Monday, May 30, 2011

2011 Apple Duathlon Race Report - A New PR

First, I will list my previous times and my time for this year and then I will go into a race report. 

2007 Apple Duathlon
Run (3.1mi) - 23:41 (7:38 min/mi)
T1 - 1:19
Bike (20.5) - 1:02:07 (19.8MPH)
T2 - 1:14
Run (3.1mi) - 25:35 (8:15 min/mi)
Total - 1:53:45
Overall - 135/255
AG - 14/23
Time/Distance - 4:21 min/mi   (I do this metric for all races in my spreadsheet. I divide the total time by the distance to get an idea of my min/mi for the whole race.  If a course changes somewhat from year to year, Gear West this year for example, I can still get a comparison for year to year.  I don't always post this metric, but I will start now.)

2008 Apple Duathlon

Run (3.1mi) - 22:11 (7:09 min/mi)
T1 - 0:59
Bike (20.5) - 1:00:22 (20.4MPH)
T2 - 0:56
Run (3.1mi) - 24:14 (7:48 min/mi)
Total - 1:48:41
Overall - 100/261
AG - 10/26
Time/Distance - 4:04 min/mi

2009 Apple Duathlon - Injured, but volunteered

2010 Apple Duathlon (Intentionally took the run easy, recovering from injury)

Run (3.1mi) - 26:49 (8:38 min/mi)
T1 - 0:58
Bike (20.5) - 57:42 (21.3MPH)
T2 - 1:24
Run (3.1mi) - 29:10 (9:24 min/mi)
Total - 1:56:01
Overall - 117/238
AG - 16/31
Time/Distance - 4:21 min/mi

2011 Apple Duathlon

Run (3.1mi) - 22:55 (7:23 min/mi)
T1 - 0:59
Bike (20.5) - 58:31 (21MPH)
T2 - 0:53
Run (3.1mi) - 24:56 (8:02 min/mi)
Total - 1:53:45
Overall - 83/226
AG - 15/34
Time/Distance - 4:03 min/mi

In 2011 I bested my 2008 best by about 29 seconds.  Run was slower, bike was faster.

The night before I had dinner from Noodles & Company, Pasta Fresca with Chicken and Parma (Yum), and I ate it fast for some reason.  Also, I have mild sleep apnea and I have been sleeping with a CPAP (Continuous Positive Air Pressure) device for about 6 years on and off.  I woke up a little before feeling pretty crappy.  Occasionally, something goes wrong with how I am sleeping with the CPAP and I end up with cramps in my GI area, I think I get air in my GI tract or something.  Anyway, I had cramps in my middle and lower GI and just felt ick.  Between breakfast and the hour + drive things cleared up pretty well.  Thankfully.  I still felt a little ick, nausea, at the start and throughout the race, but nothing that I could not deal with.

It was a BEAUTIFUL day, nearly perfect.  Blue sky and sun.  I got there early, as usual, and could take my time.  Chatted a little with people, warmed up on the bike and ran a little.  The bike felt cold during warmup, that would not be the case during the race.
At the start, Jerry made a comment regarding my shaved head, as always, very nice.
My plan was to not hammer up the first hill during the start, and then on the downside pick it up, which I did.  This is a pavement run and mostly flat which makes it a pretty fast run.  I felt pretty good on the first run.  I was surprised how warm I got.  I was sweating really good at the end.
I took the hill out of transition easy and took some fluid.  Once over the hill I got in the aerobars and began to go harder.  If memory serves me, there are a couple of climbs where I typically get out of the aerobars.  There are a couple of nice low grade downhills where you can get really going.  Not steep downhills, but longish and flat to slightly downhill.  I started getting passed by the guys over 40 about the half way mark, and Erik Hull passed me in the last couple miles (He had a great race and had a podium finish in his AG).  Typically, the bike has a head wind on the 9ish miles back along the river.  Today the head wind was not that bad, it was still there and causing some pain, but not as bad as in the past.
I coming off the bike I felt pretty good.  I saw Erik coming out of the transition and tried to stay on him, but I could not.  I took the hill out easy, and then pushed the downhill and flat.  I was not feeling too bad, once I turned the corner on the course backside, which is a low-grade uphill, I started feeling it.  I slowed on the backside and started to struggle a bit.  By the time I turned the corner to head uphill to the finish line, I could feel my legs begging to stop.  I was cooked coming into the finish.  I would say I pushed myself pretty hard.
At the finish there was pizza, good pizza, buffalo and bbq wings, plus some fruit and cookies.  The pizza and wings tasted surprisingly good.  I had chance to chat with a few people after the race, which is always nice.
I am extremely happy with my race.  I am surprised I was able to get a PR, with the slower run than 2008.  I don't think there is anything I could have done differently on this day.  It was a nearly perfect day for a race and a great race.  Not much you can ask for.
I was racing on new shoes.  Shoes I bought last weekend and had put about 40 minutes of running on.  The shoes are Saucony Kinvara (  They are good shoes, so far I really like them.  Three people asked me about them, without prompting, which is unusual to be asked about shoes.  All of them said they heard good things about them.  That is good to hear.

