Monday, December 16, 2013

First Thing Monday Morning - 16 December

Well, finally got out and ran yesterday!  Coincidentally, it was 57* and sunny, so guess that means I am a wimp!  But the rest of this week should be warm until Friday, so that is a good thing I'd say!

And I also just started the Slowtwitch 100 runs in 100 days challenge.  Basically you try to run 100 times over 100 days (sounds simple enough, or run 100 times in one day and get it over with!).  The main "rule" is that for the run to count, it has to be 30 minutes or more in length, which for me is at least 4 miles.  Oh well, guess it is as good a time as any to get back on the "wagon".  So with that and the Strava 33 miles in 10 days (starts 22 December until the 31st), I'll be busy making sure I get my running miles in, warm or cold weather (time to stop being a little wimp about it), and get them knocked out.

Let's look back on last week's training:

SWIM: 5800 yards (out of 8000) - Not too bad, my skin is starting to reek of chlorine no matter how hard I wash off, oh well.
BIKE: 15 miles - Man, riding on the trainer just kills me, no matter what I watch, still bores me to death.
RUN: 4.1 miles - Gotta ease into it, but these 4 mile runs will add up quickly!

And, looking ahead:

SWIM: 8000 yards (looking to get at or near this, but going to swim 4 times this week)
BIKE: 60 miles (which might include an outdoor ride, so bonus!)
RUN: 30 miles (a whole lot of 4 milers with a 6 on Sunday for my long run)

Only 33 more days until my half marathon (Topeka to Auburn), so need to get my mileage back up and hope not to overdo it, just have to be smart on the run!

We'll see you all later!

Thursday, December 12, 2013

2013 Winter Runderland 5K Race Report

 Well it has been almost two weeks since I ran this race, been busy, mainly swimming (yup, swimming) and figured I'd better get this posted before I forgot about it any longer!

The 2013 Winter Runderland 5K (and Donut 5K) was run in Anneberg Park in Manhattan, KS.  And luckily it was on a nice day, since most of the weather since about mid November has been frigid (which leads to me not running!).  But managed to get out and run, and since it's run at 3 pm, makes it all the much better.

This race has been put on by Red Dirt Racing, which is owned by Manhattan Running Company here in town, and they do a great job.  The only downside I could see was there was only on port-o-potty, but eh, line wasn't too long!  The proceeds each year goes to a different charity, and this year was Girls on the Run, a non-profit who gets girls out running as well as teaches life skills.  So as always, I'm a softy for a good cause!

On to the race!  I last ran this two years ago in 30 degree weather and on a slightly different course, but this year, I liked the change, it had a little cross country to start out with, a nice run through the trees before heading up the hill into the housing area across the street from the park.  Man, I forgot how much that hill sucked!  You do a little loop in the neighborhood and head down the hill, back to the park and across some more grass, and finish where you started, and according to Garmin, 3.10 miles, on the nose!

Well I went out in the lead pack of about 5, with one young gazelle leading the way and I settled into 3rd as we wound through the trees and headed to the 1 mile mark.  I have to say also, there was an aid station, and for the folks doing the donut challenge, you had to stop there and on the way back to eat two Varsity "Otis" donuts, which is good, but not while running.  Ok, with that little sidebar out of the way, I was passed just before the aid station, but passed another to put me in 3rd still, but as we came to the aid station / donut stop, the guy pulls off to eat.  Yes, fist pump in my head!  So I was racing in 2nd for a bit, until we hit the hill, and bang, a small quick female blew by me, like it was the first 200 meters, not a mile and change into the race.
It was a nice day to run!  Female in orange was the 1st female
Yup, I got chicked!  Oh well, I'm not as young or fast as I used to be!  But she ended up winning the female race, and was 2nd overall, so not too shabby!  I kept her in sight the entire race, but couldn't close on her, and as we came down the hill, I was passed by an older gentleman, man, what is up with me today?  I kept the both of them in sight the rest of the race, but they were just out of reach and my legs couldn't churn out anymore power (hmmm, must be the long run layoff, jack wagon!), but I held it together enough to finish and not hurl, but I was thinking about grabbing a donut on my way by the 2nd donut stop and munch on it as I ran, but didn't sound very good at the time.

A nice cross country like finish!
I ended up finishing 4th, 1st overall in my AG, but the three that were in front of me was a high school senior (his CC team *did* win state this year), a fast female, and a 50-55 year old guy.  Eh, what ya gonna do?  Overall, had a good time, but finished in 20:06, so a bit back of my PR from earlier this year, so once I adjust to the cold, I gotta get out and hit some maintenance miles, especially if I want to punish myself with the half marathon in January in Topeka.

 Me, looking for my lost fitness.  Yup, slowly losin' it for the year!

 Thanks for reading again, and let me know if you like this format!

Monday, December 2, 2013

FTMM (post Thanksgiving) and Turkey Two-Miler Race Report

Well, you see I survived Thanksgiving and/or Black Friday (which wasn't too bad really), I wish the same could be said for my training.  The last two weeks took a turn downhill, which coincided with the weather as well.  But after two runs in about two weeks (both races; which I'll recap in a sec), I am getting back on the horse and staying there.

Since this is going to be long, here's the stats!

Last week:
SWIM: zip
BIKE: 30.7 Miles (Got nice weather finally)
RUN: ahem, nothing

This Week:
SWIM: 6000 yds (Since it will get nasty cold soon, Swim Sets!)
BIKE: 40 miles (All trainer, with a few commute miles)
RUN: 25 miles (I'll just suck it up and run in the single digit weather, if it isn't windy)

So I have a few things planned, so that is good.  But I'll recap the Turkey Trot 2 Miler I ran on the 23rd here on post, and it was a fun run (but I kept score!)

It was a cold 23* mid-morning, and windy, but not raining / snowing so I was good with that, more or less.  The real reason I was running this wasn't to stroke the ego, it was to try to win a turkey at the raffle just after the race, which sadly I didn't get one.  But I stretched out and was going to just let the run develop since I hadn't run much because of the cold (I know, HTFU), but I figured I'd be fine.  We lined up and this time I was at the front, unlike last time I ran this, I was behind a ton of kids, not fun dodging little ones.  I ran in a couple long sleeve shirts double tights and beanie, but no gloves.

The run was at the Riley Conference Center's running trail, a nice rolling 2 mile loop, but this time it was run clockwise, with the majority of the hills in the 2nd mile.  But I went out and hung out in 3rd to begin with, and couldn't feel my hands, which made them ache later in the run.  But a larger guy surged to the front after about 150 m and I passed the kid on my right in the picture and settled in behind the guy to my right in blue (2nd overall) and just kept with him.  At about 400m, guy in blue (GIB) passed the big dude, and I held his shoulder.  We were going fast but not unmanageable at all and I started to think out how I'd want to run this.  I hung with GIB for a while til about the 3/4 mile mark and put in a surge, just to check him out, and despite my heavy breathing, pulled a few strides ahead.  he came charging back and stayed with me, and I counted to 5 and put in another, longer surge and pulled away, since he was laboring hard just to catch me after the first one.  Luckily it was a nice downhill to the mile mark and by then I was all alone.

