Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Rick Gorzynski Memorial Time Trial

Not much to write here, this is held on the exact same course as the Iroquois School District races in the spring and fall. After going 28:05 in the spring I was pretty sure I could do sub 28. Well too much beer and pizza the night before and staying up too late sure didn't help! Burping up bigfoot pizza with sausage and pepperoni for 28 minutes while your heart is averaging above 186 bpm is not fun. Plus I did not start my computer until about a minute into the ride so I did not really know where I stood, just that it hurt like hell the whole time I was riding.

Oh well, results still showed a 3 sec personal best and top 10 finish.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Indiana Co Sprint Triathlon, June 13, 2009

This was a last minute decision. Thursday I decided to go down to Indiana Co and was able to talk Steve Bell and Chip Fuller (co directors/founders/bosses etc...of The DamTri) that it would be a good idea to get up at 4:30am and drive 2 hours and 15 minutes for a 1hr sprint race. The race seemed to be a nice little event from what we could see so we headed out of Meadville in the wee hours of the morning.

We arrived to Yellow Creek State Park about 7:30 or so and registered and got set up without much hastle. There seemed to be a nice little crowd gathering so this had the promise of a fun day.

Swim: .5 Miles, 13:47 (1:34/100yds, 7th Overall, 6th Gender, 1st Age group)
The swim was a straight out and back marked by a continuous string of buoys. Seemed easy enough, although a few people reported that there were some weeds about 100yds out. What they meant by some weeds was a huge weed bed that came clear to the surface and lasted about 1/4 of the swim. Stopped to pick weeds off my goggles/watch several times, as it was like trying to swim on shrubs! Stayed in the 2nd group after 2 guys got a lead after the first couple hundred yards. Just stayed tucked in the draft and had an uneventful swim, other than hitting the same massive weed bed on the way back. Overall the swim felt longer than 1/2 mile though.

Bike: 9.5 Miles, 28:18 (20.1 mph avg, 14th OA, 14th Gender, 3rdAG)

I got on the bike and came out of T-1 with the two other swimmers that I had been with the whole swim. Time to put the head down and get by them and go after the two guys in front of us. The ride started wtih a 1 mile road through the park out to the main road. I was working hard but not gaining at all, and the one guy was pulling away. After we got out of the park and onto the main road it was an out and back that was basically all uphill for 3-4 miles, a short flat section, then back down. As we hit the hill and the road started going up I started feeling worse. I lost sight of the one guy up the road and the other one was pulling away. After a great bike a few weeks ago at Edinboro I was having a really bad day here. Then, to add insult to injury, I got passed and passed easily on the climb. I felt like I was going backwards and there was nothing I could do about it.

This went on until about mile 8, then I started to feel a little better, but by that time I only had 1.5 miles to go through the park. For the first time since I started racing in 2006 I was looking forward to getting off the bike and running because no matter how lousy I feel on the run sometimes it was still going to be better than this bike ride was. Reached T-2 about 30 seconds behind one of the guys that I had swam with.

Run 3.5 Miles, 20:35 (5:53/mile avg, 12th OA, 11 Gender, 2nd AG)

As the run started out I was just glad to be off the bike! The guy (actually it turned out to be a 14 year old wonderkid!) in front of me just kind of stayed about 10-15 seconds out. He kept looking over his shoulder and I was gaining a little at a time but not enough.

The run was a gently rolling out and back with nothing major to speak of by way of climbs. On any slight uphill I would gain a few steps on him, but on the slight downhill his youthful leg speed would pull him away whatever I gained. Overall I felt better and better as the run went on and the few miles ticked off pretty easily for a sprint race (although the course may have been a little shor as I did not feel like I was running sub 6 minute miles).

I was never able to reel the young kid in, but at least I did make him turn around a few hundred times during the race!

Final Results 1:05:07 (8th Overall, 8th Male, 1st AG)

Although I did not have the result I had wanted because of a bad bike, which has been my strongest leg all summer, I was pleased with the overall outcome and how well I ran. Plus, the new kits from coach John were awesome to race in. Some of the most comfortable gear ever! There was some good post race food, a nice little medal ceremony and we were able to talk to about a half a dozen or more people that were signed up for and doing our race on June 28th and were looking forward to the DamTri.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Edinboro Olympic Race Report 5/30/09

Saturday, May 30, was the Edinboro Olympic race in Edinboro, PA. I did this race 2 years ago and finished 16th with a 2:12 and change. Skipped it last year when the race organizers claimed there was a bacteria issue with the lake and they canceled the swim and turned it into a duathlon. My goal was to finish top 10 and possibly get an age group spot and beat my time of 2 years ago. Goal time was 2:05 or better.

