Saturday, August 22, 2009

2009 Race Reports

Yep, I've been a bad blogger this summer. It hasn't been for a lack of ideas and topics, just for one reason or another I haven't taken the time to sit down write it all down. I thought about writing long blog posts about each race, training, and events, but then I decided to do this instead, one summarized mega 2009 race season report. So, when we last left our training triathlete, the 2009 Bolder Boulder was in the books and Family Fan Club had just completed an Expo with Girls on the Run in Denver. Here we go:

May 31st - Steamboat Half Marathon

Ha, ha, ha, ha, no, I didn't do a half marathon. We were in Steamboat, CO for Kim's annual participation in Steamboat Half Marathon (Where's your race report Kim?). We think this is our 5th or 6th year, I don't think we finalized the number of years, but it was a blast again this year. We extended our stay to 6 days and 5 nights and really got a chance to unwind with a half marathon in the middle. We spent a full day at the Old Town Hot Springs. They're finally done with the construction and I think it was worth the wait. New pools, slides and a good time was had by all. Kim and two girlfriends (Kim and Rebecca) struggled with race day "not feeling great", but were happy with their times considering the circumstances.

June 7th - 29th Annual Longmont Triathlon

While this may have been the 29th annual Longmont Triathlon, it was the first time that the weekend has been opened for me to do it since I started my triathlon quest for fitness. Typically we're in Steamboat the same weekend and I usually do the Greeley Triathlon (2007 and 2008), but due to how Memorial Day fell on the calendar this year, it was open and available, so I did it.

Longmont Triathlon is a pool swim with fairly typical sprint distances of 525 yards, ~13 mile bike and 3.1 mile run. I live close enough that I rode my bike to the race this year. Leading up to the race I didn't feel as prepared for the 2009 season as I was for the 2008 season, my off season conditioning never really was consistent for a number of reasons including laziness. This Triathlon was bit different than the others in that the pool swim is scheduled in waves, where the slower swimmers go first, followed by the faster swimmers. 5 or 6 swimmers to a lane for each wave of swimmers, 8 lane pool. I estimated my time when we signed up at 8 minutes, which in back in my HS days is akin to swimming with a piano on your back (5:20 was my best 20 years ago), but it's usually good for ~top 20% in the Triathlon world. With the seeding I was in Wave M I think, which was scheduled to start about 2 hours after the triathlon started. Very weird to be waiting around for so long. The good news was that I got to sleep in, the bad news was that the waves were delayed and I stood around for an extra 45 minutes after my scheduled start time.

The swim: The swim was uneventful. I didn't feel like my swim was strong this year, but I ended up going faster than I have in any of the other pool swims coming in at 8:19, which included 100 yard run or so after the swim to the checkpoint, I had just under 8 minutes on my watch, which was much faster than I expected given the amount of swim training time.

T1: Longmont Tri is interesting in that you've got triathletes coming and going, some transitioning, some packing their bags and leaving and still yet, some triathletes waiting to start. The other interesting thing is that transition is filled with family and friends. Every other Tri I've done, transition is closed to protect the athletes belongings, bikes, etc... Very interesting.

Bike: As expected. I hadn't put much time in on the bike to date, so wasn't expecting much improvement over past years and I met expectations ~40 minutes, which I've got to get lower. I've got the lower body strength, I think I must not be doing something right mechanically to maximize my pedal stroke.

Run: Oh, the run. The love / hate portion of the triathlon. I'm just not a good runner. I need to work on this.

The finish was nice, Connor and Griffin ran me into the finish. No PR today, it's difficult to asses this vs. Greeley as the distances are a bit different, but still feels great to be out there exercising and tri'n. 1st Tri in the books for 2009 and lots of work to do before the Boulder 5430 Sprint on Father's Day. The other nice thing is that two friends from work joined me, the first Triathlon for both. Great job Russ and Steve!

June 21st - Boulder 5430 Sprint

5430 Sprint by Amica this year was a blast. I really enjoyed this race. The event was really well run, there was a band after and ....I got my first medal from a race. I've done like 10 races now, you'd think there would have been a medal by now! I think having the race sponsored by Amica was a big plus.

The big pre-race change I made this year was to stop at the porta potty outside the reservoir, before even entering the race area. Great time saver, no waiting in line and I felt great when I got in to the race.

No big surprises here, swim, bike & run and I PR'd by 3 minutes over last year's 2008 5430 Sprint race. The great thing about being slow is that there's lots of room for improvement.

July 12th - 5430 Boulder Peak

After the Longmont Triathlon & 5430 Sprint I decided I really need to work on my bike and run. I was biking close to 100 miles a week leading up to the race, including several trips over Old Stage and I figured that it would pay off during the race. I was really confident of smashing last years time of 3 hours 27 minutes. My time on the run last year was really bad, figured it was a sure thing. And that's why they play the game....

I didn't execute my pre-resevoir strategy as I did with the Sprint and I paid for it. Something about race day just makes my insides crazy and I was in a great amount of pain with ~50 people in line for every porta potty. This is why I say Potty * Swim * Bike * Run....the first event was my toughest today and that's saying a lot.

Swim: I was in the 11th of 12 waves and my wave got pink swim caps...could you just punch me in the gut while your at it? 11th of 12 means that most people will be done with the race by the time I start the run, which will make for a lonely run. Anyway, the swim was relatively uneventful. I stuck to the inside again and still feel like a swam a short race, sticking to the bouys. I actually think I swam to the left of one bouy. One thing I hate are the jet skis. I understand they're there for safety, but get back. I could taste fuel and exhaust! Generally everyone who swam today agreed that the course was long and my time reflected that, 4 minutes slower than last year, not a good start.

T1: Uneventful, transitioned to my bike as quickly as possible. My transition area bucket really pays off, I don't know why more people don't do it, instant seat!

Bike: I felt good on the bike, I thought for sure I'd break last years time as I spent more time on the bike leading up to the race. Old Stage was tough, more interesting at the back of the race as opposed to Wave 2 last year. I saw a lot of people walking their bikes up this year. Lots of spectators! One of these years, maybe next year I want to go up there and see the pros do it. Otherwise uneventful and had very close to the same time as last year, so I'm ~5 minutes in the hole vs. last year.

T2: Another uneventful transition, but when I got there, the guy parked next to me was using my bucket! No problem, but get up when I'm standing there waiting! I also had to hit the porta potty again.

Run: Death march. Dead man running. Dead man walking. It was awful. The good news was that it was overcast, it could have been worse. I felt good for the first 2 miles or so, but then it just went to hell and I walked a lot and subsequently, while I didn't think it was possible, finished 10 minutes slower this year than last. Disappointing. I was complete wiped out at the finish, really exhausted. I think I need to address my (lack) of nutrition during the race. Aside from water, I didn't really have anything to eat or supplements, which could explain my lack of energy or perhaps it was a lack of training?

Anyway, it still feels great to be out there tri'n! Must run and bike more in the off season, treadmill and trainer here I come! Maybe.

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