Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Soak Up the Sun Triathlon Race Report

Well this past Saturday was Soak up the Sun triathlon and my first triathlon of the year.  It consisted of a 275 yard swim, an 8 mile bike and a 2 mile run.  This was my first triathlon ever last year and I guess if I don't count the flat tire in last year's Eagleman Tri this would just be my second triathlon ever. If I were to use just one word to describe this race it would be....medium.

I had to work in the Jackson area on Friday so I went up and stayed with a friend.  We had plans to eat some lasagna at his house but his wife felt sick (she is pregnant) so we had to go out for pizza.  After supper we went over to his house and played a bunch of Wii.  The whole time playing I am thinking man I hope I don't hurt my arm or something crazy.  We had a blast and I didn't hurt anything.  Saturday morning I was up before my alarm.  I got up, showered, got dressed and headed to the race site.  It has really been getting hot here lately and Saturday was no different.  At 5:45am the temp was 75.  I know that it is not that hot but it was still somewhat dark out plus add in the humidity and it can be brutal.  I got set up in transition in exactly the same rack as I used last year.  We are such creatures of habit or at least I am.  The girl next to me had a temple set up complete with 2 towels and a crate to sit on.  She had all of her stuff laid out over the space for like 4 people. I sat around and talked to a few people from Hattiesburg that were doing the race and some people I knew when I lived up there.  I didn't warm up at all.  They started us in waves in a time trial format 5 seconds apart.  You decided what wave you were in by your estimated swim time.  Last year I was conservative on my swim time but got caught behind a ton of people.  This year I got in the second fastest group and it made all of the difference in the world.  Every year at this race they have a kids division (under age 14) that always goes off first before everyone else but they wait until everyone is out of the water.  We finally started and the people were going off into the water one by one.  I lined up to a friend of mine's brother.  He is the guy I want to beat.  It was my time and off in the water I went.  I just wanted to get through the swim with no suprises.  I did not have any swim time goal because I had just swum for the first time in 7 months Monday before the race.  I settled in good and just concentrated on long gliding strokes and staying relaxed.  I didn't get passed but had to pass a few people but not nearly as many as I had to last year.  It was much less congested.  That was a smart move on our part getting in the faster wave.  Before I knew it my hand was hitting the bottom and I got up and headed to transition.  My time was 4:18 which was good enough for 5th out of 30 in my age group. 

I came into transition put on my helmet and shoes, grabbed a drink of water and headed out on my bike.  The transition area is in a grassy field and then we had to make our way down a path and out to the mount line.  I did a fliying mount and got going.  I already had my shoes on.  I didn't clip into my bike and put them on while out on the course.  Next race I will.  Transition time 1 minute. 

I didn't just jet out on the bike partly because I did that last year and plus it is all uphill until you get out of the neighborhood.  Last year I felt like I couldn't calm down at all so I thought just taking it easy until I got to the main road would help.  I had the same problem this year but more on that later.  The beginning of the bike course is all down hill and you can really get up some speed.  My plan was to do that but not get out of control on the heart rate.  The first third of the bike was really good for me.  I was moving along good and staying in control.  The second third really sucked,  I don't know why but I couldn't get going.  It was like I lost my focus.  Who knows?  The last part was just ok.  I rode the hills good in that section but I still wasn't moving like I wanted to.  As I headed towards transition I made a mistake that cost me some good time.  I got out of my shoes too early.  I thought that transition was closer and I missed out on bombing down the hill towards transition and you can't go as fast out of your shoes as you can with them on  Stupid.  My bike time was 25:05 for a 19.1 mph average and good for 11th out of 30 in my AG .  BOO.  Not what I wanted at all.

T2 was nothing special.  I racked my bike and put on my shoes.  The time was 1:08.  Pretty good.  Both of my transition times were faster by a ton this year. 

The run was awful.  Once again, I couldn't get going.  I also couldn't find my form.  My heartrate didn't feel out of control but I don't really know because I didn't wear my monitor.  This isn't good for just a two mile run.  Anyway on the second half of the run I did find my form and came to the end in a good time.  I just wish I would have found "that" the whole run.

Now that is pretty good form.  I know when this picutre was taken and it was right near the end when I found my legs.  My run time was 17:51 good for 15th out of 30 in my AG.  I finished in 49:12.  13th out 30 in my AG.  That is 7:50 better than last year. 

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Race Week

Well it is finally here.  My first triathlon of the year is Saturday.  I am super pumped.  Pumped to test the legs and lungs .Normally I don't have good luck with a race when I write about it but I will take that chance.  I get to go up and spend the night with my best friend and go over to the race site Saturday morning.  Do people still have "best" friends?  Well I do.  I have pretty much known this guy all 34 years of my life.  He raced with me last year but isn't going to be able to give it a go this year.  He hurt his knee.  You gotta watch out for those door jams.  His brother will be racing and he is who I am going after.  He got me last year but I am gunning for him this year. I thought for sure I was ahead of him last year only to pass him while he was on the back of an out and back run. 