After talking about the race with coach John we decided to go hard on the swim, hammer the bike, try to settle in for the first 5k and give it all I had left the last 5k of the run.

Swim .75 mile: 15:39, 1:15/100 pace, 10th overall, 8th Male, 1st Age Group.
Two years ago I think the swim was long, this year it may have been a little short. For whatever reason two years ago I got stuck in traffic and had an awful swim, I was not going to let that happen again. Lined up right in the front and the cannon went off with no warning. I sprinted hard the first 200 yards and found myself on the tail end of the lead group, which I knew included a couple really fast swimmers. The pace was too fast for me and I knew I'd blow up before the turn around so I backed off just a little and found myself in the second group of 5 people with no one even close to being behind our little group. 2 or 3 of the people in this group made repeated surges to leave/pull ahead but every time they just pulled the rest of us along. Me and another guy stayed right at the back in a nice little draft behind the first 3 people that made a nice wedge shaped draft pocket for us to ride the whole second half of the swim.

T-1 was uneventful, although at this race transition is kind of unfair as the entrance and exit are both on the same end of transition, so if your rack is near the back you have a lot further to run than someone that has a rack near the entrance. My rack was right in the middle.

Bike 23 miles: 59:14, 23.3 mph avg, 3rd fastest bike overall, 3rd male, 1st ag.
The bike went just about exactly to plan. The course consists of 3-4 miles gradual uphill, a nice 8 miles of flat with some gradual downhills and then another longer gradual uphill section of 7-8 miles followed by some downhill and flats to the finish line.

I caught a couple of riders right out of transition and headed out onto the one-loop course feeling good. Caught another rider a mile or so out of town and yet another about a mile later at the start of the uphill section. From there on it was pretty lonely and I could just see two riders out in the distance. I kept the effort up and slowly reeled them both in at about the halfway point of the course just as you start the long uphill sections. From there on we all traded the lead, staying legal of course, back and forth for the remainder of the course. In retrospect I may have backed off just a little but it was still a 3-4 minute improvement on the bike over my time 2 years ago. Came into transition feeling good and ready to run with the two other guys.

T-2 was quick and smooth, and there were not very many bikes on the racks at all which is always a good sign.

Run 6.2 miles: 43:44, 7:03 pace, 23rd overall, 21 male, 3rd age group.
The run did not go as planned, although I did negative split, which was the plan.

I started out feeling fine out of transition. The other two guys I came in with that I had caught on the bike left just in front of me. The one guy was from Ohio and I knew was in the 20-24 ag from his age marking on his leg and he tore off like a rocket. I think he ended up third overall. The other guy was a local guy in the 30-34 age group and I kept him in sight about 50-100 feet down the road as the run started.

The run course is an out and back and has a couple little hills right away and is gently rolling and gradually uphill on the way out. Legs felt just ok to start but about 3/4 of a mile in I started to get side stitch, which I never really get. I backed off, let the guy down the road in front of me go on and the pain got worse/sharper. I really backed down and came to a very slow jog/trot trying to get rid of the cramp in my side which was really frustrating as my legs felt good after the first mile and I wanted to run but could not.

There were no markers at the first or second mile but there were aid stations approximately every mile according to the race director. I got to the second aid station and was still not running near where I should have been but the cramp in my side was slowly getting better, and I could not see anyone for a ways behind me so I backed it off a little further to get rid of this cramp. About the time I got to the final little hill before the turn around I started to see, and count, runners coming back. I started to feel a little better and reached the 5k turn around in 23:50 something, which was about 3-4 minutes off my goal pace but I finally started to feel better. I counted 5 runners in front of me and I knew at least 3 of them were definitely not in my age group but the only guys I did not know were 1-2 and I was figuring they were going to be overall winners so I was still in good shape for an AG spot. On the way back I felt much better. I got passed by the eventual 2nd place guy that started in the second wave, a relay runner and then another guy caught me right about a mile from the end. He was going along at a pretty good clip but he looked older and only after he finished 30 seconds in front of me did I realize he was only 39 (Apologies to V Bauer, 39 of Pittsburgh for the 'older' comment :)). Anyway the run back felt a ton better and the side cramp was gone and I was able to come back in 19 something so I did negative split the run, although by a little too much!

Final results: 2:01:06, 9th place overall, 9 th male, 2nd age group.

Felt good after a 10+ minute personal best at this race, although I know I could have run 3-4 minutes faster easily. Definitely will work on some more hard 1-2 mile runs off of hard bike efforts just to try to figure out what caused the cramp at the start of the run that hampered my first 2 miles so much.