Friday, May 30, 2014

2014 Gear West Duathlon Race Report

After years of bad weather, cold and rain, cold and\or rain, this year was nearly perfect.  Some wind, can't complain, and sunny, and not cold.  Gear West Du is my first MN race of the year, as it has been since I started doing St. Anthony's Triathlon in 2008, in FL.  Gear West was my first multi-sport race in 2006, since then I have done it every year, except 2009 when I had a stress fracture and volunteered.  As always, the race is well setup, and registration is fast and easy.  Plenty of room in transition.  No issues. 
I had my usual breakfast, OJ, yogurt with fruit and granola, and a banana.  Then coffee, water, and donut on the way.  Had some water and Gatorade while waiting for the start.
Did a brief warm-up on the bike, just to get a feel for everything. 
I have said it before, and will say it again, this is probably one of the most challenging races around, even when the weather is nice.  The run is tough, pavement, grass, dirt, woodchip, packed gravel.  There is every surface to run on and very little of the run is flat.  Even with this year's smaller field, the race is still very competitive. 
I would say I had a pretty good race, not a great race.  Better than last year, but not my best.  I think the weather helped and I think I am in better shape than last year.  I thought I was a little faster on the first run, but with this race it is hard to judge.  The bike felt pretty good.  With good weather and wind that was not too bad.  When biking straight north, or nearly straight north, it felt like a pretty tough headwind, especially the last bit coming into transition.
The final run is always, always painful.  I think that is the case with any duathlon, but this one even more so.  It is basically the same run as the first.  Out of transition it is flat and then a little downhill, then it is hills, grass, and trails, and pain. 
Below are pictures I took, pictures Drew (works at Gear West) got of me, and then below the pictures are my results for this year and the previous years.
I will continue to do this race until I cannot.  That is really all I have to say about my future doing this race.

2014 Results
Run (2.8mi) - 23:20 (8:19/mi)
T1 - 0:57
Bike (16.6mi) - 47:43 (20.9MPH)
T2 - 0:41
Run (2.8mi) - 24:03 (8:35/mi)
Total - 1:36:42
Overall - 72/181
AG - 9/20
Pace - 4:22

2013 Results
Run (2.8mi) - 24:17 (8:41min/mi)
T1 - 1:34
Bike (16.6mi) - 48:07 (20.7MPH)
T2 - 0:51
Run (2.8mi) - 25:30  (9:07min/mi)
Total - 1:40:19
Overall - 107/249
AG - 20/31
Pace - 4:31

2012 Results
Run (2.8mi) - 22:18 (7:53min/mi)
T1 - 1:21
Bike (17mi) - 48:53 (20.9MPH)
T2 - 0:51
Run (2.5mi) - 20:16 (8:05min/mi)
Total - 1:33:42
Overall - 99/263
AG - 16/27
Pace - 4:12
Convert first run to 3.1 miles to compare to 2006 - 2008, and 2010 and total time = 1:36:04, which is 1:18 faster than 2011 and 2:20 faster than 2008, previous fastest.

2011 Results
Run (2.8mi) - 22:33 (7:59min/mi)
T1 - 1:12
Bike (17mi) - 48:52 (20.9MPH)
T2 - 1:06
Run (2.5mi) - 21:16 (8:29min/mi)
Total - 1:34:58
Overall - 129/321
AG - 14/31
Pace - 4:16

2010 Results - Taking it slow due to recovery from stress fracture
Run (3.1mi) - 27:57 (9:19min/mi)
T1 - 1:15
Bike (17mi) - 48:41 (21MPH)
T2 - 1:47
Run (2.5mi) - 25:42 (9:42min/mi)
Total - 1:45:19
Overall - 200/380
AG - 38/63
Pace - 4:40

2009 I volunteered, did not race due to stress fracture

2008 Results
Run (3.1mi) - 23:58 (7:44min/mi)
T1 - 1:15
Bike (17mi) - 49:40 (20.5MPH)
T2 - 1:16
Run (2.5mi) - 22:17 (8:54min/mi)
Total - 1:38:24
Overall - 151/410
AG - 26/44
Pace - 4:22

2007 Results
Run (3.1mi) - 24:29 (7:54min/mi)
T1 - 1:42
Bike (17mi) - 53:56 (19MPH)
T2 - 1:29
Run (2.5mi) - 23:15 (9:18min/mi)
Total - 1:44:29
Overall - 201/342
AG - 39/45
Pace - 4:38

2006 Results-First Duathlon Ever
Run (3.1mi) - 27:49 (8:58min/mi)
T1 - 3:18
Bike (17mi) - 1:00:37 (16.8MPH) - Road bike with clip-on aerobars
T2 - 2:25
Run (2.5mi) - 26:59 (10:47min/mi)
Total - 2:01:08
Overall - 315/353
AG - 43/44
Pace - 5:23

