Monthly Archives: July 2008

Rest of the Year

 

So I have decided what I am going to do for the rest of the year. I will do the Patriot’s Half race in early September in Williamsburg, VA instead of the Austin Half in early October.

Two main things went into this decision. If I did the Austin Half in October I wouldn’t be able to the Marnie Corps Marathon at the end of October. I want to do a marathon this year and think I can blow away my two previous results. This will also force me to do a lot more running which would be  good thing.

Second is $$$. Austin would require a flight, hotel, bike transport,etc. I priced it out and conservative estimate would be slightly over $1,000. I don’t want to spend that much for a race this year.

Willimsburg should be fun, it’s been a while since I’ve been there so I might take a few days off work and go around after the race and visit Busch Gardens.

The Patriots Half is also part of the Virginia triathlon series. I am going to do some shorter races through the rest of the year and should have enough events to qualify for the end of seasons awards so I’ll see if I can win something in that.

Looking ahead the Patriots Half is a special qualifier for the 2009 USA Triathlon Halfmax National Championships. To qualify I would need to finish in the top 33% of my age group, and based on how I have done in local/regional level races this year I think that is achievable. The race would be in November 2009 so it might line up with airshow out there, or just be another excuse to go back to Vegas.

Ironman Rhode Island Race Photos

Here are the professional Photos from the Race

 

This one is from when I was getting ready to go for a swim on Saturday after checking in the bike. Ah it’s so white I’m blinded. It’s more of the lighting from the photo then my awesome farmers tan, but I do need to spend some more time at the beach. I might play around with this one in photoshop and see what I can do.

 

Getting out of the water. I’m not picking a wedgie I’m reaching to unzip the back of my wetsuit so I can take it off.

Getting started on the bike

Out on the bike course

Out on the run

 

Finishing up. Subtract 1:05:00 for my time, and considering the half hour lost with the flat tire issues I’m happy with that. Sub 5:40:00 is very achievable for next time.

 

Post Race picture.

Year to date summary

So far this year:

Total workout time: 258 hours 34 minutes average 9 hours per week

Total Swim Distance: 169,082 yards average 6,038 yards per week

Total Bike Distance: 1,896 miles average 70 miles per week

Total Run Distance: 409 miles average 14 miles per week

 

I am satisfied with this for the first half of my inagural triathlon season. For a non rest week those averages are a little higher and I did miss some time with the injury and moving but I did a very good building a good base without doing it to fast and hurting myself.

Looking at the numbers I definetly need to spend more time running the rest of year. If I can get my average up to a consistent high 20s week I should see some big improvements. 

I have a good endurance base with my swimming and now I need to take some time to improve my technique. I probably should have done it the other way around, technique then endurance but oh well.

What to do next

I need to decide what I want to for th rest of the year in terms of races. I definetly want to do another half ironman this year but I need to figure out which one.

  1. I can do the Patriots Half on September 7th in Williams burg, VA and still be able to do the Marine Corps Marathon in October.
  2. Or I can do the the Longhorn 70.3 in Austin Texas on October 5th. This mean I would probably not do the Marine Corps Marathon and do an early spring marathon instead. 

I think I would like the Longhorn race better because it’s an Ironman race ad I really enjoyed that big race atmosphere in Rhode Isand. The problem is it will cost more money, and I would need to reschedule my marathon plan, but that’s not a big issue. Adam is also doing this race.

The Patriots Half is a smaller “local” race so it would cost less. The family would probably be able to see the race which is nice.

I need to think about this and try to come up with a choice in the next week or sooner.

 

I’ve been taking it really easy this week. I didn’t do anything on Monday and then Tuesday and Wednesday I went in the pool and did some technique work. I went running for the first time since the race this afternoon and my legs felt like crap. I think I need to take it really easy the rest of the week to make sure I don’t hurt myself, I may even go get a massage this weekend.

