Tuesday, September 28, 2010

First CycleCross "Race" - Tuesday Night CycleCross Training Race

Tonight I did my first cyclecross "race", I put it in quotes because it is labeled a training race. It was, to say the least, humbling. I finished dead last. I learned that triathlon in shape, is not cyclecross in shape. The race made me feel very out of shape.
I don't have pictures of the course, so I will try to describe it. It is in Aquila Park in St. Louis Park and the course is marked out with stakes and yellow tape. The course changes every week. After listening to a couple of conversations, it appears that this weeks arrangements was one of the more difficult. The course had multiple climbs, all of them steep, one end of the park is a hill and the course stayed mostly on the side of that hill. All of the barriers, except one, are at the bottom of a climb. So you had to jump off your bike, jump over the barrier, and then run the bike up the hill and then mount at the top of the hill.
The race is 30 minutes long, Cat 4 and Jr, and the winner is the first person to cross the finish line who does the most laps. I did 4, I was lapped at least once. I think a single lap contained about 7 climbs. By my second loop I was basically stopping at the top of the hills to catch my breath. I thought I would going to loose my legs a number of times and just fall over while trying to get on and off the bike.
I need to practice my high speed mount and dismount, many of the people racing out there would put triathletes to shame with how fast they dismount, jump over the obstacle, and remount. They are incredibly fast.
I will continue to do this on Tuesday nights. It is a really kick ass workout and gives me something new to work on. I can see how doing this type of cycling can make you a much better cyclist. It is one hell of a workout. Next Tuesday I will try to take some pictures.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Cannon-Wells Duathlon Results - Final Race of the Season

It was cold and wet last weekend for the Dousman Duathlon, it was cold and a little less wet for the Cannon-Wells Duathlon. It was in the high 40s/low 50s during the race. It started raining before, not too hard, and was not raining at start time. It was cold.
It was a mass start, everyone at once. Including the relays, there was probably about 140 people, so it was not too crowded. The run is flat, like last week, so it is basically a 2 mile sprint. I was a little slower than last week. I felt it, I was sucking wind last week, this week it felt like I was sucking more wind and had to put a lot more effort in for less of a result.
I would say the bike is 50/50 flat and hills. No major climbs, but many rollers.
The final run is mostly flat, there is a little uphill at the turnaround, nothing big, but you know you are going uphill.
I felt sluggish/fatigued during the week, and that morning.
I think my times show that I was fatigued, when compared to last week, they were not as good. The bike course last week was longer and more difficult, and my time was faster. My second run this week was a little off. I am pretty happy with my results. Last race of the year, so I cannot complain too much.
Interesting story during the bike. I was making up some time on the bike. About 5 miles in I come up on this guy, got next to him, and he started cranking away. He was probably about 3-5 minutes in front of me, at least, so I came up on him pretty good. When he started cranking, I backed off and got out of the draft zone. After about a minute he seemed to be slowing, so I passed him, and he stayed in my draft zone. We came up to a hill and he passed me, then I passed him, and he stayed in my draft zone. He continued to stay in my draft zone. On a climb, he passed me, and as he was passing me he said, "Rules say that drafting is not recommended, but nothing about being illegal". I just shook my head and did what I usually do, race my race. He continued to draft off me, when he had the opportunity. There was a guy on a road bike who was in our general area, and he came back and forth around us. He did not draft. I will come back to the guy on the road bike, he is 47 years old, I read his calf. In the last two miles of the bike we get on a bike path and I picked up the pace. The guy drafting off of me was still on me. I passed someone on the trail, the person passed me back, and the drafting guy passed me and drafted off that person. Anyway, I came into transition, and ran out. The guy on the road bike came out of transition faster, and so did the drafting guy. So on the run I caught the guy on the road bike and he told me he was doing his first race and we chatted a little. I am not much of a chatter while running. I have enough trouble breathing. At the finish, I patted the guy on the back and congratulated him. He was talking to the drafting guy. The first time guy came up to me in transition after the race and chatted about a couple things. He said that he knows the drafting guy and did not agree with him. He told the drafting guy he should probably not be drafting, even though the rules don't prohibit it, because he is pissing off the guy in the Gear West kit, that would be me. Drafting guy did piss me off a little. Drafting guy told his buddy that he barely had to pedal during the bike and his legs felt good during the run. Really? I race my own race, so I was not that pissed. "Drafting not recommened" is not draft legal in my mind. I have done 18 races this year, and nearly 60 in my short career, and I have never drafted. I want to know how well my legs/body can take it when pedalling the whole time and then coming off and running as hard as I can. That is why I do this. If I ever do a draft legal race, which I doubt I will do, then I would probably draft, because it is legal and part of the tactics of the race.
Enough with that. It was an interesting experience.

