Friday, May 22, 2015

Gear West Duathlon 2015 Race Report

After years of bad weather, cold and rain, cold and\or rain, last year was nearly perfect, this year, not so much.  Back came the rain, and the wind.  Constant wind, with gusting.  Course was muddy, not as muddy as 3 years ago.  Wind on bike was tough.  Very tough.

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.  Now run by Final Stretch instead of Gear West, still has the Gear West name.
I had my usual breakfast, OJ, yogurt with fruit and granola, and a banana.  Then coffee, water, and donut (2) on the way.  Had some water and Gatorade while waiting for the start.

Because of weather, wind, and on and off rain before start, I did not warm up on bike. I did do a little bit of warm up run before the start. 
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 a variety of hills.  Even with this year's smaller field, the race is still very competitive. 

I would say I had a decent race, for me, not a great race.  About 3 minutes off last year, but not my worst.  I thought my time would have been better.  It was painful, but the pain on the run and bike was "good" pain.  I actually thought I was faster than last year.
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.  Typically, I get passed at or near the finish, because I don't think it is worth my while to sprint to the finish.  I just keep the same pace.  I got passed by two guys about, probably, less than a quarter mile from finish, and another guy was gaining.  I did push it a little at the end, the finish is on an uphill, so as not to get passed right at the finish.  Not that it matters that much to me, because I finish far enough back, but getting passed by three people near the finish is a little silly.  I shouldn't let that happen.

On last year's post I said I would continue to do this race until I cannot.  That statement still holds true.

Below some pictures, are the all my previous results.

2015 Results
Run (2.8mi) - 24:12 (8:39/mi)
T1 - 0:59
Bike (16.6mi) - 48:22 (20.03MPH)
T2 - 0:45
Run (2.8mi) - 24:42 (8:50/mi)
Total - 1:38:57
Overall - 44/110
AG - 8/12
Pace - 4:28

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

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Product Review 28 - Castelli One-Piece Tri Kit

I am starting my 10th season of multi-sport racing.  My first season was 2006 and I did 5 duathlons, all of them in bicycle shorts and a bike jersey.  Dumb.
In 2007, when I started doing triathlons, I got smarter and went with a two piece tri kit, Sugoi. I used the two piece for a many years.  After that, I tried a Speedo Fastskin for a little while.  Then for a few years, went to a Sugoi one piece kit.  All of these purchased at Gear West.  Last year, Gear West switched to Castelli, and I got one of these to try out.  The Castelli kit is by far the best tri kit I have ever raced in, these are great.
Initially, as you put it on, it feels too tight in the waist.  It turns out that it is ok.  The fit is nearly perfect, at least for me.  Not too tight or too loose.  One of the problems with the Sugoi one piece, I had two of them, was that they would rub on my armpits and occasionally the neck.  The fabric around the arm openings in the Castelli is much flatter, smoother, and doesn't rub or slip.  The padding in the crouch is decent, not too much so it is bulky, not so thin that it does nothing.  The elastic around the leg openings, is thin and wide and fits comfortably.



Saturday, May 16, 2015

St. Anthony's Triathlon 2015 Race Report

Going into this race, I had less training than last year.  So, I was a little worried about how I would do.  I shouldn't be worried, not like I am an elite or pro.  Given the conditions and my training, I think I did ok (At the bottom is an update about my results.  A surprising update!). 

Again, 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 and you need to get your bike to the race.  It is cheaper than renting a bike box and flying, and slightly more expensive than shipping.  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.

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 not nearly as nice as last year, there was more wind, with more heat and humidity.

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, second year in a row, to walk with me to the swim start.  I usually don't have someone out there before the start. 

There was no time for a short swim before the start, no real warm up except for the walk to the start and jumping around a bit.  It is an in water start, so I did swim out to the start when the time came.  The announced water temperature was 81 (!), so no wetsuits.  I was warm, not sure 80 warm, but it was warm. The portion of the swim that was parallel to the shore went pretty decent, once you turned and headed for open water it got pretty tough.  It is a left turn out, and people were getting jammed up on the turn buoy heading out. 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.  Last year the conditions were rough, not this rough, and we had wetsuits last year.

Once out of the water transition went pretty well, especially for it being the first time of the year. I am always a little nervous for this race, since it is usually the first time outside on the tri bike.  Like last year, this year it was the first time outside on any bike.  The bike was pretty uneventful.  I felt like I was really hammering it, see run comments below.  As expected, I started getting uncomfortable about mile 20, that has to do with a lack of time in the aero position and I expected it.  I spent less time on the bike this year than last year, and last year was my fastest split, and the weather was better, but I was only a minute off my split from last year.  That was pretty surprising.  

Second transition went fast.  Going out on the run I felt like lead.   I think I hammered it to hard on the bike.  About 2 miles in I started to go through the mental work of telling myself to run to the next water stop, that no matter how slow I run, I wasn't going to walk, etc.  It was hot and humid and my legs were not doing it that morning.  I have a co-worker who does this race each year, this year he did the sprint instead of the Olympic due to a medical condition.  By co-incidence he caught up with me on the run with about half a mile left and he ran in with me.  It was really helpful to have someone with me in the last stretch.  This was my second worst run on this course.  It was a little disappointing, but I got through it without walking.
The run is through a residential neighborhood.  It seems that every year the people along the course get more into it.  Like last year, 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.

What can I attribute me poor performance this year compare to previous years and last year, especially?  Weather conditions, no wetsuit, less training?  Hard to say.  I feel I am in good swim shape, but the swim conditions were tough, and I think everyone was slower. My bike was surprisingly good, all things considered.  My run was disappointing, but that could have been due to the swim and bike.  I felt I trained pretty good for the run this year.