"All by myself, I was all by myself"
The 2nd mile started with a long, twisting uphill that ran right by the finish area, just to tease you.  That is when my hands started to hurt and feel like crap, mainly like they "locked" up, which was not cool.  I was trying to concentrate and run "scared" that I might get caught.  But I looked when I ran around a hairpin turn and saw no one for a while, only then I relaxed a little bit, and tried to pour on more speed to get this over with and back to my sweatshirt and moderate warmth.  That was the theme of the 2nd mile, run fast to get back to my clothes!
I ended up with a good 2 mile time of 12:31, but no turkey.  But it was a good test of race tactics in a shorter race as well as a test of fitness after a few days layoff (not that I wanted to skip runs, but I'm a wimp).
Finishing up!
Well, I need to get back on the ball, since I have only 132 more days to my first half-iron race, New Orleans 70.3, so can't waste too much of my time.
I'll write up the 5K from yesterday's race report tomorrow, along with pictures!  No puking for this guy!

Monday, November 18, 2013

FTMM - 18 November 2013 - OUTSIDE Finally!

Man I hate treadmills!  And trainers!  But when you are a wimp, plus the weather sucks and/or it gets dark before you get home from work, these things all lead to them.  Hey, I love the feeling of wind in my hair, even if you start to lose feeling, I'd rather be outside.  And this finally happened this weekend.  I got two solid runs in and it felt great!  Now that I am free on my lunch hour now, running at lunch is on again!  But still have to force myself to go to the pool, since I checked my training logs, yup, no real swimming since June.  Yes, June!  Man, I'm a wimp!

Also finally got great news, I'm headed for Texas!  A place where it's 16* warmer on average and I hope a ton less windy than Kansas!  I am looking forward to being able to train year round outside, so let it begin!

Here's a look at last week:

SWIM: Still looking!
BIKE:  20.2 miles (all indoors)  Well I almost made it through Fast and Furious 6, just a little longer!
RUN:  13.7 (with two outdoor runs) I ran hella fast on Friday, got sore from not running that much, then ran 8.6 hilly miles Saturday.  Yeah, stupid, but it hurt sooo good!

Looking ahead:

SWIM: 7600 yds (3:50)  Got these scheduled for the evenings so the wife can go.
BIKE: 40 miles (2+ hrs) All indoors unless we get some freaky warm weather this weekend.
RUN:  32 miles (3:45)  These will be all outdoors this week, so should be a good week.

I'm going to lock myself into two races by paying for them now so I can't "worm" my way out of them.  So this week both going to sign up for the Winter Runderland 5K here in Manhattan, KS and the Topeka-to-Auburn Half marathon coming up in January before I move.  That way money will be paid and no getting out of that!

Well, I'm off like a prom dress, so we'll see you next week!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

FTMM - Tuesday Edition 12 November

Well this last week was crazy!  Lots of work, little to no motivation to run, but got a nice 20 mile bike ride in, a single treadmill run, and a trainer ride, so all was not lost.  Thank you Day Light Savings Time!  Now it gets dark at 5pm, which means I can't really run when I get home, so it's either mornings or lunch runs.  That makes for sad panda!  But I have been hanging with the wife on the 30-or-so day plank challenge to tighten up the core.  It started with 15-30 sec planks and as of right now, we are at 90 seconds.  We will culminate with 270 seconds, which is like, um, let's see, carry the one, oh screw it, when planking, a long freaking time!  But so far so good.

Since it was nice out, I did a 10 mile time trial with the Manhattan Tri Club, and got to break out the tri bike and new aero lid (since my suspension for my road helmet is busted), so I looked like an alien riding through the streets on our way to the site, a nice 5 mile stretch of road with a total elevation gain of 5 feet.  Nice, flat and straight.  I ended up with a 27:24, but I credit the equipment, not the engine because the entire way I bled power and held at 25 mph, then 24, then 23 and on down, so not really consistent, but then again, I haven't ridden in a while either.  But for almost mid-November, it wasn't bad and just a little wind from the south (which felt like headwinds both ways).  But I averaged 22 mph, which was ok, but that is what I'd like to average over 40K or more, so I have some work to do over the winter.

My stats for this last week:

SWIM: 0 yards (I'll pick up mid month, once I'm done with a few things)
BIKE: 20 Miles (out of 18 planned)  It was nice to get out and ride outside, but I feel those days will be few and far between coming up.
RUN: 3 Miles (out of 34 planned) Horrible week!  I wasted too many "nice days", but it was a busy week as well, but no excuses to repeat for next week

Plan for next week:

SWIM: 2000 yards (A nice welcome back to swimming day)
BIKE: 30 (On the trainer) and maybe a few outside on the weekends
RUN: 34 (Need to ease back into it, but still need the long runs up there to get ready for NOLA in a few months)

And yes, I bagged the Double Road Race.  I saved 45 bucks, and since I hadn't run much the last few weeks, didn't want to waste my money or time to get pissed off that I didn't do as well as I could or should have.  Discretion is the better part of valor!  But also got some good news, looks like early next year I'll be in Texas, so I can follow thru on my race plans and training and hope that Texas brings a little more winter warmth to allow me to train outside versus on the treadmill / trainer!

So there is a bright spot for me, but looks like back to the grind here!  See you all next week!  It is almost "that" day here at work!

Sunday, November 3, 2013

FTMM - 4 November and Possible 2014 Races!

As the calendar changes to another month, I have racked up two consecutive 100 mile months, but to hit my goal I set in back at the beginning of the year, I need two more 100 mile months.  Uggh!  And with weather starting to go south, the added stress of the old "is-the-Army-going-to-move-me-or-not" game, and a few other things, it kinda sours the mood, right?

Well, now I'm on 24 duty tonight, hence the FTMM post a bit early!  I did apply this last week for the US Military Elite Triathlon team, and got a call...I didn't make the Elite team (only 3 guys right now), but have been invited to the Club team (also in it's first year), so that gave me a little pick me up, and then received another email from another potential sponsor, so I'll have to wait later in the week on that one, and I still have a few other sponsors that I am thinking of applying for in the next few months (if you're looking for a fairly good over 40 triathlete, let me know!  I'm available!), so that will help with some more motivation.  The only niggling thing is that I still don't know if I'll be in Texas in a few months or be staying here in Kansas, so I'll hold back on my race schedule (or publish two! One for TX and one for KS!).

My stats for this last week:

SWIM: 0 yards (I'll pick up mid month, once I'm done with a few things)
BIKE: 0 Miles (out of 0 planned)  It has been a week of late hours and now, day light savings time and a one day weekend (just shoot me, I smell trainer time in the garage coming up)
RUN: 14 Miles (out of 38 planned) Man, talk about limping out of October, but again time is limited!

Plan for next week:

BIKE: 18 minimum
RUN: 36 (and a race on Saturday, the Double Road Race!)

This last month wasn't anything special, but set a PR* (*post college PR) in the 5K, raced my first mountain bike race (hope to finish my first one soon!), and just blased my way thru the month, but I can look on the bright side only 5 1/2 months until my first 70.3!  Oh good lord!

My last month:
SWIM: Does my bath time count? No, then mark it zero dude!
BIKE: 45 miles.  I've done longer rides than that, man riding on the trainer is going to suck!
RUN: A Hundy!  A Benji! 100 miles on the dot.

Ok, I am breaking down here a bit: my first draft, pending the wife's overrule, race schedule!