Of course I have some goals for this race. Don't we have to? A wise man once said that if you don't aim at anything you will hit it everytime.  I don't have a true race goal.  I have a bike and run goal so to speak.  My bike goal is to average above 20 mph .  I know to some of you that isn't very lofty but baby steps first.  I averaged right at 19 mph in this race this year.  I have been pretty upset at some of my bike averages lately but only to find that my Garmin has been screwing up.  Apparently I am not the only one having this problem.  I spoke to Garmin about it and it seems that the 310xt has had it fair share.  I also don't want to get passed on the bike.  I want my run to be in the 8's.  That's it.  It could be an 8:59 average but that will work.  If I hit my run and bike goal the race will take care of itself. 

I found my way to the pool finally and didn't drown.  I am swimming at the pool at the university gym.  I have missed that place.  I can't say I went to the gym much while I was in school but just being on campus makes me miss everthing about it.  Also, swimming in that pool brings back the memories too.  I took a swim class in this pool last year and I honestly think I can still hear coach Mary yelling at me about my breathing.  She would always tell me to look out of the corner of my goggle to keep my head in the right position to breath.  I need to remember that along with long gliding strokes, catch the water, continue to kick, and everything else to remember while swimming.  I have actually been pretty happy with my swimming.  I know the week of the race is not the ideal time to start back swimming for the first time since October but it hasn't been that bad.  That has more to do with my overall fitness than anything. My plans do include to go to the pool a lot. 

Well my bike is all clean and ready, my clothes are all washed and ready and my bags are packed.  Am I ready?  Yes no make that a YES!  I am ready to push myself to achieve some results and have some fun along the way.  Having fun really does work.  If I can muster up a smile when I'm out there on the run struggling I seem to find another gear.  Hey, it seems to work for Chrissie Wellington and she seems to be doing ok.

Race report to follow after the fact. 

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Breakthrough Brick?

Well I won't go quite that far yet but I did have a good brick on Saturday.  It was also my longest bike portion of a brick too.  I actually had 2 good long rides on Friday and Saturday.  I got off of work early on Friday and headed to the Trace.  I am getting tired of the same old section I always ride so I decided to start at Epley and head towards and go through Sumrall.  I also saw a guy getting a field sobriety test before I got started at Epley Station at 2 in the afternoon.  Someone started their weekend a little too early and on the wrong foot.  It really gets hilly after you leave out of Sumrall and seems to never end.  I don't think I went downhill very much at all until I turned around and guess what?  I was loving the hills.  What in the world is wrong with me? Normally I would do anything to avoid them but I was looking forward to them.  I guess I am getting more used to them.  I really liked that ride out from Sumrall and am going to head that way again soon.  I got up Saturday early to do it again.  The weather was bad but not too bad.  It looked like it would only get worse so I decided to ride more but ride closer to where I was parked in case the weather did get bad.  I parked at Jackson Rd and headed to the university.  I wanted to have an extra long warm up because later in the ride I had planned to do some race intensity work.  After leaving the university I went exactly halfway back to where I started and turned around.  So before I even started I had a 12 mile warm up.  My thoughts behind this were that I was feeling better at the end of my rides than I was at the beginning so I thought maybe my warm ups were too short.  This proved to be correct.  During my race intensity I averaged just over 21 mph in the rain and wind.  That is a good number for me.  I finshed up my brick with 33 miles on the bike .  On my run I ran a 5k with my first and last mile at a 8 min mile pace.  Once again good for me.

With just a few weeks until my race I have plans to workout in the mornings and in the afternoon if time allows.  Sometimes I have to leave for work really early.  I also plan to do more hills and even do some hill workouts on my trainer.  So far so good.

Well it seems that I have at least been training for 2/3 of my triathlon.  I still haven't stepped foot in a pool.  I actually don't have a pool to go to.  I am about to join the Payne Center and start swimming there.  You just can't beat their price.  165 for six months and they have a sweet gym too. 

With my company my year ends in July.  Being in sales if I do X amount of sales for the year I will receive a year end bonus.  Depending on how much over that X amount I receive an even bigger bonus.  I have already surpassed the number and contiuing to do more.  I thought I would let ya'll in on what I will be purchasing with a tiny part of that bonus. Anything to keep me motivated. I am trying to decided on which ones I want.

Race Wheels

  One of these two. Or.............

This pair of Easton. 

I am leaning towards the HED.  I can get them in clinchers and I don't really feel like messing with tubulars.  We will see.  I need to get my butt to work and make that bonus bigger!!