Sunday, May 18, 2014

April 2014 Racing and Training Report

I am getting this out a little late...
End of April was my first triathlon of the year, St. Anthony's, as always.  Already posted a race report for that.  Had about a week of vacation, where I ran easy twice and hard once before the race. I think the vacation week helped me.  Otherwise, I biked, ran, and swam as much as I could.  Tried to keep that balance between hard workouts and getting some rest.  I think I did a pretty good job.
Here is a comparison of my Jan-April bike time and total training time since 2007:

Jan - April Accumulated Bike Time and Total Training Time
2007 - Bike = 4.5 hours \ Total = 25.1 hours
2008 - Bike = 29.4 hours \ Total = 91.1 hours
2009 - Bike = 43.1 hours \ Total = 105.6 hours
2010 - Bike = 38.3 hours \ Total = 99.8 hours
2011 - Bike = 46.3 hours \ Total = 102.6 hours
2012 - Bike = 33.4 hours \ Total = 91.1 hours
2013 - Bike = 36.6 hours \ Total = 94.4 hours
2014 - Bike = 43.1 hours \ Total = 99.6 hours

So, I wanted to average 10 hours a month starting in January through the season.  I am sticking to that.  Not the most hours ever, but I didn't bike the last week of April, and it is the second most bike hours in the 4 month span, after being low the last two years.  I have brought my total training time back up.  What I would like to see, is if I am getting better results, comparable results, to my pre-stress fracture races, pre-2009, this year.  Is my plan of bike more, swim about the same, and run about the same, a little less, at a little higher intensity, helping my performance.  Based on one race, yes.  One race doesn't make a season and it doesn't signify any kind of real improvement.
May will be two Tuesday Night Time Trials (This year TNT has a new and longer course) and the Gear West Duathlon.
As I write this, I have already done one TT and the Gear West Du.  I will save those results for future posts.
Below is my usual month-to-month comparison from each year, my totals and averages since 2007, and my YTD totals.  This April was my second lowest, but one of my higher run months.  I was a hair below 10 hours for the bike.  Again, I had about 5 days off of training for vacation, where I just ran.  Overall, again, happy with how things went in April.  Keeping on working through May and triathlons start in June.

Year - to - Year Comparison of April

Since 2007 Totals and Averages

Year -To - Date Totals and Since 2007

Saturday, May 17, 2014

St. Anthony's Triathlon 2014 Race Report

I am posting this later than I normally would, which turns out to kind of fortunate.  Yesterday, I got an email from USAT that my time was fast enough, and I finished high enough in my AG, to qualify for Age Group Nationals in Milwaukee this August.  This was a huge, pleasant, surprise.  I have already registered and will going down there.  Hooray!  On to the race report.

This year was different than previous years.  This year, Jackie and I went to Sanibel Island for a little vacation.  Picture of sunset and beach below.  We were there for about 5 nights before going to my mom and stepdad's house and then to the race.  The vacation before the race, meant no training like normal.  So, it was a week off of swimming, some recreational biking, and a couple easy runs and one hard run, all about half an hour long.  Maybe the week of rest before contributed to my best time, so far, at St. Anthony's.

This year I used Tribike Transport, instead of shipping the bike, assembling at my mom's, taking to the race, bringing back from the race, disassembling, packing, and shipping before I leave.  TriBike Transport sets up right outside transition, so all you have to do is pick up the bike and walk it into transition and then drop off after the race.  Very easy and very nice.  I highly recommend using it, if it is available for a race you are travelling to go to.  It costs as much as me shipping it, and is much cheaper, and easier, than flying with it.  As long as I do this race, I will probably use it from now on.
As always, packet pickup at this race is so fast and easy.  In and out.  They do a really good job.

Not sure if it was the near week of rest before the race, or my training so far this year, or both, but I had my fastest time to date.  I had my fastest run and bike.  I was over 7 minutes faster than my previous fastest time.  It was only the fourth time we were able to do the full swim course, twice it was cut short for weather, and one year the swim was cancelled for everyone but the pros.  Anyway, this was my fastest time, by far.

Below are the usual transition pictures and a picture of the water the day before.  Below are my race results from the previous years. 

The weather this year was nearly perfect, there was still some wind, but not as previous years.  I had my usual breakfast of oj, coffee, water, apple fritter, yogurt, and banana.  Had some Gatorade here and there before the start.  Transition setup was pretty easy.  Morning was uneventful and went well.  It was nice to have Jackie to walk with me to the swim start.  I usually don't have someone out there before the start.  I did short swim around before the start of the race.  I really didn't warm up much before the start.