Of course, this is subject to change (depending on where I am living next year):

November 9, 2013 - The Manhattan(KS) Double Road Race
Finishing out this year with a bang (I hope) is the Double Road Race, an event where you run a 10K, get a "half time" then hit the road again for a 5K.  Time is added up and boom, lowest time wins!  Cool concept, despite I ran one like this many years ago in Michigan, the Scenic Emmitt Challenge, a 2.5K, 10K and 5K (or you could just do one or two of them). 

December 1, 2013 - The Winter Runderland 5K (or 5K donut race!)
I ran this one back in 2011 when I first got to Kansas, it is a nice semi-hilly 5K that starts at the crack of 3pm, so awesome time for a race!  I did ok, and want to improve my time, OR, just race the donut race and try not to hurl!  Haven't decided, but any race that adds running and donuts, it's on like donkey kong!

March 22, 2014 - XTERRA Camp Eagle (TX)
I have been looking at doing an XTERRA and looking at my AG and swim and run times (no use comparing bike times as these are all off road), but I think I could hang with the podium folks in my AG and qualify for nationals in Ogden, Utah come September.  I think that they would be a hoot, and for what it's worth, I could see myself having a great time at these!

April 13, 2014 - NOLA 70.3 (New Orleans Ironman 70.3 miles)
Again, not really a "bucket list" item, but something to try to see if I'm any good at the longer distances.  I know this is an early race, but I have an outside goal of trying to qualify for 70.3 Worlds, and while a flat course isn't to my strengths (give me hills, lots of hills) I think with equipment upgrades (new aero helmet, some deep wheels) could give me a better FOP finish on the bike.  But this is going to be a race vacation (so I can sell that to the wife!).  This race looks solid regardless of Texas or Kansas.

April 27, 2014 - XTERRA Blue Bonnett (TX)
This will happen if I'm in Texas and if I'm not still recovering from NOLA (and I liked the first XTERRA).  Just too hard to say, but this would be a "C" race regardless.

May 17-18, 2014 - Memphis in May Weekend
This is a big race weekend that I have heard about, and trying to get two vacations in two months might be pushing it (especially with my wife's twin's wedding in Michigan in June!), but if I could sell this one, whoa baby!  A sprint on Saturday and an Olympic on Sunday with a Amateur challenge paying to top 15, plus BBQ and touring Memphis and Tunica, MS, hmmm could be a blast!

May 26, 2014 - Capital of Texas (CapTex) Triathlon
If I can't swing MiM, then I'm racing here.  I have done well in smaller races, but this is where the big boys come out and this is a good measuring stick for myself, as well as a nice Olympic race within two hours of where I *maybe* living in Texas.

June 28, 2014 - Gull Lake Triathlon
Going back home for the wedding, I'd be doing the Olympic this year if this wasn't the same day as the wedding!  So, going to race the sprint and see if I can defend my Master's title! LOL, I'm just happy this years winner was over 40 also, because the over 40 group took 1 thru 3.  Oh well, it is always good to get back to my roots, since this is where it all started for me racing tris.  Dang wedding!

July 19, 2014 - USAT Duathlon Nationals
Not sure about racing this one, even though DUs have really got my attention after the Ft. Leavenworth TRI err DU (check my race report on this one) and if this was in Arizona in October, I'd be all on it!  But they moved it to St. Paul, MN and into July, so might become an odd man out.

August 9-10, 2014 - USAT Nationals
This is the one I really wanted to get to and if I'm still in Kansas, that will be easier.  I might even get the military to get me some free leave to represent at the race.  But I am targeting the Olympic Nationals and really want to get on to Team USA for my AG.  That is my goal for the year.  Everything else on past that is cake (yummy, cake!).  And since I have already qualified for next year, I am really only waiting to see where I will be living (again, it matters).

I have a few other races, but this is what I am looking at in a nutshell.  Of course, if I get sponsored by some big names out there, I'll race where they need me to (hello Oakley, Zipp, Quintana Roo, Desoto, etc!  Call me!) but I guess a fella can dream right.

Well what you guys think?  And who is the folks from Mountain View, CA, who seems to like to read my blog?  Let yourself be known!  Leave a comment!  Thanks all and see you soon!


Monday, October 28, 2013

FTMM - 28 October

Well welcome back to Monday!  With a beautiful weekend that I had, I'd figure that I'd be in a chipper mood, but alas, I am not.  Saturday spend 5 hours working on the Moon Lake Mountain Bike trails, which was fun, but a great way to get ooohhh sooo sore!  Add on the fact that after I finished up, I went back to pre-ride the section that we bench cut, and ended up crashing out, so big ouch!  it wasn't too bad, just added to my soreness!

Then Sunday I finally got to race a mountain bike race, and it was a blast...up until my back tire went completely flat!  I made it 3.8 miles into a 6-7 mile loop before I DNF'd, but noticed that my rear tire was going flat about a mile into it.  I was having a great time and was catching the two guys in front of me (everyone started at 2 minute intervals) until riding got very hard and a little dangerous.  But it was great fun bombing the corners and jumping over logs and hills, it made me feel like a kid again.  But after DNFing, I was kinda pissed off, since I was riding well and having a good time.  When I got home, I ended up pulling a bunch of thorns from both front and back tires, and resulted in a tire with the consistency of Swiss cheese.  Guess my tires are a little old!  But other than that, it wasn't too bad, just nice and sore today!

My stats for this last week:

SWIM: Nada, again.  Going to start in mid-November when I find out if I have to move to Texas or not
BIKE: 17 Miles (out of 27 planned)  Not bad, but wasted Sunday and that 70* Sunny weather!
RUN: 14 Miles (out of 37 planned) Taking too much time off, but legs are feeling better, so should still hit my 100 mile month goal

Plan for next week:

RUN: 38 (but will be happy with 30-ish)

I'll be planning next year out this week, so I'll get a post in with my tentative race schedule and goals for 2014.  Hope you all have a good week!

Monday, October 21, 2013

K-State Homecoming 5K Race Report

Well since the tri season is over, so as the fall colors are starting to come out, that means road racing season!  I decided to jump in a small little gathering at K-State's campus this last Sunday.  In all, there were about 800 runners/walkers/drunk frat boys in costume on a nice sunny fall day.  This was on the campus of Kansas State and is a USATF certified course, so I plunked down my $25 dollars (for day-of registration) and it was going to a great cause, the Manhattan Veteran's Center.

I got to the Memorial stadium early to register, and warmed up a bit with a little running to the point I decided to get rid of the long sleeves and run in just my nice red Oakley singlet.  After about a mile and a half of warming up, I made my way back to the line area, just in time for some of the frat boys to "fake start" a few times with a whistle, which got old after about...once.  But the race director got up front and had a starter gun, and as luck would have it, I lined up right behind the eventual winners, both men and women.  After a few minutes, the gun went off and we were off.  As expected all the drunks took off at the front and made it to the first corner and started to walk.  So the other 750 people behind them had to dodge all kinds of cartoon characters. Fun times, fun times indeed.

The first mile clicked off fairly fast as I keep it steady and passed the few folks that went out too fast for their ability and trickled backwards.  The race took us down a street and then thru a dorm quad area, then back on to the road, which was kind of fun.  This would be the theme as we wound our way thru campus.  First mile: 6:04

The second mile doubled back and headed a bit down hill.  Just before the first mile I was passed by a guy running barefoot.  Not wearing that faddish, "five finger" shoes, actually barefoot!  I was not going to be beat by bare feet!  I chased him for quite a while.  I hit the second mile at 6:25.

