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Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Rocky Point - Los Palomas Triathlon

I don't think there's an 'e' on the end of Rocky Point. I asked a bunch of people that exact question on Sunday.

It was really nice.  I wish I'd have taken some pics.

Race was scheduled for 9:00 am. Olympic distance 1,000 m swim, 24 mile ride, 6.2 mile run.

They close transition at 8:45 which means you have to be ready to swim at that point. The first wave (Men under 40 doing the olympic distance) go first. We started about 9:05 am. Just like that little race I did the other day right up until race time everybody is laughing and joking and basically having a good time. At IM people look like they are about to be lead to the gas chamber an hour before the race.

We ran into the water about 25 to 50 yards then we started swimming. I have a real weird problem. Every single time I've been in an open water swim I have felt a great deal of panic at the start. I feel like I need to quit and turn around or stop and get pulled out of the water. I manage to supress it every time and after 10 - 15 minutes I get over it but there's always that feeling at the begining. Right after that I think I am exhausted and I feel the need to tread water. Again, I usually overcome this and push on until eventually I just start swimming.

This time was no different. I think I could have done better but I was so unsure of myself. The night before everyone that I was with assured me the water would be like glass at the start; unless it was like last year! When we got there the water was indeed calm but as we waited for th horn to blow the tide rolled in and with it the waves. It wasn't bad but it certainly wasn't glass.

Don, the guy who organized the whole trip was with me at the begining but he was able to keep swimming when I decided to start treading water. He got a small lead on me and extended it to about 3 mintues at the end. Ultimately he finished a minute or so behind me in the run but ran faster by that same amount. To that he was a minute faster in each transition so he finished a little over 5 minutes before me.

The bike was fun. I wish I had been in better shape for that. I'll make a note of that for next year. I would have like to have just hammered though the entire 24 miles but I really took it easy except for the one short hill. I went up that pretty hard but besides that I focused on keeping my HR low.

The run was very nice. I managed to hold about an 8 minute/mile pace and I wasn't in much discomfort at all. I think I could have gone much faster. I held back at the begining and at the end I thought maybe I hadn't eaten enough in the morning.

Fixed for next time would include: 1. Eating a big breakfast. 2. Being more prepared for the swim. 3. Not being afraid of going faster on the bike. 4. Knowing the run course better, there were lots of steep hills.

This race knows how to finish! They had a slip 'n' slide at the end. A lot of people complained that their legs hurt too much to jump on to it. That's a clue that I didn't go nearly hard enough. They had all the free Corona and tequilla you could drink available afterwards (another reason to do this race) and it was just generally a great time. Got drunk in a bar that night and did my best to offend the relay team from The Tilted Kilt bar.

Next morning I felt OK, I had tried to drink one water for each beer all night. I was actually thinking that a run would feel good when I saw Don putting his shoes on. We did 4 miles in a little over 35 minutes. That's faster than I wanted to do but with an 8 mile hilly run in SF this weekend it couldn't hurt. Drove back that morning.

That's my first trip to Rocky Point. I must be the only person to graduate from ASU without ever having been there. I'd go back in a second!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Pat's Run

Run - Walk - Honor

Keith and I signed up for the Pat Tilman run a few months ago while we were picking up his packet for PF Changs.  28,000 or so other people had the same idea.

The freeways we backed up for miles.  AZDOT had exits shut down for construction and others were closed for the race.  We took a detour and got there pretty quick but they delayed the start of the race by 20 minutes because cars were still lined up on the freeway at racetime.

Me and Keith waiting for the race start

I woke up Saturday morning and I thought that I wasn't going to be able to walk my calf hurt sooo much!  I volunteered to drive so I figured I would just take Keith down there and watch.  I started to feel better while we were waiting in the coral so I decided that I would just run until my leg hurt and then I would take a shortcut back to the finish.
When we finally crossed the start line almost 20 minutes after the gun I was immediately suprised that my leg didn't hurt at all.  I stayed with Keith the entire way and we held a sub 10 minute pace the entire time.  The race went by fast!  It took us more time to find our way out of Sun Devil Stadium than it took to run the 4.2 miles.

Afterwards we did the Kids run with Keith's kids Olivia and Ella.  They ran the whole way and I think they finished the .34 miles in 0:3:19.

Friday, April 16, 2010

First short race...

I did a short biathlon yesterday afternoon at Tempe Town Lake.  This is the first time I've ever done a race that wasn't Ironman or Escape From Alcatraz.  It's called the Splash and Dash and it's sponsored by Four Peaks Racing.  It's a really quick 750 meter swim followed by a 4 k run.

Note to self:  The shorter the race, the more important transitions become.

I rode my bike to work and then over to the race after.  Katie brought Paige and Ken down to watch.  It was fun but we probably got down there a little early.  The sun was pretty hot at 5:00 pm.  The race didn't start until 6:00.

Short races are a different world than IM it seems.  Everybody was walking all over the place talking, running, and having a good time.  At 5:00 AM before IM it's very quiet.  Most people are just sitting there staring into the blackness or checking their bikes over and over again.  There's a general feeling of dread in the air.  People get into their wetsuits with 45 mintues to go before the race.  Yesterday I noticed that with 20 minutes left nobody was ready to go.

I went into the transistion area and found a empty patch of ground and started to change.  Water temp was 67 degrees.  I thought that since people weren't in their wetsuits yet that maybe they weren't going to wear them.  Then people started getting ready.  As did I.
A quick picture of me getting ready.

At 6:00 exactly the race started.  I was shocked at how unprepared I felt immediately.  At first I felt really good and then before the first turn I was kind of tired.  I pushed on and saw what I thought was the final bouy but as usual there was another.  I thought about the fact that Alcatraz is 3 times as long as this swim and I got a little worried.  Then I felt like warmed up a bit.  My arms were loose and my breathing was OK.  I found that I wasn't resting at all.  I was hoping for 15 minutes in the water.  Actually I think I went a little faster than that but I can't tell because I forgot my watch and they didn't have a timing mat at the swim exit.

I really felt disoriented jogging up to transition so I walked.  I remembered that Alcatraz in 3 weeks has a 3/4 mile run from water to bike and started getting worried again.

I pulled off my wetsuit.  That seemed to take a while.  I got my shoes on pretty quick along with my heart rate monitor (next time I'll just leave it on for the swim) but I had tons of problems putting my shirt on!  I chose my 2008 Escape shirt because of the technical fabric (but also because I thought it would be cool at this event) but the polyester just got all sticky and I couldn't pull it over my shoulders.  Finally ready to go I started jogging out of transition.  I'm sure it took my 6-7 mintues but as I said, no watch.

I do know from my GPS that I started the run at 6:20 exactly.  It's an out and back 2 lap course of about 2.4 miles but my GPS said 2.29 when I was done.  200 yards into the run my calves really cramped up bad.  I ran through it but I must remember to eat, drink, and focus on electrolytes.

The rest of the run went OK.  The shirt turned out to be a poor choice on the run because of the decals.  The really absorbed the remaining sunlight and I got hot.  There's no zipper like on a jersey so I was pretty uncomfortable.  At the first turn I downed a dixie cup of water and poured another on my back.  I did get a few people commenting on how cool my shirt was, so that was a little nice.

Everybody was at the turnaround back at the start so I got high fives from everyone.  Second lap went pretty well, the cramping in my legs went away and I even had just a little left for a slight sprint home.  Final average pace was 8:03 min/mile. 

I was pretty happy with that until I looked at the results this morning.  They only give a final finish time.  At 38 minutes I finished 120 / 160.  I'm hoping that my T time was what hurt me.

We all went out and had a fun pizza dinner afterwards.