 

I also went to a Frederick Keys game today. It brought back a lot of good memories, I went to a lot of these games growing up and use to be one of those kids fighting for a foul ball. In high school one of the leagues I was in had games at the axillary field there and we actually played a few games in the stadium. That was actually a really good team, I was one of only a few guys who didn’t play in college so we really dominated that league. Lots of funny times and stories playing games with that team. 

Earlier in the year former Georgia Tech catcher Matt Weiters was playing with the Keys but he was doing so good the Orioles moved him and his six million dollar signing bonus up to the double A team.

    

 

It has also been brought to my attention that I have yet to actually come up with a name for my blog. I was thinking about when I first started writing and got stumped so I just left it. I was waiting for an “a ha” moment to hit me with the correct name but it hasn’t happened yet. I’ll start thinking about it again and try to come up with something good, but any suggestions would appreciated.

Ironman Rhode Island 70.3 Race Report

PreRace

There were a lot of prerace logistics involved in this race. We went to pick up the race packets on Saturday. The athletes guide said they opened at 8:30 and we got there and found out they did not ope til 10, so we hung out for  a while and started the line. That was a very good decision because if we got there any later in the day it would have been a 2-3 hour wait to pick up the race packet. I picked up some shirts and a hat during the expo.  

The race started at Roger Wheeler State Beach in Narragansett, RI which was about 45 minutes away but finished in downtown Providence. This meant you had to get your bike down to the beach on Saturday for storage overnight. You also had to have a “clean” transition area. That meant everything had to be in one of the provided bags.

The green one is for your morning clothes to be transported to the finish. The black one is for your bike stuff and then your wetsuit after you get out of the water and put your bike stuff. There was a red bag that was used for the run gear and dropped off in downtown Providence. 

We got everything taken care of on Friday and did some swimming to see what the current felt like.

Sunday was an early wake up call. The race started at 6:00 am and the shuttle bus to the race start left at 3:30 so that meant the alarm went off at 2:55. What was interesting about this was seeing all triathletes walking in their spandex with their families to the bus loading area while a good stream of people were coming back after a night out parting.  There was a lot of weird looks exchanged.

We got to the race start fine and I made sure the bike was ok. My wave didn’t go off until 7:05 so I had a lot of time to wait. I was able to see the pros start and do the transition.

Swim (1.2 miles, 35:52, 1:53/100m)

These are some pictures I took from Saturday. It looks like a really long way when you stand on the shore and look out, it’s all the way out to the orange in the first picture. The swim was exactly what I was expecting in terms of time. The course was a counter clockwise loop of a narrow rectangle. I started towards the front and on the outside right. This was first rae with an ocean swim and I enjoyed the start with running into the waves and diving through them.

The out part of the course was uneventful I stayed off towards the right and only had to navigate through two or three people and was able to stay on the feet of someone about as fast as me.  

It started to get congested at the turn and I had to slow down as I caught up to some people in an earlier wave. Heading back toward the beach I got pushed off course a little by the current and had to correct myself a few times.

I tried to catch a wave back in when I got towards the beach but wasn’t able to. I looked at my watch to check my time and was very happy with it.

T1 (4:53)

There was a decent run from the beach to the bike area. My time was on the longer side because I decided to visit the bathroom before the bike instead of taking a break once on the bike.

Bike (56 miles, 3:11:44, 17.52 mph)

 

The course was point to point and covered most of the state. The first half of the bike was fantastic. It went along the coast and we biked under this bridge/castle thing near Narragansett state beach before heading along some gorgeous coast line. The race photographers got some good pictures with the water in the background that I looking forward to seeing.

I was also moving along very fast I avered about 22 mph over the first 24 miles on the course. We drove the course on the way back from the beach Saturday which was good because I knew what to expect and where the hills were at.

At about mile 25 I rode over a fairly large rock in the road and I think that’s how I got my flat. But however it happened I got a flat and stopped to fix it. This was my first flat ever and the first time I had to change a tube with my new race wheels. I took off the tire and removed the tube. Because the wheels have deep rims there is also a valve extender that needs to added so you can still have access to the valve when the tube is on. I put the extender on and put the tube and tire back together. I then went to use the CO2 to re-inflate the tube.