As always, Steve has a fine race report at his blog:

I am sure Keith will have one up soon at:

Both of these guys had great races, especially Steve who finished 2nd in his AG.

My next race is not for two weeks, it will be my second triathlon of the year at the 2nd Annual Eau Claire Triathlon.  That should be a very interesting race.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

2011 Gear West Duathlon Report

The weather cooperated on Sunday for the few hours we needed to do the race.  There was no rain before, during (caught a couple drops on the bike, nothing major), or immediately after (around the time awards started it was a different story).  I knew going in, without seeing the course ahead of time, the run would be muddy, how muddy is the question.  The answer, muddy enough.
As usual, I got there early, about the time transistion opened.  Setup, chatted, warmed up on bike and run, listened to pre-race annoucements (where it was annouced the course had been changed and we now had to run a loop of the track at the end of each run), and went to the start.  I started in the 5th wave, waves are two minutes apart.
I felt pretty good this morning, my plan was to run hard, but leave some in the tank so I could get a good bike and second run in.  As I have mentioned before, I have not been running as much this year, or as intensely.
I had my Timex IM with GPS on, so I could get an idea of pace and bike speed.  When my wave started I took off at a pretty good clip, for me, in the 7 min/mi pace and it felt pretty good.  I was actually going to start slower.  No worries, I was slowed, by the course.  Except for the first part, most of it is on grass or trail, which was now wet grass or mud of varying degree, which helped slow me down.  It was going pretty well, until I got to the backend where you go into the woods for a bit.  There was a HUGE mud puddle/hole, guy in front of me went down, and I went party way down, up to me knee on the left side.  I was able to get back going again.  My coworker, and fellow triathlete, Tim, was near me the whole first run and that helped move me along.
I was soaked pretty good and covered with mud after the first run, but didn't care, it felt good.
There is not much to say about the bike.  It is a hilly course, there was a decent headwind at times, and I was back-and-forth with a couple riders a different points.  It felt pretty good, overall.  Toward the end I felt myself getting a little lazy with my pedal stroke and had to get my head back in the game.  Otherwise, it went pretty well.
I got into T2 feeling pretty good.  Started the run off pretty fast.  As I was leaving T2 I heard the announcer, and coworker at OHP, Kris Swarthout, say my name and ask everyone to give me a hand.  That was nice of him.
I pushed hard out of T2, and that held for the first half mile or so, then I slowed.  My lack of running caught up with me, I still posted a time I am happy with, and a second run time that is my fastest at this duathlon.  Surprise!  I picked my footing a little safer on the second run, so I did not go down like the first.
I was pretty exhausted when I finished.  This is a difficult race, in good conditions, even more so in less than ideal.  The picture of me below was taken by Nick Morales.  I took the picture of my shoes.  They are basically destoryed.  I got a new pair, belated BDay present from Jackie, the day before.

I saw my times, and my time for the first run was abnormally fast for a 5K in these conditions.  When checking the results online they corrected the distance to 2.8 miles.  The first time then made sense.
If you extrapolate my time to the usual course distance I would have set a PR, so let us call the race a PR day and be even happier about it.  I like that idea.
I biked almost the exact same split as last year and last year I jogged the run in better conditions.  I would say I am in pretty good bike shape this year, and overall shape.  Yeah for me!

