Thursday, April 29, 2010

Duathlon Nationals Weekend

This past weekend K and I went down to Richmond for an awesome weekend of racing... Saturday was the Off-Road Duathlon Race a very tough 11K 25K 3.5K. I raced while Kristin watched (she was resting up for the on-road event on Sunday). The trails where impresive for so many reasons, I've never seen such a great singletrack trail network within minutes of a downtown area. Here is a video of the highlights of the mtb course. Its speaks for itself.

The first run, althought fun, kicked my butt. Basically a super hard effort for 55minutes before I even got to the bike. Once on the bike, I thought I was going to have a chance to recover at least for a little bit, but it took me a good 40 minutes before I started to feel strong. Up and down stairs, flying through singletrack and over narrow bridges. I was glad I had a full 100oz of water in my camelback because there was little opportunity to take your hands of the bars to drink. The one mistake I made was forgetting my gloves in transition, and with my sweaty hands my grips where as slick as ice. Probably costs me a minute or two over the course of the ride, because I had to be a little more cautious in tricky sections and the death grip I had to maintain probably caused a little extra fatigue.

By the end of the bike I was pretty cooked. But the last run was only 3.5K and pretty flat and I actually felt pretty good once I got going, even had a little kick left to get across the line. Which I did after a total of 2hrs and 28mins.
I had no idea at the time, but I ended up winning my Age Group! I knew I had a pretty good race, without any mechanicals or flats, but winning was a complete shocker. I learned the news from Kristin who came running over from the results board. I think she was more excited than me!!!! I then learned that there were only 2 finishers in our Age Group, but there were many more that started, so I guess just finishing was an accomplishment.

Sunday came pretty quickly. The On Road Duathlon Nationals, a pretty flat and very fast 5Krun / 40Kbike / 5Krun. I felt surprisingly OK after a long slow warm up. the starting gun sounded and some of the fast runners where out of site within seconds... Unbelievable! I just continued running my race and trying to get to the bike as quickly as possible. My split was 20:05 (6:28 pace). The bike leg was fun. 3 laps of a figure 8 course. Very spectator freindly as it passed transition 6 times. Rarely did I have to get out of my aero position. My split was 1:04:17 (22mph). Only thing I wish I did differently was bring another water bottle. One wasn't enough. Then came the run, I was hurting and Saturday's race started to catch up with me. But I only let one guy pass me, so I guess I wasn't the only one suffering. My split was 21:19 (6:52 pace) so not too bad. Earned myself 14th place in my Age Group, and qualified for to be part of "Team USA" at The Duathlon World Championships in Scotland. Will I go? Probably not, but still cool to say I qualified for "Team USA".

Kristin had a great race. Her goal was to qualify for Team USA, and she definately did, finishing 5th in her age group... in the nation... crazy!!! So proud of her. All of her training is starting to really pay off. She loved the course and was all smiles the whole way through. She's already looking forward to Scotland!

Full race results HERE (the virtual race tracker is pretty cool... we were all racing with GPS chips around our ankles)

Next Race: Greenwich Biathlon

Monday, April 19, 2010

Fat Tire Classic

Fun day at Winding Trails in Farmington, CT. Brian came up and did his first mtb race ever. After his race, we had about 2 hours to kill before mine, so we did a 30 min run previewing some of the terrain...

The Trails were great for racing: fast and flowy and not too hilly, not too wet. I wanted to avoid getting caught up in the start nonsense, so I started slow and at the back. My goal was just to get a sense of where I'm at fitness-wise, and to get my mtb (which has been plagued with mechanical issues all winter/spring) dialed-in for next weekend. The race was 3 loops, 16 miles total. About 5 miles in I felt great, and my bike was working perfectly, so I turned it up and raced the hell out of the next 11 miles... I started steadily picking off riders and moving from about 25th place up to where I ended up finishing in 9th place. Was fun to race like that. I normally go out a little too quick and struggle to hold, but this is way more enjoyable.

This photo is with about 2 miles to go. The beginning of a fun drag race to the finish with the guy in red behind me. He ended up popping on a short muddy climb right before the finish.
Coming across the finish line in 1hr 22mins. Good for 9th Place Cat 2 M 30-39
Yep that hurt... Quads burning!
Results HERE

Glad to have a good race under my belt... Now looking forward to Duathlon Nationals next weekend. Doing both the Off Road event on Saturday, and the On Road event on Sunday... It's gonna be rough!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Racing Season!!!

It's almost time! The Fat Tire classic this coming weekend is the first race in a 6 week stretch that includes 8 races, 5 of which I've never done before. This is my version of spring training I guess. Very exciting, hope my body stays intact. Will be posting photos and recaps here.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Book Review #4

Very enjoyable read, nicely written. I think everyone can relate somehow. I especially like that he shares my enthusiasm for Hawaiian Pizza... and that he gives valuable advise on how to roll it up and eat it on the run. 4 out of 5 for this one...

Here is some quick vid nonsense from todays ride...