It didn’t work and I figured I used to the CO2 wrong so I took out my other carterige and tried it again. Same thing, no pressure in the tire. I thougth about it for a second and realized I forgot to open the valve on the tube before I put the extender on. I fixed it but I was out of CO2 so I had to wait and hope someone with a pump came by.

I waited for about twenty minutes and luckily someone stopped and had a pump for me to use. It was a guy and his two kids driving the course just helping people out. I thanked them and continued on my way.

I got a half mile down the rode and realized my quick release lever on the front wheel was on three quarters of the way closed so I had to stop and close that.

Afterwards I finished up the bike uneventfully. There was one decent climb but the rest was fast and somewhat flat/downhill. I took it easy on some of the downhills because I was worried about the tire the whole way. The roads heading into downtown got really rough and narrow which cost me some more time but overall it was a nice and fast course.

I stopped my garmin when I went to fix the flat and started it again when I got going. Without the flat I would have gone about 2:45 for about a 20 mph average which was what I was looking for.

T2 ( 2:30)

The transition was on the state capital grounds which was really neat.

 

Run (13.1 miles, 2:16:43, 10:26/mile)

This was the part I was worried about. With the ankle injury a few months ago I missed a lot of run training and knew that I wasn’t where I needed to be at to have a fast run.

I got out of transistion and onto the run with my legs feeling good. The course was two laps so there was a lot of people out on the course, the atmosphere was amazing. After about a 1/2 mile I came to the hill that went up to Brown University. This was like nothing I have run on before, it was used for street luge when the X-games took place in Providence. I ran half way up the hill and walked the rest when I relized I was going so slow it wasn’t worth the extra effort to run. Once you got up to the top of hill it was less hilly but there really wasn’t a flat spot on the course.

I made sure I was stopping at every aid station to get water, gatorade, and an orange every other mile. This seemed to be just the right amount of food for me. They also had sponges that were soaked in ice cold water which where fantastic since it was starting to get hotter out.

You also had to go back down the hill which was interesting to be doing on tired legs. I got to the turn around in about 1:02 which I felt was a good time.

I saw Adam coming down towards the finish on his second lap as I was going out again, he came in at just over five hours because of an awesome 2:30 bike split. He set a PR by about 20 minutes.

The second time around I stopped at the aid station at the bottom of the big hill and walked up the entire way. When I got to the top of hill I was exhausted. The rest of the way was a jog/walk between aid stations and gutting it out to the finish.

I came back down the hill and the last aid station. The volunteers asked if I wanted to be drenched in water and I said yes, they all emptied their cups they had on me and felt great. All of the volunteers and spectators on the course had a great attitude and were so helpful.

I ran the last mile and half to the finish which was in a great spot right on the steps of the capital building. It was such a rush to come down the finish chute and complete the race.

Postrace

I was exhausted. I stood for the finish line and then stumbled around to get some food and sit down. I watched some more people finish and then grabbed all my gear and went back to the hotel, showered and went out to get some food. We wound up at the cheesecake factory which was right across the street from the finish line and had an enormous amount of food and watched some the last people finish up. I went back to the hotel room and took a four and half hour “nap”, woke up for about two hours and then went to sleep for the night.  

The overall time wasn’t what I was looking for but considering all the things that I had to go through with the ankle injury and the bike incident the fact I was able to finish was great. I would have exceed my goal by a wide margin if I had taken care of the flat correctly which also feels good.

This was a fantastic experience and I am ready to sign up for the next one and set a new PR. I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of the race. I am also thinking there may be a full Ironman in my future but I’ll wait and see on that one.

 

Determination 

What I found extremely motivating was the disabled athletes division, particularly a wheelchair racer. If I recall correctly from the local paper he was injured in a boating accident and lost both legs. I saw him getting into the water right after the pro start and get beat around by the waves as he was heading out.

I saw him again on the run course when I was going the down big hill and he was coming up it. He was in a wheelchair like the one below. 