2011 Gear West Duathlon Results
Run (2.8mi) - 22:33 (7:59 min/mi)
T1 - 1:12
Bike (17mi) - 48:52 (20.9MPH)
T2 - 1:06
Run (2.5mi) - 21:16 (8:29 min/mi)
Total - 1:34:58
AG - 14/31
Overall - 129/321

Big thanks to Gear West and volunteers for a great race, as always.
Next Sat, 5/28, is the Apple Duathlon.  A faster run course and, typically, a windy bike course than the GW Du

Friday, May 20, 2011

Rev3 Triathlon in Wi Dells in August 2012

This is very cool news. Rev3 is going to hold an Oly and Half-IM starting in August 2012 in Wi Dells.
Sweet.  I think this will be one to do

Thursday, May 19, 2011

2011 Gear West Duathlon - Pre Race Thoughts

I consider this a tough race.  Why?  The run course is similar to a high school cross country course.  It is mostly on grass and there are a lot of ups and downs, the worst being the hill coming into the transition/finish line.  It is a short, steep hill.  The bike course is not very flat.  Your legs get pounded and then you have to run the same course, again.  The race is early in the year, at least for me, so I am not in the best of shape.  Also, the weather can be iffy.  It can be cold and raining, warm and sunny, cold and dry, etc.  You can never tell this time of year in MN. 
This was the first multi-sport race I did after deciding to give duathlons a try.  I did the race in 2006 without a lot of training and on a road bike, with clip-on aerobars.  I was probably about 40lbs heavier, if not more, than I am now.  I was ill prepared for the race, but I finished it, along with a number of other duathlons that year, and I continue to come back for more.  2006 through 2008 I made huge performance improvements, partly due to training and partly due to better equipment. 
It is a good race to test yourself early in the year.
Last year, I was coming off a stress fracture so I intentionally took the run easy.  This year, I have not gotten the running in I would like, but I am going to go harder than last year.  It will be interesting to see how I compare to last year, and 2008, which is my fastest year.
Below are my results for the last 4 years, see how I match up this Sunday

2006 Gear West Duathlon Results
Run 1 (3.1mi) - 27:49 (8:58)
T1 - 3:18
Bike (17 mi) - 60:37 (16.8MPH, ugh slow)
T2 - 2:25
Run 2 (2.5mi) - 26:59 (10:47, I think I ended up walking a little)
Total - 2:01:08
AG - 43 out of 44 (Not Last Place!)
Overall - 315 out of 353

2007 Gear West Duathlon Results

Run 1 (3.1mi) - 24:29 (7:54)
T1 - 1:42
Bike (17 mi) - 53:56 (19MPH, eh)
T2 - 1:29
Run 2 (2.5mi) - 23:15 (9:18, still problems with that second run)
Total - 1:44:29
AG - 39 out of 45
Overall - 201 out of 342

2008 Gear West Duathlon Results

Run 1 (3.1mi) - 23:58 (7:44)
T1 - 1:15
Bike (17 mi) - 49:40 (20.5MPH, this is better)
T2 - 1:16
Run 2 (2.5mi) - 22:17 (8:54, finally under 9 min/mi)
Total - 1:38:24
AG - 26 out of 44
Overall - 151 out of 410

2010 Gear West Duathlon Results

Run 1 (3.1mi) - 27:57 (9:19)
T1 - 1:15
Bike (17 mi) - 48:41 (21MPH, I would love to do this in 2011.  With a faster run)
T2 - 1:47
Run 2 (2.5mi) - 25:42 (9:42)
Total - 1:45:19
AG - 38 out of 63 (New AG since 2008, now 35-49)
Overall - 200 out of 380

