Friday, July 4, 2008

Stroke and Stride

The great thing about living in Boulder County is that you can almost always find a race, even on weekdays. I've been wanting to participate in the Stroke and Stride series at the Boulder Reservoir all season, but due to t-ball practices and games it just hasn't worked out. This week, due to the holiday, there were no games or practices so I jumped at the opportunity to participate. Boulder Stroke and Stride consists of a 750m or 1500m swim followed by a 5k, where I selected the longer swim distance to simulate the Boulder Peak swim in just over two weeks. Prior to the swim and after setting up my transition area I spotted Gail and Roger from Adrenaline Tri-Sport in Niwot, CO selling their FamilyFanClub t-shirts. Stop by and see them for all of your triathlon and race day support gear!

I positioned myself in the front of the middle tier of swimmers for the start. I moved a bit closer to the front compared with the sprint in attempt to find the right spot with minimal waiting and hitting. The position worked out great and I really wasn't slowed, kicked or touched from behind, so I felt like I had the perfect spot. Another thing I'm finding is that I like to swim on the left side of the pack, where I can keep all the swimmers and buoys on my right. The wetsuit terrors seemed to have passed with the wetsuit tip I mentioned a couple of weeks ago. When I start feeling uncomfortable, I just pull the collar forward on my wetsuit to let the cool water in and everything is good.

The first lap of the swim was uneventful, came out of the water in 13:05 which I'm pretty happy with. I'm by no means sprinting, just taking a nice calm and even pace. For the swimmers doing 1500m, you have to get out of the water and jog on the beach for 100m before starting the second lap. The second lap with 100m jog/walk/catch your breath was just over 15 minutes. I'm very happy with swim time under 28 minutes. I was targeting under 30, so feeling good about the swim.

Oh the run. Transition from the swim to run is very casual, very much unlike race day. Friends and family can be in the transition area, not at all like race day. I took my time for a 3+ minute transition to my running gear, which is about normal on race day, but seemed particularly slow today. I started off on the run at my normal pace, feeling pretty good initially, but then I started to cramp up and just couldn't shake the cramps. I walked a bit and ended in 32 minutes, so by no means a stellar running performance.

The nice thing about today's run was that we had friends (Jason, Tammy and kids Kaleb and Aspen) visiting from Nebraska for the holiday. Jason is a physician's assistant, certified strength & conditioning (formerly trained special forces, pro baseball, college football and college hockey) and a bunch of other credentials. He gave me some tips on my running stride which was helpful, now I need to practice and build up some endurance with my new stride. He also has a blog and website you should checkout.

Anyway, another great time at the reservoir with family and friends. Feeling good about the swim, but the run, which will be a 10k on race day, has me a bit concerned.

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