How he got himself up that hill I have no idea but that was absolutely amazing. He had one hand on the crank up front and the other on the back wheel acting as a brake to stop him from rolling back down the hill. I came back up for my second loop and saw him just over the top of the hill. It probably took him about twenty minutes to make it up that hill and he had to do it a second time. When I saw him at the top of the hill I noticed he had bandages on his shoulder and arm, it turned out he had a crash earlier in the race but got cleaned up and kept going.

Ironman Rhode Island 70.3 Quick Race Summary

Swim (1.2 miles): 35:52 (1:53 per 100m)

T1: 4:53

Bike (56 miles): 3:11:44 (17.52 MPH avg)

T2: 2:23

Run(13.1 miles): 2:16:43 (10:26/mile)

Total: 6:11:35

Rank: 811/~1600, AG 43/77

 

The swim went just I had hoped for probably better. It was my race in the Ocean and got a little of course with the waves and current.

T1 was long because I visited the bathroom.

The bike was great for the first 25 miles. Then I got a flat tire and had to stop. I wound up messing up the CO2 containers used to re inflate the tires so I had to wait for an official with a pump. I stopped my garmin when I got out to fix it, and that ordeal cost me about 20-25 minutes. Without the stop I did a 2:48:xx which is about a 20.0 mph average which was what I was shooting for. The course was beatufil with the first third mostly along the ocean.

T2 was uneventful. When I was running with my cycling shoes on it felt I was going to have a blister but was fortunate I did not.

The run was hard. It had an absurd hill on it and was two loops so you got to do it twice. It was from downtown Providence up to Brown University. I heard they used if for street luge races when they had the X-Games there. The second loop was really difficult, there was a lot of walking on that second loop.

Overall I was happy with the result. My main goal from the start of the year was to break 6 hours. That would have easily happened without the flat, but that’s part of racing so I have to deal with it.

I’ll write up a lot more about this tomorrow when I get home, and put some pictures and GPS up as well.

Trip to Boston

We took a trip to Boston for the day. We used the Amtrak to go up there. It was the first time I used a train for city to city transportation and it worked out really well. I got to read the paper and there was only two stops before ours.

Boston was an interesting town it is a very gritty and historic town.

First stop was to the capital

House of Representatives

At least they won’t get confused when it’s time to vote

We went and saw a lot of churches and other things along the historic walk. Some of the places cost money so we didn’t go into those.

I thought the graveyards were interesting to see the how old they were.

They also had a mini Washington monument obelisk which resulted in some good pictures.

 

After that we went over to the Sam Adams brewery

They gave you a label to designate which tour you were in. It made me feel like Charlie and Chocolate Factory with the golden ticket.

Unfortunately there weren’t any of these guys:

The tour guide did a great job, he was really funny. He went over the entire process and what makes Sam Adams unique.

 The brewery in Boston is actually an R&D and quality facility. They are having a contest to figure out what the new beer flavor should be so I got try them both and vote. Lots of fun, hopefully mine wins it was a blackberry flavor vs a coffee flavor. I voted blackberry.

Then we got to go the tasting room.

 

After Sam Adams we took the train over to MIT, got a late lunch and wandered around a bit.

MIT was kinda weird, it didn’t have a ‘campus’ feel to it, I didn’t like it that much.

After that we went back into downtown and did some people watching at the Boston Commons park. The population of Boston is much better looking then I thought it would be. It was an interesting park, it had a little pond you could go in and lots of people hanging out and walking around. They actually had a little league game going on in the park as well that I watched for a little bit.

We tried to find some decently priced seafood down by the waterfront but that wasn’t going to happen so we into an small dive bar to grab a couple drinks, and then got some Asian/noodles food for dinner. Hopped on the train back to Providence and that was it.

 

I love the Boston accent, it makes laugh when I overhear people’s conversations and certain words being said.

Oh, and everyone was wearing Red Sox gear. I wonder if everyone was this in love with the team when they weren’t winning? If they have always raised kids like this here then that provides the answer to my question.