I finally caught barefoot guy as he bent over to loose his breakfast, but as I came up on him I asked if he was good and he said "I'm fine" so I motored on.  I figured I better hurry up as my goal of a sub-20 might come and go, so I hit the downhill to the stadium and turned in a 6:34 mile.

The last .2 I cruised in to the stadium and saw 19:4X on the clock and sprinted the last 50 yards to mid field and across the line in a 19:54.  Well, mission accomplished!  After the run, I hung out with some of the Manhattan Tri Club folks, and I ended up getting 3rd place in the non-student division, and netted a $25 buck payday!  Whooot!  Don't tell the IRS! LOL.  But honestly, I was just looking for a nice medal, but still that is not too bad.  The majority of the Manhattan Tri Club did well here, so not too bad.  Overall, I had a good time, raced well and set a post-college PR for 5K, so all in all, it was good.  The race was well organized and well run, so can't complain.

Overall, if I am here next year, I'd run this race again, minus the frat boys of course!

First Thing Monday Morning (FTMM) - 21 October

Nothing like a little time off to heal ya up!  I ended up taking more than a few days off (and about half my mileage) and I feel better.  The downside, my calorie killing was not it's finest, so put on a few pounds (which I will proceed to kill off here shortly!).  But not too bad of a week overall, I will have a race report out for the 5K I ran this weekend (good times and made some money), so all in all, not too bad!

Well we ended up with our first day of snow in Kansas this last Friday, which was very odd since Thursday was nice and in the 60s and Saturday and Sunday was nice and sunny and 60s to 70s, so I would call it a blip on the radar, but could be a sign of doom to come!  In addition to working my core more than nothing, I am thinking of getting a ball for a chair, if possible.  That could be fun, but until then, I'm the guy on the right (no, not really, I like my nice chair at work!).

14-20 Oct 2013
SWIM: 0 yards! (Fail-osaurus Rex!)
BIKE: 0 Miles (I took EVERYTHING easy this week!)
RUN: 15.6 Miles (Two runs, plus a race, so meh, so so week)

My week ahead
21 - 27 Oct 2013
SWIM: 3600 yards (Need to get my motivation on!)
BIKE: 47 Miles (Including a mountain bike trail race!)
RUN: 36.5 Miles (Ramping back up the miles)

And to make matters worse (better?), I am cutting out my chocolate (this time for reals, playas!), so I might be a little grumpy the next few weeks, but despite my results from this weekend's race, still want to cut more weight and keep it in the 160's comfortably, and that will help!

If I get a little more time, I'll crank out the race report (minus pictures, unless I get lucky) here shortly.  Until then, take care everyone, and if you have a burning question, leave me a comment and I'll try to answer it up!


Tuesday, October 15, 2013

First Thing Monday Morning - Tuesday Edition (15 October)

Nah, not late, just taking the holiday off!  At least the majority of the weekend here was nice, Monday was wind, followed by rain, followed by wind and ran, and rinse, wash, repeat!  So luckily it was an off day for me, so sat around, watched some HGTV and listened to the wind howl.  And of course, foam rolled.  Love that thing for getting at those sore muscles!  Good stuff!

Here's how my week went:

7 - 13 Oct 2013
SWIM: 0 yards! (The streak continues!)
BIKE: 20 Miles (I broke down and rode in the cold, brrr!)
RUN: 33 Miles (Legs still feeling great, or I've lost feeling in my legs, either way, good stuff!)

My week ahead
14 - 20 Oct 2013
SWIM: 3600 yards
BIKE: 40 Miles
RUN: 33 Miles
And the K-State Homecoming 5K Race (going to gun for sub 20)

Weather here should be mild (mid to low 60's) all week, so primo running weather.  So looking forward to this week!

Also met up with the Manhattan Triathlon Club on Saturday and we did the first club workout, a nice 20 mile ride and 5 mile run with a few hills in it, so that was fun, and looking forward to that next week too, just not the 6 am wake up for 7 am start.  Ugg too early on a Saturday!

And oh yeah, government is still broke, with leaves me with this...

See you next week!

Monday, October 7, 2013

First Thing Monday Morning - 7 October 2013

"Wow, the weather here is a bit brisk"
Well, the first thing Monday morning, is that it's my mother's birthday, so HAPPY BIRTHDAY MOM!  Other than that, we are in a serious cold funk right now (well it feels really cold, but only in the 50's / 60's), with chilly temps this weekend, made for me bailing on my planned bike rides!  That kinda sucked!  But I did get some good runs in and took a few rest days (which are a good thing) and ran well, so you know, I kinda got that going for me!

I really don't like doing the treadmill thing, because, well, it's boring!  But soon, I'll be hitting the pool a bit more frequent than I am now!

On to my stats:

30 Sep - 6 Oct 2013
SWIM: 0 yards! (The streak continues!)
BIKE: 0 Miles (I am weak and afraid of the cold on a bike!)
RUN: 27.8 Miles (Feeling good, ran 5 times this week)

My week ahead
30 Sep - 6 Oct 2013
SWIM: 0 yards
BIKE: 76 Miles
RUN: 33 Miles

I have found that with me going longer and taking a day off (or three this week), my legs are feeling tons better, and coupled with foam rolling (LOVE THAT STUFF) and wearing compression, my legs are feeling good!

Well, I am still looking for races this fall and next year, so when I have a good idea, I'll write a post about my future races (which ALWAYS change!).  Until then, take care everyone!

Monday, September 30, 2013

First Thing Monday Morning (FTMM) Sep 30, 2013

So two in a row makes it a streak, right?  Well, this last week was interesting, with cold / flu running rampant in the office (awesome!), but I lysoled / hand sanitizered everything and ate meds like candy (is Tylenol Cold and Flu a performance enhancer?  Eh, it makes be feel better!), and kept running!

I've also started my core workouts again, which I feel work pretty good for me.  I seem to run faster when my core is strong, plus other things (golfing, riding bike, waking up not sore) seem easier.  Right now, it just consists of 100 sit ups in a row each morning.  I think I'll work my way up to hula-hooping a tractor tire later.  Much later.

23-29 SEP 2013
SWIM: 0 yards!
BIKE: 24.0 Miles (Getting really cold here in the mornings now)
RUN: 22.5 Miles (Was a little under the weather last week)

My week ahead
30 Sep - 6 Oct 2013
SWIM: 0 yards
BIKE: 60 Miles
RUN: 33 Miles

As the weather keeps going crazy here in Kansas (this week in the mid-80s, then the weekends, highs of 67!), working out and clothing will continue to be a "what is the temp like right now" game.  But still too early for me to think about indoor workouts, except maybe my off season weigh workouts, which also seem to help out, just have to remember to stay within my limits!

I "stole" these pictures from another funny blog, "Steve in a Speedo! Gross!" Right now, he is bummed as he can't run right now, so send him some love and get well soon wishes! 

Well, everyone, back to work now!

Monday, September 23, 2013

First Thing Monday Morning (FTMM)

Well, since I'm now 40 years old, as of this weekend, guess I'd better stick to something, and that something is my weekly training review, First Thing Monday Morning (FTMM).  I hope to get it out each Monday, hence the name (clever, I know!) and roll with that.  Since I have already started to plan next year's racin' (hello New Orleans!) so this ought to be fun!