2010 Cannon-Wells Duathlon Results
Run (2mi) - 14:28 (7:14min/mi)
T1 - 1:05
Bike (14mi) - 40:14 (20.9 MPH)
T2 - 0:57
Run (3mi) - 23:46 (7:56min/mi)
Total - 1:20:28
Overall - 29/133
AG - 6/16

I am going to have a number of posts after this one that summarize different stats from throughout the year.

Monday, September 20, 2010

2010 Dousman Duathlon Results

The weather was crappy and the race went better than expected, even though I was off my goal times, just for the runs and transitions. I am really happy with my results.
This race has gotten very big. I think I mentioned it before, but the first year I did it, 2006, there was a total of 254 individuals. This year the total was 791. It is also getting much more competitive, very fast times. The winner, who was in my AG, went right around 1:14.
My transistion spot had a tree behind it, see picture, which as a little bit inconvenient, but no real biggie. Prior to the race start there were no real issues. Went for a short ride to make sure the bike was ok. They had changed the transistion around, so I familiarized myself with it and made sure there were no hazards. Everything looked good.
I was in the 13th wave, so I had to wait about 26 minutes to start. Waiting to start I felt myself getting a little nervous. I had not done a duathlon since late May, and for those two I decided I was going to go out on the run super easy because of my leg. I was unsure of how I would do going out fast.
At the start of the race, it was cloudy and about 50-55, with some patches of sunshine. That would change.
I had my watch with GPS, so I could watch my pace. I went out about a 6:30 min/mi pace, maybe too fast. I was breathing pretty hard and rapid by the middle of the first mile. I finally settled down about the mile marker to a more steady pace, and breathing.
Once into transition I took a deep breath, I was still breathing pretty hard, and got my shoes, helmet and glasses on, and unracked the bike and got out of there.
Starting with 600 people ahead of you has some disadvantages, the main one being the amount of traffic you have to combat. There were people riding 2-3 abreast. There were people on the wrong side of the road. There were people swerving back and forth. I spent a lot time time yelling "on your left" and "coming up behind fast on left". It was a good bike, just a tad frustrating. I think on clear shot, no traffic, I could have averaged over 22MPH. It is what it is, people are a part of the race.
About 15 miles into the bike it started raining. Pretty hard, very hard. Sounded like pebbles off my helmet. I felt I kept a pretty good pace with the rain and the cold. The last few miles my legs started to feel the cold and dampness. They felt like they might get tight and I could see myself slowing down, I had my GPS on. The first 10 miles or so I would guess I was averaging close to or faster than 23MPH. Just a guess based on checking my speed occasionally.
Since I had socks on and it was wet, I opted to not do a flying dismount.
I got through transition pretty fast and ran as fast as I could for two miles. It actually felt a little better than the first two miles. It still hurt. I felt I could control my breathing better on the second run. The rain had stopped and it was cool and not humid, thankfully.
I finished strong and was really happy with my performance. I proved to myself that I could go fast, not as fast as 2008, but I proved to myself that I am back on my way to getting as fast as I was, and maybe faster. Next year.
It did pour after the race and I hung around for a little food and to watch some of the awards. I did not get warm clothes on right after, because it was pouring, and I ended up shivering cold for about about 30 minutes in the car, with heat on, once I left the race. I finally warmed up when I stopped at a Rocky Rococo's for two huge slices of sausage and pepperoni. Yum.

2010 Dousman Duathlon Results
Run 1 (2mi) - 13:59 (7:00 min/mi), my goal was 6:45 min/mi, which may have been unrealistic. I went out at a pace that was 6:30 min/mi. That might have been a bad idea, but it all worked out.
T1 - 1:25, I stopped to take a deep breath, gather thoughts, and then put stuff on
Bike (21mi, initially thought it was 20mi so goal based on that) - 57:53 (21.8MPH), fastest bike in a duathlon, ever.
T2 - 1:14
Run 2 (2mi) - 15:01 (7:30 min/mi)
Total - 1:29:30
Overall - 86/791
AG - 15/62

My last race of the year is this weekend, the Cannon-Wells Duathlon.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

2010 Dousman Duathlon Preview

This will be my 4th time doing this duathlon as an individual and my 5th time overall. Last year I did at as a relay with Jackie. She did the runs and I did the bike.
I have improved at this race every year. It is a FAST run course. Two 2 mile runs, both are the same course, and it is nearly pancake flat. I cannot recall the bike that well, but it is not that hilly. It will be interesting to see how I handle a two mile sprint. The first two duathlons I did this year were the first two races of the year, not counting St. Anthony's nearly a month earlier in FL, and I took those easy. I still had worries about my leg.
Now I would like to go flat out as fast as I can. I am not sure how fast that will be since I have done little speed work this year, compared to previous years.
Below I have posted my results for this race from previous years, along with a goal/hope for this year. I don't expect to run as fast as 2008, but I would like to bike fast, which is a possibility.
This is my second to last race of the year, my 3rd duathlon of the year, and the 17th race I will be starting this year.

