture is her. I was watching Luke (who had already jumped into the water to swim in his clothes) so I just stole a way to capture a couple pictures of the start area. Paige took 4th in overall women - had an awesome, fast run to boot!