Monday, August 29, 2011

Earthquake then Hurricane.......

Well this certainly has been a very interesting week.
I started upping my mileage in preparation for my half marathons that are coming up. I have been feeling really good too.
Well on Tuesday we had an Earthquake. So there I was in my office at my desk and we hear this loud rumbling. Well for some reason I yelled out "it's an earthquake". At first it sounded like a helicopter was landing on the building and no we don't have a helo pad.
Now I did spend some time in Northern California and have experienced a couple of quakes so it was really no big deal for me. Some people were really shocked about it.
Then up comes Irene from the south. It was really no big deal for us as we were far enough away from the center of the storm. It was like we had a big thunderstorm. We had some debris in the road but that was it. I was able to get my run in on Saturday and Sunday with no issues. The one route that I was going to do on Sunday does flood quite a bit so I changed my running plans. I did miss going out with a group of people that I run with on the weekends but from all of the emails that were going back and forth it did not look like many of them were going out on Sunday anyway. Most decided to do their long run on Saturday. I was doing a short distance so I opted to run by myself on Saturday. I will say that I had a great run on Sunday. I kept it slow and steady. I have noticed that when I go out with the group on long runs that I end up going out too fast and have to walk a fair bit. Well not this past Sunday. I was able to keep my own pace and not worry about keeping up with anyone. I ran the whole time. Now I will say that it was a bit difficult to do as it was a hilly route and the wind picked up every now and then.
Well all in all I had a great week of running and looking forward to next week.
So my training is set up that I have two hard weeks then a light week. So next week is a light week so I hope that I wont get too anxious.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

I am........A Duathlete

Well I did it.
One more notch on the shoe.
On August 7th I started and finished the Duthe2 Duathlon. It was great. I really enjoyed myself.
I can not remember how or where I heard about this event, but for some time I had been thinking about doing one. It all started way back when I started training for the Marine Corp Marathon, maybe even before that.
Anyway, the point being is that I started to do some cross training by riding my bike. I have 2 road bikes now. The first one that I was using I got off of craigslist a couple of years ago. It is a 1977 Fuji S10-S. It is a nice bike and I like it a lot, but as I started to increase my riding mileage I noticed that I was having some difficulty on some of the more challenging hills. This is a 12 speed bike with the Front crank set being 42 x 52T and the rear cluster/flywheel being 14 - 30T. I will say that who ever I bought it from either really took care of it or hardly ever rode it. It shifts really smoothly and just seems to glide down the road. I did some research and it would appear that it has all original components. Now that is not to say that they might have been replace with OEM parts at one time but it is hard for me to tell. Even the tires still say Fuji approved on it. So in looking at the Duthe2 Duathlon the distances are as follows: 2 mile run, 26 mile bike, 4 mile run. I am not sure if this is considered an Olympic distance or a Sprint. I started to look at the Fuji and the rides that I had been doing and thinking "I need more gears". I thought about looking at trying to upgrade the Fuji with a three ring crank and possibly doubling the flywheel at most but later decided that I did not want the change the vintageness of the bike. Who knows, I might even ruin the way it rides and I don't want to do that. So I started my search on ebay and craigslist. Why not go to a local bike shop you say? Well for a number of reasons, one major one is that I am not rich. Now granted I am not an expert on bikes and not sure if I am getting a good deal or not but I did ok on the Fuji so figured I would give it a shot.
Well I found one. A Trek 420. It has a three ring crank and a seven ring flywheel. It was very close by to my office so I stopped by on my way home. I took it for a little ride around the block. It felt ok. It would need some adjustment but not much. The brakes worked and the gears seemed to shift ok. I did not ride for a long time as the wheels were flat and he did not have a pump to inflate the tires. I did notice that the tires would probably need to be replaced. No big deal. Its time I start getting my hands dirty. I attended a couple of bike maintenance classes at some of the different bike shops so I have some knowledge about different things. Just enough to be dangerous.
Anyway, enough rambling. I guess when you don't post for a while you have a lot to say.
On to why I start to post to begin with. Race Report.
The Duthe2 was put on by Ripit Events and even though this was my first Duathlon it was not my first race. This event was top notch. From the day I registered (October 29th) until I crossed the finish line I was impressed about everything. The communications that they provided was excellent. Now lets get down to business.
I get up to get ready. I am nervous as hell. Kind of like that feeling you have when you toe the line for your very first race, or your first marathon. I was not sure how things were going to go but I did have a goal. I want to complete this in under 3 hours. Lets see how I did.
At first they said that there were about 550 participants, so they had about 6 waves. I was in wave 3. I arrived at the venue, get my bike off my car and start gathering my stuff. I was alone. None of my family or friends were able to make it. Yea this bothered me a bit but what are you going to do. As I opened my trunk to get my helmet out I noticed that I put my bike pump in there. Good thing. My tires needed air. I filled the tires with air, gathered my things and started to make my way to the transition area. After a good walk, I get my bike set up in the rack and get everything set up. I have clip in shoes on my Fuji but the Trek had shoe cages which I decided to keep those and not switch them out. I did not want to slip or hurt myself as I never got comfortable running in bike shoes. Well I get my water bottles set up and mix up my nutrition, just enough time for me to hit the portapotties and get to the corals.
So here we go. Wave one - off, wave two - off, wave three - its on!
The two mile loop has 2 water stations, one right after the start line and the other is at mile one. They have water and Gatorade. I get some Gatorade at the second water station and I am able to complete the first run in 19:05 that was good for 308th place. I get in and out of transition fairly quickly with a time of 1:16 and 56th place. I did not have to change out my shoes so that helped. I know no one has ever won a race with a good time in transition but you can certainly loose one. Not that I was even thinking of winning anything, I just wanted to finish.
So now we are out on the bike course. A 13 mile loop that you complete twice. This was a very hilly course with two really steep hills to deal with, which made me kind of glad I had the extra climbing rings on the Trek and that I was not on my Fuji. I finished the bike leg with a time of 1:44;09 this was 263rd. I was tired but ready to plod along for the last 4 miles. From my training I knew that the first mile or so would be a little tough getting the legs to move, and it was. I came out of second transition with a time of 1:54, 182nd fastest time. The run course was set up to where there is more downhill on the first mile so that made the second mile more uphill. I keep my feet moving forward. I make my second loop and here it comes, the finish line.
The time on the counter read 3:01 and change, but keep in mind, I was in wave three. Each wave started 4 minutes after the previous. So I actually had 8 minutes to play with.
My official time was 2:53;43. I was stoked! But then I was sad as I had no one there to celebrate with. Well I did get over that. I got my medal, a bottle of water and a banana and walked around to try and keep loose.
So when it was all said and done, my time of 2:53;43 gave me 36th in my age group and 269th overall. There were 389 finishers. I am happy. I got my base time and now I am looking to improve on that. The trouble is there does not seem to be many duathlon events around where I live, and I think I mentioned before that I am not rich.
So to end this I would definitely recommend a duathlon to anybody that is thinking about it. I had a great time and felt a wondrous sense of accomplishment.
I don't see myself doing a triathlon but I have also learned to never say never.

Next on the "bucket list" is to become a member of the Half Fanatics. This should happen by October so stay tuned.
Thanks for reading and let me know if you have any comments.