2006 Dousman Duathlon Results
Run (2mi) = 15:12 (7:36 min/mi)
T1 = 1:48
Bike (20mi) = 67:48 (17.7MPH), this was before I had a tri-bike, and a coach
T2 = 1:44
Run (2mi) = 16::28 (8:14 min/mi)
Total = 1:43:00
Overall = 238/254
AG = 13/24, actually this was Clydesdale. I was still over 200lbs.

2007 Dousman Duathlon Results
Run (2mi) = 13:20 (6:40 min/mi)
T1 = 1:19
Bike (20mi) = 61:50 (19.7MPH)
T2 = 1:17
Run (2mi) = 14:40 (7:20 min/mi)
Total = 1:32:26, dropped nearly 11 minutes from the previous year
Overall = 111/797
AG = 21/55

2008 Dousman Duathlon Results
Run (2mi) = 12:58 (6:29 min/mi)
T1 = 1:25
Bike (20mi) = 57:17 (20.9 MPH)
T2 = 0:55
Run (2mi) = 14:06 (7:03 min/mi)
Total = 1:26:39, dropped over 5 minutes from previous year and a total of 16 minutes from first year
Overall = 34/615
AG = 5/54

2009 Dousman Duathlon Results - Bike Only (20mi) = 59:08 = 20.3MPH

2010 Dousman Duathlon Goal/Wish
Run (2mi) = 13:30 (6:45 min/mi)
T1 = 1:00
Bike (20 mi) = 56:00 (21.5 MPH)
T2 = 0:50
Run (2mi) = 14:00 (7:00 min/mi)
Total = 1:25:20, I would be happy to drop more than a minute, especially if I run slower than 2008. I expect that my run will be trimmed down a little. I would like to go out a little slower. I will see if I can be patient. It is hard to do with such a short run.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Product Review 25 - SLS3 Tri-Kit (Two Piece)


Tri-shorts fit comfortably and do what they are supposed to do, not get in the way while wearing them. I have not worn the tri-top racing, only swimming and biking, it is comfortable and has a nice pocket built in the back.


None at the moment

I have done multiple duathlons and triathlons with the tri-shorts. I also wear them for Master’s swim. I have not had a variety of tri-shorts, but these are best pair I have come across so far. I think the most important thing about a tri short is that it is not in the way of swimming, biking, or running. It should not bind, chafe, or be uncomfortable in anyway. These shorts fit comfortably for swimming, biking, and running. There is enough padding in the crouch to be comfortable, but not so much as to be intrusive, and not so little as to be useless.

I have not worn the tri-top racing. I have worn it for swim workouts and bike workouts; it is comfortable and breathes well.

I am not sure I would buy the tri-top, not because it is uncomfortable, but because I prefer my Gear West tri-top for racing or my Speedo FastSkin. I don’t really wear a tri-top when working out. I would buy the tri-shorts because they work great for both racing and training.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

2010 Triathlon Results Summary

Last week I did my last triathlon of the year, I have two duathlons left. That makes 14 triathlons started and 13 completed. I DNF'd Pigman Sprint on a flat tire. I am very happy with my results. I am very happy that I could race this year, after being out last year.
The screen capture of the Excel spreadsheet with my 2010 results, is below. If you click on it, it will expand. I am not sure how to embedded a spreadsheet in a blog in a good way, so this will have to do. Below the spreadsheet I will highlight my averages, with past results. I have shown some improvement this year over past years, which is all I can really ask for. When I am done with duathlons I will post those results. I will post my goals and if I completed them.