16-22 SEP 2013
SWIM: 0 yards! (That is easy to track!)
BIKE: 27.4 Miles (Just re-started riding, felt good!)
RUN: 29.8 Miles (Not too bad with weather changes)

My week ahead
23-29 SEP 2013
SWIM: 0 yards
BIKE: 62 Miles
RUN: 40 Miles

As I mentioned, I think I already have the wife talked into going to New Orleans for the IM NOLA 70.3 in mid-April next year, so hope that we hit that, as I think I have to sell races as "destination" races now.

But my legs seem to be feeling better after the big jump in milage, so I hope that I don't fry them too soon and can hold 30-40 miles a week in the "off season".  Only time will tell, just need to make the most of my time, speaking of which, time to go!

Later everyone!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Things I learned...2013 Triathlon Season Review

Well, I have run out of triathlons for the year, so I guess it is time to recap, reflect, and figure out what more to do next year.  Perhaps some folks can learn from my mistakes / errors or what I did right (at least in my mind!)

As far as results go, this year was a great year for that.  I moved up to the Men's 40-44 age group, which is a tough group overall, and my overall races were good.  But my times aren't totally "front of pack" yet, but getting there!  Let's break this down by events:


6/15/13  Topeka Tinman - 400 meters / 0:08:32 (2:08/100m) 8th in AG / 90th overall
6/29/13  Gull Lake Tri - 500 meters / 0:09:13 (1:50/100m) 3rd in AG / 21st overall
8/18/13  Manhattan Tri - 500 meters / 0:09:39 (1:55/100m) 2nd in AG / 12th overall
8/25/13  Salina Sprint - 300 meters / 0:05:12 (1:44/100m) 1st in AG / 8th overall
9/07/13  Splash n Dash - 550 meters / 0:09:23est (1:42/100m) Unknown splits

As far as swimming, I didn't do enough this year.  Period.  Most of the distances were short (no more than 550 meters), but as far as being more comfortable in the water, I was much better (no stoke changes / rolling onto my back and swimming), but need to get into more yardage swimming.  I hope that when I move, there is a master's program there.  That will help me.  My yardage for the year (so far) is only 26,350 yards, and that is from April to early June only.  Ugggh.  Need to work on that.

SWIM Overall grade: 4 of 10 (lots of room to improve)


5/04/13  Ft. Leavenworth DU - 0:00:53 / 3rd in AG / 10th overall
6/15/13  Topeka Tinman - 0:01:32 / 2nd in AG / 13th overall
6/29/13  Gull Lake Tri - 0:00:37 / 1st in AG / 1st overall
8/18/13  Manhattan Tri - 0:00:36 / 1st in AG / 11th overall
8/25/13  Salina Sprint - 0:00:30 / 1st in AG / 4th overall
9/07/13  Splash n Dash - 0:00:30est

This was by far the most improved part of my racing season, by far.  Which is a little sad I guess, but T1 is where you can pass folks and get some free time.  With most of the races, the T1 times start at the entrance to T1, but a few also tack the time of the run from water to T1 to the swim (giving you a "longer" swim time.  At Topeka, they stopped your swim time at the edge of the lake (which is a good thing), but your T1 time includes the long uphill run to the T1 (until you leave T1).  I actually like that better, giving me a better idea about my swim fitness vs. my efficiency/running speed to T1 in my timing.  So if I had my pick, I'd rather have a longer T1 time if it meant that I had a more accurate swim time, but that is just me.

As far as my layout for T1, it was K.I.S.S.  I had a small towel to wipe feet of loose rocks, no socks for the bike, sunglasses in helmet and helmet on the aerobars.  My actions in T1 were run to bike, wipe feet while putting on glasses, shoes on, helmet on and buckled, bike off the rack and beat feet to the exit.  Yes I run in my shoes, and it takes a little practice (and replacing my cleats yearly, but you should anyhow!), but I think it is a bit quicker from mounting the bike to getting up to speed and down the road faster.  The more distance you put on chasers out of T1, the better.  And of course, the flying mount!  Remember, run past the mount line and aim to land on your thigh, not your, ummm, junk.  Your junk will thank you later!
And just visualizing the T1 in your head helps get you out on the road much quicker.
T1 overall grade: 9 of 10 (Just need to sustain!)
5/04/13 Ft. Leavenworth DU - 8.25 miles - 0:24:26 (20.3mph) / 2nd in AG / 5th overall (draft legal)
6/15/13 Topeka Tinman - 13 miles - 0:36:35 (21.3mph) / 3rd in AG / 16th overall
6/29/13 Gull Lake Tri - 10 miles - 0:28:04 (21.4mph) / 2nd in AG / 7th overall
8/18/13 Manhattan Tri - 12.4 miles - 0:34:06 (21.8mph) 2nd in AG / 6th overall
8/25/13 Salina Sprint - 22.5 miles - 1:02:34 (21.6mph) 1st in AG / 7th overall
9/07/13 Splash n Dash - 14.6 miles - 0:41:11 (21.3mph) Unknown splits

This year's bike was not too bad at all, considering I only did mileage and not any kind of workouts (other than the few Strava segments!), but I see this as an area to improve both fitness wise and equipment wise.  If I can get an aero helmet and some aero wheels, I think I can boost my average mph to 23-ish mph, and with better fitness, I can compete up with the "big boys" for fastest overall bike split.  That and getting into some bike races early in the year to get my fitness and mental toughness up there can't hurt either.  But other than finding time to get out and bike, and since I'll be moving south soonish, this will help a ton with my overall speed.  Even with the long bike at Salina, that was my 2nd fastest average all season and it was a brutal, windy ride with some nice rolling hills, which tells me, my fitness got better as the year went along.

I guess just need to get out a lot more and get tons of mileage on the bike next time around as of now, my mileage for the year is only 1,616 miles, and could be north of 2,000 this time next year.  But as of now, still not too bad.

BIKE overall grade: 7 of 10 (More mileage, better equipment)


5/04/13 Ft. Leavenworth DU - 0:00:57 / 9th in AG / 35th overall
6/15/13 Topeka Tinman - 0:00:59 / 5th in AG / 75th overall
6/29/13 Gull Lake Tri - 0:01:13 / 9th in AG / 30th overall
8/18/13 Manhattan Tri - 0:00:45 / 4th in AG / 62nd overall
8/25/13 Salina Sprint - 0:01:00 / 3rd in AG / 28th overall
9/07/13 Splash n Dash - 0:01:00est

Well this is the tale of two transitions, or could be called "Lost in Transition", but for all the goodness that my T1 was, my T2 sucked!  I am not sure if it is my centering myself off the bike, being dizzy, or what, but only know that I had racking issues twice, but this one should be easy.  Rack bike, helmet off, shoes off, socks on, shoes on, grab belt and Garmin and run!  But I think I stop for tea a few times during those T2s!  I know that I need to learn to run without my socks, but haven't gotten to that point yet.  I think that it'll save me some time, but I think also the Garmin is a culprit too.  Might have to have the wife video tape my T2s to figure it out and shave some more "free time" off.  That an need to practice these a bit more too, considering that I don't practice them at all.  As I move up in distances, T1 and T2 become less important time-wise, but in sprints, every second counts!