Monday, May 9, 2011

Additional St. Anthony's Triathlon Comment

I forgot to mention something about this race, the packet pick-up process and bike drop-off. 
Honestly, for a race this size, it is smooth and fast.  I have been to races much smaller and it has taken too long to do packet pick-up.  Bike drop-off, is also easy and fast.  Get your packet, quick, walk down to transistion, find number, rack bike, and walk out.  Done.
Soon I am going to post some random pictures I took before and after the race.  I am not going to buy the packet of race pictures, too expensive.  I think there is 9 pictures in the packet and it would cost my 55 buck, or something like that.  There are a few pictures I like, and there is one pick of the jerk drafting off me.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

2011 St. Anthony's Triathlon Race Report

This is my 4th consecutive year at St. Anthony's, in Saint Petersburg, FL.  I say "at" because in 2009 I was diagnosed with a tibial stress fracture the week before leaving for the race.  I went anyway and planned to swim, bike, and dropout.  That year, 2009, the swim was cancelled for everyone but the Pros, so I did the bike and dropped out.  Not terribly satisfying, but better than nothing. 
In 2010, I had not started jogging until Jan, after taking about 8 months off doing any running.  Still biking, swimming, some water jogging, and strength.  Having not really run for almost a year, I went knowing I was not going to really run the run.  I swam hard, bike hard, and then jogged the run.  I felt pretty good about the whole thing.
Coming into this year, I have been swimming a lot, and fairly hard, and biking a lot, and fairly hard.  In fact, April 2011 was the most time I had put in on the bike since I started keeping track of my training in April 2007 (As a side note, my first season was 2006 and was 5 duathlons).
I did not have any real goals going into the race.  I try not to for the first race of the year.  I just hoped to go hard and get a feeling of where I am at.  At this time of the year, what I am most curious about is where I am in terms of stressing my body.  How will I react, physically, mentally, and emotionally transitioning from swim to bike and bike to run, and attempting to go at a race pace this early in the year.
The day of the race, the air temperature felt warm, but the wind was coming off the water and made it feel cooler.  As I do for every race, I arrived early.  As expected, it was a non-wetsuit race, the measured water temperature was 78.5.  The unexpected announcement, the swim course was moved.  Start and finish moved, and the entire thing was shortened from the standard 1.5km to 1km.  The course moved north of the transition to a beach start and finish in an area with less waves.  Apparently, a reef provided some protection from the waves.  The usual swim course has a beach start, goes along a pier, turns north, comes back and finishes at the sea wall with a metal staircase as the finish.  The fear was that the high winds, causing waves, would push swimmers into the seawall and then the waves would just make the swim very difficult.  The new location had the swim closer to the shore and a beach start and finish.  While waiting to start (I had about an hour and half plus wait for my start) the announcer stressed how they went over many options, including no swim, and this was what they felt was the best option.  I agree, I would rather have shortened swim then no swim at all.  Another hitch with the new swim location, is that the transition was now about a third of a mile run from the swim finish to the transition area.  The run was on the cement bike/run path along the shoreline.   The shorter swim, plus the longer run, added a new dynamic to the race.
I took a fairly non-aggressive position for the swim start, a few rows back and on the left side, the turn bouy being on the right.  I felt it was a good position to start from to avoid the log jam at the turn.  I think I made a good decision.  The first turn was close to the start and it jammed up.  I made a pretty clean, but wide turn.  All-in-all the waves were not that bad, for most of the swim they were going left to right across my body.  I have a decent abrasive, and a little painful, mark under my arm, near my armpit.  I assume this was from left arm rubbing against my side as the waves pushed me on that side.
The swim went pretty good, the long run to T1 sucked, but it did not suck as bad as I thought.  I thought it would be more painful and I would be more winded.  Surprisingly, I was not.  Once there I got in my bike stuff and took off on the bike.
I started out a little easy and built up.  Took some fluids in and got comfortable.  The course has a lot of direction changes, which is good when it is a windy day.  It means that you are not spending too much time with headwind, as opposed to an out-and-back course where you might get a tailwind for half and a headwind for half.  The course is mostly flat, there are no steep uphills, mostly inclines one would call "false flats".
The biggest irritation of the day was the number of people in my AG, clearly drafting.  To top it all off, there was a guy on a brand new Trek Speed Concept who drafted off me for at 10-15 minutes coming into T2.   I sped up and I slowed down, and he just stayed on my wheel. To top all that off, as he passed me going into the final stretch before T2, he thanked me for pulling him.  What an a-hole.  The most I could muster at the time was a, "Not cool".  Interestingly enough, he got into T2 before me and left after me, and did not pass me on the run.  After the turnaround, he was at least a good few minutes behind me.  If you are going to cheat (draft), at least pass me on the run.  Come on?! What was your cheating good for if you can't pass me on the run?
Anyway, the bike split was my fastest split on this course in my 4 attempts.  Almost exactly the same as 2009, when there was no swim and I had fresh legs.
The run is flat, and it was hot and humid and my legs felt pretty tired.  I could not turn them over like I so badly wanted to.  I am guessing this is due to a lack of brick work and a lack of speed work.  All-in-all I was pretty happy with my run, all things considered.  The month of May will be speed work and brick work month.. 
I crossed the finish line pretty exhausted.  I was overheating and thought I would vomit.  Thankfully, I did not.  I could not stomach much food in the tent after the race.  About 45 minutes into the ride home I was able to stomach a large portion of pulled pork on garlic toast, with fries, at Sonny's BBQ.  Yum.
I was very happy with how did in this race.  I am "coaching" myself this year and I am a little nervous how things will go without the structure of someone coaching me. It seems so far so good.
Pro-Triathlete, David Thompson, from Saint Paul, finished in 13th place.  His first time finishing out of the top ten in this race.  There were 54 Pro men in the field, and more than 20 women.  Largest pro field there ever?  I think so.  To see David's thoughts you can check his blog at:
David puts up a pretty comedic race report through a computer animation called TTN (Thompson Tri News) that should be checked out.
There was a 19 seconds difference between first and third place for the Pro men.  I would love to have seen that finish.  The winner was Filip Osplay, with Matt Reed second, and last year's winner Cameron Dye in third.
Dan Hedgecock, an Elite Male out of Saint Paul, finished 4th in the Elite race.  It was his first time at St.  Anthony's.  He works at Gear West Bike and Triathlon.  Congratulations to Dan. 