As always, this is great race to do.  Great course, well executed.

Last year, when I did this race, I had my fastest time, and I qualified for USAT AG Nationals.  After this year's race, I figured I was not going to qualify.  You have to be in the top 33% of your AG to qualify.  Well, surprise, surprise, I qualified.  I must have barely, just barely qualified.  So, this year I will be back at AG Nationals.  Hooray!

2015 Results
Swim (1640 yards) - 33:08 (2:02/100 yards, no wetsuit)
T1 - 2:12
Bike (24.8 miles) - 1:10:28 (21.1 MPH)
T2 - 1:52
Run (6.2 miles) - 56:24 (9:06/mi)
Total - 2:44:02
Overall - 348/1474
AG - 45/139
Overall Pace - 5:08/mi
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

April 2015 Racing and Training Summary

This April was a little below average in terms of swim, bike, and run.  I tried to keep my intensity up.  I think I did a good job of that.  I feel pretty good.

I crossed over 2000 hours of training since 2007.  Seems like it should be more.......
That comes out to a little over 21 hours a month in total training time.  That total and average includes months where I had no time, which hasn't been 2007.  Since 2007, the least amount of time I have put in training has been 6 hours in 2008. 

I had one race, St. Anthony's, as usual.  Race report for that coming up soon.

There isn't a whole lot to say about the month, except I tried to be consistent, as always, and keep up my intensity.  I felt pretty good throughout the month.  With the race season coming up in MN, I think keeping things going in May, Gear West duathlon and TTs, will be important, for when June - August races come around.  Just have to keep being consistent, it is all about consistency.

May through August should be more exciting.  Hopefully.

Year-to-Year April Comparisons

Since 2007 and Year-to-Date Totals

Total Since 2007 and Averages

Friday, May 8, 2015

2015 Tentative Race Schedule

Here is my tentative 2015 race schedule.  Traithlon, duathlon, TT, and running, as far as I know. 
A bit less than previous years.  More on that later......
This will be my 10th season of multi-sport.  2006 was duathlon only.
Getting this out a little later than there are comments about what I have already done, changes, etc.

4/26/2015 - St. Anthony's Triathlon (St. Petersburg, FL), it will be my 8th year in a row starting the race, if I finish, it will be my 7th year finishing.  I didn't finish in 2009 because of a stress fracture.  Done, race report coming out later this month.  Didn't go as well as I would have liked, but.......see below.

5/17/2015 - Gear West Duathlon (Orono, MN), this will be my 9th year doing this race, it would have been my 10th, except in 2009 I had to volunteer because of a stress fracture.  So, I have been at the race for 10 years in a row.  Tough Du.

6/7/2015 - Buffalo Triathlon (Buffalo, MN), this will be my second year in a row at this race, doing the Olympic distance.  I did the sprint in 2007.  Last year I had a good race here.

6/20/2015 - Lake Minnetonka (Minnetonka, MN), this is will be my 4th year at this race.  Fast race.

6/21/2015 - Manitou Sprint Triathlon (White Bear Lake, MN), may or may not do this race.  Might be last minute decision.

6/28/2015 - Lake Waconia Triathlon (Waconia, MN), this will be my 7th year at this race.  Always challenging.  Tough run course.

7/11/2015 - GraniteMan Clearwater (Clearwater, MN), I have done the Sprint.  This year there is a Sprint and Oly, my plan is to do the Oly.

8/8/2015 - USAT AG Nationals (Milwaukee, WI) or Graniteman Big Lake (Big Lake, MN),  this was an "or" for two reasons.  One, I had to qualify.  I didn't qualify at Maple Grove last year, I think I missed it by one spot.  So, I had to qualify at St. Anthony's this year.  My race was not as good as last year, tough day (more in race report), so I thought I would not make it.  Today, May 8th (my birthday), I got an email from USAT and I (surprise) qualified.  So, now I talk to Jackie and if all is cool I will probably go again, for the second year in a row.  Otherwise, Big Lake Oly.

8/16/2015 - Lake Marion Sprint (Lake Marion, MN), I have done the Sprint two years in a row, both years I have placed in my AG.  This year I might do the Oly instead.  Sprint is a tough run course, Oly is two loops of the Sprint course..

8/22/2015 - Maple Grove Triathlon (Maple Grove, MN), this will be my 6th year in a row at this always challenging race.  Last year was my fastest year at this race.  Last year was also some of the best weather.  Tough course, when hot and humid it is even tougher.

9/5/2015 - St. Croix Valley Olympic (Hudson, WI), 4 years I have done the Oly, and one year the Sprint.  Last year I missed it for the first time in 5 years.  Would like to do it again this year.  Bike course is fairly challenging.  Run is challenging, some steep runs, some long hills, can be tough in heat in humidity.  Had one of my worst times at Oly distance on this course.

I plan on doing all the Tuesday Night Time Trials, or as many as possible.  I did the first one last Tuesday on a slightly modified course in fairly windy weather.  My time was ok.  I would like to have been a bit faster.

On 3/22, I did the Irish Run St. Paul 8k.  It was my 6th year doing this race.  It is always on Summit Ave, but they have changed the course slightly over the years.  I wrote about it in my March report.  It went well.

I think I am doing a charity 5K on May 30th.  Cody's Dash for Down Syndrome.  I might walk it with my wife, might run it, see what happens.

So, that is the plan for 2015.  See how it all turns out.