T2 overall grade: 2 of 10 (Run sockless, practice these more than once)


5/04/13 Ft. Leavenworth DU - 2.25 miles - 0:15:59 (7:06/mile) / 3rd in AG / 9th overall
6/15/13 Topeka Tinman - 3.25 miles - 0:22:09 (6:48/mile) / 2nd in AG / 13th overall
6/29/13 Gull Lake Tri - 3.1 miles - 0:20:03 (6:28/mile) / 1st in AG / 1st overall
8/18/13 Manhattan Tri - 3.1 miles - 0:20:09 (6:30/mile) / 1st in AG / 9th overall
8/25/13 Salina Sprint - 4.5 miles - 0:31:06 (6:54/mile) 1st in AG / 4th overall
9/07/13 Splash n Dash - 4.4 miles - 0:30:33 (6:56/mile) Unknown splits

I am still a good runner off the bike (could it be the big break I take in T2? Hmmmm) but overall, I still want to get those pace per mile into the 19's or dare I say, 18's?  But I need to work on my speed, as this entire year I just ran distances and ran them in a moderately fast pace.  But I didn't incorporate speed work, tempo runs, or any long slow runs into my training, and I think that held me back.  During this entire season, I was passed once, and that was the last race and after I think I might have over-cooked my legs riding, but I don't want to make any excuses.  I by far passed many more people during the run, and coming from a runner background helps this.  I just need to keep my mileage high, and get some speed sessions in there.  That, or get a coach and have a plan laid out for me instead of my just "winging it".

RUN overall grade: 7 of 10 (More speedwork, coaching?)

Here are a few miscellaneous things that I can't really categorize in the above categories:

Shaving your legs:  Before you go "ewww", I tried it, and I think that it works.  During the bike and the swim I "felt" faster.  I know the wife doesn't like it, hence keeping it for only the season.  Shaving three to four times a week sucks, but I think the benefits outweigh the disadvantages (lots of hair to cut, nicks, cost of razors, etc).  I endorse this.

Wetsuit:  This is the first year I did not use a wetsuit for any swims (all swims are short / pool swims) and I think in the shorter swims, the time gained from the use of a wetsuit / swimskin, you lose in taking it off.  For longer / colder races, I'll suit up, but for a sprint, no dice.  That leads me to the next item...

Trisuit:  I decided to try a trisuit this year, and in a word, love it.  I seem to glide thru the water, and doesn't bother me too much.  I had early year issues with a little saddle sore issues, but it seemed to work itself out.  I tried my old tri kit, and umm, it was too big for me (at least the top.  Anyone need to buy a medium DeSoto top? Call me!)  But I will look at getting a new trisuit for next year, but I love my $30 2XU trisuit (thanks ebay!).  I am thinking of looking at getting a nice Sugoi kit next year!

Garmin 305:  I love my Garmin, but it is getting old and doesn't sync with the computer the first time around, and usually requires about 10 minutes of attempting to get it to sync.  So I hope that I get a new one here soon.

USAT Nationals / Hyvee Championships:  I just looked up my ranking from USAT rankings for the year and I am 770th out of 2200 in my age group.  The next time I qualify for nationals, I am going to go.  Enough of the "I wonders" and would like to see how I stack up.  But I need to be ready for that too.

Goals for next year:  I am going to move up to doing Olympic distances next year and want to qualify for the Nationals, give an Xterra race or two a whirl, maybe get a coach (for cheap!), do at least a half ironman, and apply for both the All Army triathlon team and the US Military Elite Triathlon team.  And look to get some sponsorships / partnerships to help bring the cost of racing down a bit.  But those are my hopes and dreams for next year, so better get cracking now if I want to bring them to life!

Thanks for reading and hope this helps someone out with their training / racing!


Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Splash n Dash Race Report

 Well ,like all good things, they must come to an end.  And this was the end of the triathlon season for me, so where else to end it at but the "home" course.  Again, this was going to be my 3rd tri in about a month, and my 3rd "odd" distance race as well, but that is ok, since next year going to concentrate on the Olympic length races.  The Fort Riley Splash and Dash was a nice low cost, low frills race here on Fort Riley and I was hoping that none of the "studs" from Manhattan would show up, but I know that just won't come to be!

Since this was so close to my house, my wife and I rode our bikes over to the race site and luckily we did, as I went to pick up my packet, I overheard one of the volunteers ask if someone didn't have a helmet, if they could race, and since my wife wore her helmet, I let the nice lady borrow it so she could race.  So I hope I got good karma points for that.

I got my bike inspected, body marked and heading into transition to rack my bike and set up my area.  That being done, I headed out for my warm up ride and ended up giving directions for a few folks.

With the warmup complete, I headed to the pool and I was in luck, the pool was 10 lanes, which meant one way lanes.  I hate going down and back in the same lane, too much possibility for head on collisions! 
Me in my swimcap about to push off!

SWIM: 09:32 (estimated) (1:44/100m) 550 meters

We all got into numeric order based off of our estimated swim times and I guessed about right for me, but as I looked around me, there looked like a lot of fast swimmers, so I let them know just to tap my feet if they wanted by.  I hopped into the cool water, and after my 20 second countdown, I was off, and feeling fine!  I felt strong the entire swim and passed one person during the swim.  I know with more practice and pool time, I'll get faster, but I felt good the entire swim.
Gotta suck that gut in!  I think it was the light effect!
T1: 0:30 (estimated)

Again, this was estimated and this was a weird transition setup.  You exited the pool but had to run to the far end of transition and enter through the middle.  I understand why, to make it fair for folks who racked in the back, but still just odd.

Flying mount: NAILED IT!!!
BIKE: 41:11 (21.3 mph) 14.6 miles
I did have my Garmin for this, since the race did not have but one split, so at least I know my own data.  The bike felt great and since I have ridden the course more than once, I knew where to push and where to relax, but it seemed like I cooked myself a little bit too much on the bike, but I did pick off 7 riders ahead of me, mainly on the climbs.  I could tell many were not ready for the hills on the bike course as a few of them were "paperboying" (weaving side to side up the hill) as I maintained a nice steady uphill roll.  It was nice to go all out on the bike on this course, but again, I think I might have pushed it a little bit too much, but oh well, it was the last race of the year!

Heading in to T2 with a guy on my tail.
T2: 01:00 (estimated)
Again, with the fairness for the race, you had to hit the dismount line, run to the far end (for me, that is in shoes still) and back up the middle.  Ugggh, I think I might have underestimated my T1 and T2 times, but oh well.  It seemed like it took me forever to get out of T2, but I got my shoes and socks on, grabbed my Garmin and rocketed out of T2 like I was chasing someone down (which I was).