Here is a history of my times:

2008 St. Anthony's
Swim - 30:58 (1:53/100yds)
T1 - 3:38
Bike - 71:48 (20.8 MPH)
T2 - 3:42
Run - 52:54 (8:31 min/mile)
Total Time - 2:42:57
AG - 121 of 231
Overall - 1258 of 3351

2009 St. Anthony's - Bike Only - 70:43 (21.1 MPH)

2010 St. Anthony'sSwim - 29:36 (1:49/100yds)
T1 - 3:12
Bike - 75:10 (19.8 MPH)
T2 - 2:27
Run - 58:33 (9:22 min/mile)
Total Time - 2:48:56
AG - 156 of 287
Overall - 1264 of 3192

2011 St. Anthony's
Swim (shortened to 1km from 1.5km, no wetsuit) - 17:56 (1:48/100yds)
T1 (includes about 1/3 mile run from swim finish to T1) - 5:49
Bike - 70:44 (21.1MPH)
T2 - 2:45
Run - 55:04 (8:53 min/mile)
Total Time - 2:32:18
AG - 110 of 239
Overall - 980 of 3125

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

April 2011 Training Summary - 1 Million Yards (In Four Years)

In the next day or so I will post my race report for St. Anthony's Tri, which I did on Sunday May 1, and had a race I am very happy with.
This April had my highest number of hours on the bike, ever.  I guess working at a training studio (OptumHealth Performance) when they have spin classes going on is paying off for me.  Based on my bike split from St. Anthony's it appears to be paying off (more later).  Even with all that biking, still only my 3rd highest April in terms of total hours.
I started swimming in April 2007, after a 15 year break.  This April I crossed over a million yards, by my log book.  In all of 2007 I swam about 45,000 yards.  The yards really started to rack up after I started in Masters in Dec of '08.
This April I did about 15 minutes a strength training the whole month, some planks and squats and crunches.

Year-to-Year April Comparison

Totals and Averages Since April 2007

YTD 2011 and Totals Since April 2007