The portion of the swim that was parallel to the shore was pretty decent, once you turned and headed for open water it got pretty tough.  There were some people struggling out there.  I could see people doing backstroke or breaststroke, or just bobbing.  When I was swimming into the waves, at times it felt like my body was popping almost entirely out of the water.  It was almost as bad going back in, where the water was coming over the top.  I would rather do the full swim in these condition, than a partial swim.  Overall the swim went well.
Once out of the water transition went pretty well, especially for it being the first time of the year.  The bike felt a little less windy than previous years, but still felt windy.  I am always a little nervous for this race, since it is usually the first time outside on the tribike.  This year it was the first time outside on any bike.  I guess the extra training I put in this winter paid off.  The bike went well.  As expected, I started getting uncomfortable about mile 20, that.  That has to do with a lack of time in the aero position and I expected it. 

Second transition went fast.  Going out on the run I felt ok.  Not great, but pretty good.  I was surprised at my time, I thought I would have been slower, but I actually had my best run on this course.  As always, it started to get hot.  Last year, I walked a little around the last mile mark, this year I told myself I was not going to do that, and I did not walk.  Looking at my splits, I kept a steady pace.  They had splits at 2.5K, sprint turnaround, and 5K.  My pace at each of those was within a second of my overall pace, so that is great.  I typically fall off the last 2 miles.  The run is through a residential neighborhood.  It seems that every year the people along the course get more into it.  This year there was a guy at the end of his driveway with a Tiki bar setup, and cases of Corona around it.  He was handing out beers if anyone would take them.  It is pretty cool to see people along the course out cheering and celebrating.

As always, this is great race to do.  Great course, well executed.  I get go down and see my mom and stepdad, and this year I got a vacation with my wife beforehand.  Hopefully, I can do this race, with a vacation beforehand, again in the future.

2014 Results
Swim (1640 yards) - 29:00 (1:47/100 yards, wetsuit)
T1 - 2:50
Bike (24.8 miles) - 1:09:36 (21.4 MPH, fastest bike)
T2 - 1:43
Run (6.2 miles) - 51:34 (8:19/mi, fastest run)
Total - 2:34:41
Overall - 344/1687
AG - 48/182
Overall Pace - 4:52/mi 

Swim (820 yards, shortened for weather) - 14:05 (1:43/100 yards, wetsuit)
T1 - 6:27 (shorter swim course, loooonnnggg run to T1)
Bike (24.8 miles) - 1:11:35 (20.8 MPH)
T2 - 2:29
Run (6.2 miles) - 52:43 (8:31/mile)
Total - 2:27:18
Overall -  752/2404
AG - 91/201
Overall Pace - 4:41/mile

2012 Results
Swim (1640 yards, new course) - 29:03 (1:47/100 yards, wetsuit)
T1 - 2:18
Bike (24.8 miles) - 1:12:54 (20.4MPH)
T2 - 2:42 (sprayed some sunblock on myself, put on socks, and forgot my race belt and had to turn around and get it)
Run (6.2 miles) - 55:04 (8:53/mile)
Total - 2:41:51
Overall - 977/2689
AG - 124/236
Overall Pace - 5:04/mile

2011 Results
Swim (820 yards, shortened for weather) - 17:56 (2:11/100 yards, no wetsuit)
T1 - 5:49 (shorter swim course, loooonnnggg run to T1)
Bike (24.8 miles) - 1:10:44 (21.1 MPH)
T2 - 2:45
Run (6.2 miles) - 55:04 (8:53/mile)
Total - 2:32:18
Overall - 980/3125
AG - 110/239
Overall Pace - 4:49/mile

2010 Results
Swim (1640 yards) - 29:36 (1:49/100 yards, this was wetsuit)
T1 - 3:12
Bike (24.8 miles) - 1:15:10 (19.8 MPH)
T2 - 2:27
Run (6.2 miles) - 58:33 (9:22/mile, coming off stress fracture)
Total - 2:48:56
Overall - 1264/3192
AG - 156/287
Overall Pace - 5:18/mile

2009 Results
No swim due to weather, then dropped out after bike due to stress fracture
Bike (24.8 miles) - 1:10:43 (21.1MPH)

2008 Results
Swim (1640 yards) - 30:58 (1:53/100 yards, wetsuit)
T1 - 3:38
Bike (24.8 miles) - 1:11:48 (20.8MPH)
T2 - 3:42
Run (6.2 miles) - 52:54 (8:31/mile)
Total - 2:42:57
Overall - 1258/3350
AG - 121/231
Overall Pace - 5:11/mile