Heading out of T2 in chase mode.
RUN: 30:33 (6:59 ave) 4.3 miles
Another longer run, almost like Salina's run, but with WAY more hills.  Like a ton more.  But I chased down the guy who I beat into T2 only a few meters out of the chute and poured on the speed (6:28 first mile!! Yikes!!) maybe a bit much.  But I made sure I hit each water point to at least dump some water on my head, which helped.  The 2nd mile brought the hills and just prior to hitting the 3 mile mark, I was caught from behind.  This was the first race all year that someone passed me on the run that I hadn't passed.  Bummer, but come to find out, not only was he not in my AG, but was almost half as young as me!  But still, I had getting passed.  I maintained a visual on him until we hit the twisty 3rd mile area, and lost contact, but I knew with the TT swim start, I still might get him at the line, even though he was ahead of me.  So I maintained a hard pace and kept cruising and got my butt across the line as fast as I could and I was spent!
Uggh!  I feel exactly like I look!
OVERALL 1:22:37 (4th overall, 2nd in 30-40 age group[odd breakout for ages])
I ended up missing the guy who passed me by about 5 seconds for third, and both Ric Rosenthal and Marek Dvorak (the two aforementioned studs from Manhattan) took 1 and 2, just like at the Apple Tri.  Overall, I think I let up on my training towards the end of this month, but I gave it my all and after a short break, I am going to get back on it with more run focused training.  I enjoyed this season, had a few missed opportunities (Nationals, Kansas 70.3, Branson), but I am going to step up my game next year for the longer distances, get a bit better equipment, and keep working towards racing well.
In the next few days, I will post my post-season observations for all to read and hope that the reflections will help me and you readers with your next races!  See you soon and thanks for reading!

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Changing Gears

Well as the triathlon season winds down (just have the Fort Riley Splash 'n Dash left), thoughts are on to cooler weather (currently over 100 for the third day), football, and the fall running "season".

I started to ramp up my run-centric training and all I can say is, ow!  But as I keep it up, it'll come a bit easier.  Later this nice long weekend I'll post my monthly roll up and some tips that I learned the hard way (so you don't have to!), because it is always good to learn from others mistakes.

Everyone have a great Labor Day weekend, and check out my Salina Race Report, I found some more pictures!

Take care all and leave some feedback on what you'd like to see here!

Monday, August 26, 2013

Salina "Sprint" Triathlon Race Report

Sorry all, not going to have any pictures for this one, the wife slept in and I made the hour trip west to Salina for this one!  Folks always ask me why I do triathlons and I just enjoy competing I guess.

Well, the reason I decided to race Salina just a week after my Manhattan race, was that due to timing and moving issues coming up, I wouldn't be able to dedicate the time I'd wanted to race the REV3 Branson 70.3 race, so instead of shelling out $275 bucks, plus travel, and not really being satisfied with my results, I'd save the money, continue to train until next year and ramp up with some Olys to get ready for this task next year.  So I'd decided to race local and get some more fitness under my belt for next year.

Well anyway, I got up for the second straight Sunday at the butt-crack of dawn (well, it was still dark until after I got to the race site), loaded up and headed out, rocking out with the road clear and loud music.  I arrived about an hour later, picked up my packet, got all marked up, set up the transition (which has been a nice change this year, they have been fast), and headed out in search of the potty.  This is always the thing that happens when I get set up, part of my routine, so I do it!

As it turns out, this was going to be a small race, since school had started, so no kids in the race, as well as this was the first year in a new spot.  The fact that the distance was very odd (300 yard swim, 22.5 mile bike, 4.5 mile run) placed it in the pseudo-sprint / short Olympic race, but I didn't mind too much.  This distance played a bit towards my strengths.

Whaaaaat!? Andrew can swim?
 Guess they had some photos of me!  Me getting ready to get wet

SWIM: 5:12 (1st in AG, 8th overall)

We started in a self-seeding, time trial start, and I think I nailed my seeding as I was about 15 people back, never got close to the guy in front of me and not letting the lady behind me catch up to me (I got a little scared in the middle of the swim!), but I think that I was thinking I would be about 5:30-6:00 for the swim, but again, there was a nice 200 meter run to the T1, so for all I know, I could have been about in the high 4:00, but either way, with minimal swimming, I am respectable at least and only loss about a minute to the top swimmer, so not shabby.

T1:  0:30 (1st in AG, 4th OA)

I have been hitting my transitions very well this year, and I think it helps keep my momentum going for the race.  I have been keeping it simple this entire year, and I think I can cut my T2 times down, I can make a little more bank.  But right now, I am happy with the T1

BIKE: 1:20:34 (1st in AG, 7th OA)

This was a lot longer than my usual bikes, but I had a good plan going into it.  Hammer the upwind portion, take it easy in the side / headwind, and on the last stretch, keep going hard.  Well it took me a bit to get going on the bike and picked off a few riders, and once we hit the northbound leg, it was with the wind and slightly down hill.  But since this was a nice long block route, you get the wind from all angles, but in the group that was all close together, about 5 of us that were within eyesight of each other, we all were about the same speed.  I was much better than 3 of them on the climbs and made up ground, only to give it away on the flats.  But I caught and lead the group of 5 for about half the race and I didn't see anyone else in front of me for the longest time, and I started to think that I might be in the lead.  I pushed that from my mind as I started to eat a bit on the bike and the 4 others caught back up with me and passed me, I hit a little lull, then picked it back up to chase mode, to try to get back in striking distance to them.  As we got back into town, I passed one other guy and the other three were just ahead of me as we rolled into T2 very closely packed.  I was happy to see that despite how close we all were on the bike course, I didn't see any drafting when I was towards the back, it was nicely spaced out.  But my legs felt a little toasted in the middle of the ride, but I knew the first 100 yards out of T2 would tell me how my legs were.

T2: 1:00 (3rd in AG, 28th OA)

As usual, my T2 has been ugly and this time was no different.  I had a little issue with socks (note to self, get a pair of sockless shoes for next year), and I racked my bike backwards, so I had to rack it right because in a bigger race, I might get a penalty for that, so practice makes perfect.  But I got all my gear, and got out in 60 seconds, but it was still slow as three guys I was with on the bike, exited before me, so I went into chase mode right away.
Heading in to the finish line in my old kit

RUN: 31:06 (1st in AG, 4th OA)

I did chat with a guy as he passed me, stating that I couldn't wait for the run, and boy was I right.  The first few steps, my legs felt great and fresh and ready to race this different distance.  4.5 miles is border-line for me right now with my run fitness (endurance, not speed) and it would be redline the entire way!  It took me about 2/3 of a mile to catch the guy I thought was in first out of transition, and he jokingly asked if I wanted to run with him, but I wanted to get some distance in case I was in first and just go until I blow!  So I clocked my first mile in 6:22, so yeah I was feeling good.  We turned on to a nice long stretch down a levee, and it was hot.  I ended up skipping the first two (of three) waterpoints, which was a mistake as the temperature rose.  I continued to look ahead to see if anyone else was there, and there wasn't, so I began thinking I might actually win this thing, which was nice to keep my mind off of my legs and the heat.  But I maintained a nice pace the rest of the way, and caught a second wind and finished semi-hard, not close to puking.  I walked around and checked the results (Oz Endurance has an up-to-the-minute results tracker that scrolls, and is VERY cool) and that is when I noticed that I was third.  Those time trial starts always get me, but the winner beat me by almost 9 minutes and I missed 2nd by a minute, but overall, I was happy with my race, at an odd distance, but I think that it might be time to move up in distances.
Finishing it up at the line

OVERALL: 1:40:20 (1st in AG, 3rd OA)

I was happy for my results and my effort, but still in looking at the overall winner, I still have a bit of a ways to go.  But one more triathlon in this season for me, the Fort Riley Splash and Dash, where I hope that I'll have the home field advantage over the field.  But we will see I guess!  I guess I'd better get back to training then!