2010 Average Swim Pace (14 triathlons) = 1:40/100yards (2008 = 1:51/100 yards, 14 races and 2007 = 2:26/100 yards, 9 races)
Shortest swim = 440 yards, Longest Swim = 2112 yards, average swim distance = 1259 yards

2010 Average Time Spent in T1 = 2:22 (2008 = 3:16 and 2007 = 3:11)

2010 Average Bike Speed = 21.2MPH (2008 = 21.2MPH and 2007 = 20.6MPH)

Shortest Bike = 13 miles, Longest Bike = 56 miles, average bike distance = 25.1 miles
2010 Average Time Spent in T2 = 1:55 (2008 = 1:52 and 2007 = 1:59)

2010 Average Run Pace = 8:59 min/mi (2008 = 8:20 min/mi, 2007 = 8:02 min/mi
Shortest Run = 3 miles, Longest Run = 13.1 miles, average run distance = 5.72 miles

2010 Average Pace (Total Time/Total Distance of Triathlon) = 4:44 min/mi (2008 = 4:46 min/mi, 2007 = 4:57 min/mi), average triathlon total distance = 31.5 miles

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Last Triathlon of the Year - St. Croix Valley Olympic Triathlon Results

It was a cold morning. The temperature at about 6AM, when I got into transition, was about 45-50 degrees. I can't imagine that at 7:30, when the race started, the temperature was much above the mid-50s. This was both a good and bad thing.
I got there and got setup plenty early. Not alot of people there that I knew, basically 4 people, Jerry, Dustin (from Masters swim), Dan, and Courtney. I did a little "warm-up", it was pretty cold and it did not help much. I mainly did it to make sure the bike was good.
The race director did some annoucements, then we all went down to the beach. It was cold, the wetsuit definitely helped this morning. Did a brief swim before start, and the water felt pretty chilly. There were only 3 waves and I was in the first, it was pretty strange.
It was a two lap swim. I decided to come out faster than usual. I did and it worked out pretty well. It was pretty good swim, I was a little chilled, but warmed up partway through the swim and it went pretty well. No real issues on the swim.
When you get out of the swim, you run up the beach and up some stairs to the transistion area. The run up went well, I had a little trouble getting the wetsuit off, as Jerry announced to everyone over the PA system.
I did not realize how cold it was until I got on the bike. The course has some decent climbs and is combination of brand new black top and rough road. I would not have called the course flat. I don't think I warmed up until about 10 miles into the bike, at least. My bike split/speed was about my average for the year, but it felt really slow. I didn't think there was much of a wind out that day, but when I was out on the bike it felt like it. I just felt a little flat on the bike.
I did a "flying" dismount this race, two races in a row! I almost went down, I unintentionally had my hands on the brakes and as I came off the bike I kept braking and I almost flipped the bike. I realized, just in time, what was happening and let go of the brakes.
My feet were numb getting off the bike and I was slow to get shoes and socks on. Once on the run my feet were still numb and it took a mile or more before my feet started to warm-up. The run was pretty flat. If I remember correctly, there was definitely one short, steep climb, and another longer, climb, also possibly a shorter, flat climb. About 3 miles into the run, I came upon Dustin, from Masters, son who is 10 and doing the relay with his dad. He ran with me for about half a mile to a mile. Good to see a kid that young run like he was running. Very cool.
I had a strong run, so strong it was a PR 10K. So, I had an average swim and an average bike, but my fastest 10K off the bike.

2010 St. Croix Valley Olympic Distance Triathlon
Swim (1640 yards) - 28:12 (1:43/100 yards), right about my average for the year
T1 - 1:41
Bike (24.8 miles) - 1:10:49 (21 MPH), right about my average for the year, surprised I was this fast considering how I felt.
T2 - 1:31, a little slow
Run (6.2 mi) -48:49 (7:51 min/mi), PR 10K off the bike, previous best was 2008 Saint Paul Triathlon at 49:21 (7:57 min/mi). I would say the Saint Paul course is a flatter course.
Total - 2:31
Overall - 26/103
AG - 6/14

I am happy with my last performance of the year. A little sad to be done with Triathlons for the year, but I still have two Duathlons and, hopefully, a few Cyclecross races. I am going to try and post a Triathlon results summary by the end of this week.

Friday, September 3, 2010

August 2010 Workout Summary and Last Triathlon of the Year this Weekend

Below is my workout summary for August of 2010, compared to previous years. The workout summaries include races. This August I did 1 TT and 4 triathlons, one of those triathlons was a half-IM.

Below is the YTD summary and the summary since 2007

Below is the summary and averages since 2007

This weekend I am going to be doing the St. Croix Valley Triathlon, the Olympic distance, which is on Sunday. The sprint is on Saturday. I did the sprint last year, and the bike has a very long and steep hill. I walked the 4 mile run, because of my stress fracture, so my time is very slow.

The Olympic course swim is two loops of the sprint course swim, I think the bike is a different course, and the run follows part of the swim course. Not knowing the course that well, and assuming the weather is not too bad, I am going to project a faster time than last weekend as my goal. I think the run at St. Croix is going to be faster than Maple Grove. If I remember the course it is fairly flat.

Goal time for 2010 St. Croix Valley Triathlon (Oly Distance) will be 2:30. It would be awesome to go 2:30 or faster for my last Olympic Distance race of the year.