Monday, August 19, 2013

2013 Manhattan "Apple" Triathlon Race Report

It is NEVER a good sign when vultures are waiting in the trees before a race!  But that's what they were doing around the River Pond at Tuttle Creek State Park for Sunday's 2nd Annual Manhattan Apple Tri.

I was deployed last year so this will be my first time here, and since it was almost two months without a race, it felt like the start of the season all over again.  I was planning on using this for a "speed" day of training and not worry too much about the results, as long as I was Top-15 or so, which I think was doable.

Well I rolled out of bed at 0500 in the morning and let the dog out, ate a piece of cold pizza, banana and some water and gatorade and got on the road with my lovely wife, Jen, who hates early morning races (sorry, most all of them are!).  We got out the door at about 0545, and made the quick trip to Manhattan, the Little Apple, which is home of K-State (EMAW!) and lot's of good restaurants (why I haven't gained 20 pounds is beyond me!).  The course was at the Tuttle Creek State Park, just below the Tuttle Creek Reservoir at the campgrounds.  The park is below the dam, by about 200 feet or so, which means, you get to climb out of the park on the bike!  Nice.

I picked up my packet yesterday, so all I had to do is roll in and set up transition, which was getting packed more and more by the minute, so got my body marked, and headed on in.  Found a good rack on the main aisle headed towards the "bike out" (tip: I try to situate myself close to the bike out/bike in "gate" as it is easier to just run without the bike than with it).  It was nice in transition with about half or so of many first or second timers to tris.  They were asking questions and both myself and a nice guy I racked next to, Steve Klappa, were answering questions and chatting up with everyone, so all in all a good time.  I enjoy helping newer folks to tri with things, because I was once there and nice folks helped me out, so it's always great to return the favor.  The only thing I would say was this wasn't a good bike course for first timers (with a nice 3/4 mile hill right off the bat), but looks like many survived that.

Note the "barrier" in the water.  Had to negotiate that twice!
Just before the start of the swim, the race organizers change the start to a time trial start instead of a wave start (time trial went off every 3 seconds) because of the swim area barrier could not be removed, so you had to go over, under, or in some cases, through it.  Twice.  Luckily it was in shallow water for the first crossing, and a bit deeper for the 2nd.  While I swam, I almost slammed in to it, then went under it.  It was kind of fun watching the people go over or around it in different ways, one guy even went all "western roll" on it, high jumper style!  Lots of "oohs" and "ahhhs" from shore.

Me heading to the water
Swim: 9:39 (12th overall) 500 meters
Well I seeded myself poorly, it seemed as I passed three people in front of me in the first 25-50 yards of the swim.  The swim was a bit tough as I was good sighting the whole way, even after the first turn buoy, which then went right in to the sun, and I wore clear goggles, oops!  But I was nice and straight in my lines, but a few times I got swam over, at a 90 degree angle.  Not sure where they were going but it wasn't the way I was.  It really didn't bother me at all, but with the time trial start, I really didn't find any feet to draft off of, but despite not swimming for almost two months, didn't really affect me much.  I think my time would have been very good out of the water, but there was a long 200 meter run on hard sand and gravel to transition. Ouch!

Passed 2 guys at the mount line, the other guy was like "Wow, that was a cool mount!"
T1: 0:36 (11th overall)
T1 was nice and quick, could have been a bit better as I had to wipe the gravel off my feet from the long run in.  I did pass two guys who stopped at the mount line to get on the bike, but I did my "flying squirrel" mount and was off and rolling, picking up two spots with less work.
Passed 2 guys at the mount line, the other guy was like "Wow, that was a cool mount!"
Bike: 34:06 (21.8 mph / 6th overall) 12.4 miles
As I stated, the first 1.4 miles of the route was uphill to get out of the park proper, with a little 200 foot of climbing, right off the bat.  Luckily, I could climb and I ended up passing about 7 folks on that first climb, including my buddy, Trevor Woods, who I ride with on post a few times.  It was a long way to the top (if you want to rock n' roll!  Sorry had to slide in some AC/DC in there), but once you turned onto Hwy 13, it was on like donkey kong, jack!  Nice flat and semi smooth road with a slight uphill towards the turn around point.  About a mile and a half later after passing him, Trevor blows back by me (on his way to 3rd fastest bike split, he may not climb well, but on the flats, watch out!).  The top 6 splits were between 31:48 and my 34:06, then the times started to drop off quick, but I know if I want to contend better, need to put more speed on the bike.  Might mean upgrades like wheels and a helmet.  Will have to see. 

Coming in for my "landing".  "Call the ball, Mav!"
T2: 0:45 (62nd overall)
Well T2 bit me in the butt again, because I put on socks, then shoes and apparently take a coffee break, but overall, it isn't a bad time, but can be better.
Rolling out of T2, looking to track down a few folks.

Run: 20:09 (9th overall) 5 km

On to my bread and butter, the run.  Again, I have been so bike focused lately, my run I thought would be really bad, but coming out of T2, I felt good and fresh, ready to chase down a few folks.  My legs felt great and I really have been running good off the bike this year, and that is what it is all about.  I did have some technical difficulties with the Garmin, as you can see below:

"Come on you stupid thing, start already!"
Since the bike was drafting clean and I wasn't mad at anyone, I didn't "run angry" like at Gull Lake, but I still ran strong.  The course was a nice flat-ish "lollipop" out and back course, and you could see all the folks in front of you and chasing (once you turned around).  Didn't have too much problems on the run, didn't need any water as it was still nice and cool, felt like fall to me.  I did catch and pass about 5 guys or so, with no one passing me and really brought it on home to the finish.  No gasping for air, wanting to puke or anything, a nice metered effort.  I was just behind Trevor and he crossed before me and we got our medals and some gatorade and chatted for a bit.  Then, I was told results were already up, which was very fast, so I headed over to the trailer and sure enough, they had a print out with your swim split, and a monitor (flat screen TV) with a scrolling list of finishers, in real time!  That is so very cool!  I have never seen that in a race yet, but the guys at Oz Endurance Timing really have there stuff wired tight!  The only downside is then I started to monitor watch, since we started in a time trial, you really didn't know where you stood, because a really fast guy could have started towards the back, but my 4th place and 1st military placing held up.

Trucking towards the line, pirate style!
Overall: 1:05:14 (4th overall, 1st in AG)
I went and cleaned up a bit and cleaned up my transition area, and waited on the awards.  I just missed getting on the overall podium by about 50 seconds, but I left a bit of time out on the course, but I met my goal of making it a good training race, and got a top-5 finish to boot!  And I'm glad they pull the top 3 out, since the winner was the 2012 USAT Sprint National Championship runner-up for my age group.  Yikes!!!  I was about 7 minutes back, powered by his 17:12 run split, I really need to get some speed work in to compete with that!

Me and my 1st AG win! (I liked the finisher medal better!)
Well, I have more training the next few weeks, with another race coming up, the Fort Riley Splash 'n Dash, which I am hoping to have a good showing at as it is my "hometown" race and would LOVE to win it, but I don't want to get too far ahead of myself, as there are a lot of fast folks who could pop in.  But I can always dream!  And as far as doing this race again, I would do another Oz Endurance race again, with the timing being up so quick and the overall results posted the same day, doesn't get much better than that!
Thanks for reading!