Monday, April 30, 2012

Hagerstown Duathlon #1

Well on April 21st I participated in the Hagerstown Duathlon #1.

This was the 5th year that they have put this on and in the past this race had been plagued by not so good weather. Cold, rainy and windy, much like what we are having right now as I type this up.

Well this year was their year.  It was almost the perfect day. The sun was shining, very low humidity and no rain.  It was a little warm for me though.

This event was put on by  They put on a lot of events in the Hagerstown MD area. On this day they were also doing a kids duathlon as well as a 5k.

So I drove up to Hagerstown, which took about an hours time.

I was able to get checked in, get my bike set up and start trying to relax and go over my "game plan".

My plan was to run pretty hard for the first run leg, just under 2 miles, then comes the bike leg. I was thinking that I could rest a bit on the bike leg as it was not that hilly of a ride. Then with the last 5k just try to survive.
So for my time goals, I was looking for about 17 min for the first run, 33 min for the bike and 30 min for the 5k.  All in all I was hoping for a time better then 1:30 and more along the lines for a 1:20.

So here we go. After the kids du and the 5k, they start the Adult Duathlon.

I stuck with my plan and was running hard, but not at a "sprint".  I would call it just shy of being uncomfortable.

I enter the transition area and get to my bike. I am feeling really good and am excited to see what I can do on the bike route.
Now I am not an expert or elite athlete to the multi-sport event venue, however I am no newbie either.   I feel comfortable with the different "rules" around the event. It was interesting to look around and it was easy to pick out those that have not participated in a high profile event. Not a complaint mind you, just an observation.  Now I did go back and read the website and it says that it is going to be chipped timed and that there are no additional sanction charges for the race.
It does state that you need to have an approved helmet with chin strap fastened.  Drafting is not allowed, not that I saw any race officials on the course.  Also, the courses were open to vehicular traffic and that you would need to obey all traffic rules/laws etc. 

So some of the things that I saw.  Girl got on bike while still in the transition area. A couple of people wearing headphones - on the run, did not see any on the bike.  I did see a couple bikers pass on the right instead of the left.

So I get out on the bike course and go out on my way. We traveled on roads that were opened to traffic but no big deal as they had volunteer there to assist us.

The bike was fairly easy as there were no real hard climbs. Just had to watch out for traffic that's all.  There was one instance were I was making a right where a semi truck (coming towards us) was making a left. As he made the turn wide I had to slow down and almost stop so I would not gotten crushed between him and the guard rail.

So I come into transition off of the bike. My legs did feel a bit wobbly as I had suspected they would. I rack my bike get my shoes on and start on the last run.

It was a little difficult getting started.

I could tell that the heat was starting to get to me. My calves were starting to twinge, so I backed off a little bit. The run was not too hilly but it did have some elevation change.

I felt a bit defeated as I did stop to walk a bit, but I mustered on.

So I took a couple of deep breaths and started to move forward slowly step by step. I started to feel a bit better and started to get into a groove.

It was tough and I think the combination of the heat and the pollen bothered me more then I wanted to let on.  But the water stops help as I was able to pour some water over my head and splash some in my face.  They had indicated that they were going to have Heed sports drink on the course, but all everyone was yelling was water.

Well I finally was able to cross the finish line.

In my age group there were 13 of us. For the first leg of the run I was in 8th place with a time of 15:02. My first transition was 1:38 (need to work on that) For the bike leg I was 9th in a time of 32:44 my second transition was 1:30 and the final run I was in 11th with a time of 31:11. My final total was 10th place (age group) in a time of 1:22:02

There were 107 participants and I finished 77th.

Over all I was satisfied with my performance. I really enjoyed this event and I am looking forward to doing another one either number 2 in Oct or this one again next year.  There is also an event in the summer and it is listed as a USA Triathlon sanctioned Event.  (so no riding your bike in the transition area).

Well that is all for now.  This was my third duathlon. Looking to get more in.  I guess I will need to become a member of USA Triathlon

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Virginia Duathlon - Race report

Here we go. My Second Duathlon.

Sunday, April 1st.

It was located at Chippokes Plantation State Park in Surry, VA. Surry is directly across the James River from Jamestown. In fact you can see Busch Gardens from the shore.
Anyway, this is a very rural area and luckily for us there is a campground right there at the State Park. As a family, we love to camp so it was a no brainer.
This was going to be my second duathlon that I would participate in and I was looking forward to it. This particular event was a 5k run, 24 mile bike and a 5k run.
My goal time that I was shooting for was 2 1/2 hours. I figured that I should be able to do the bike in about an hour and a half leaving me an hour combined time for the two 5ks. The corals were as follows: Male 45 and younger, Male 46 and older, All Females, All teams.
So here we go. The first 5k. I was feeling really good, and I knew that I was going to get this first run done in under a half hour, what I was not expecting was to actually get a PR. My official time was 26:33, however I did not know this at the time. I was in transition and trying not to trip over myself as I get ready for my bike. My wife was cheering me on and I think she might have asked me what my time was. I just said, "don't know".
I switched my shoes out, got my helmet on and buckled it, removed my bike from the block and started moving out of transition. I was feeling good.
Off we go on the bike course. I actually drove the course the day before so I was somewhat familiar on what to expect. The route was clearly marked with the turns to take plus there were police at the major intersections helping us out. This was a very flat course so I really was not sure how I was going to do. I have been able to ride 8 miles in about a half hour over a somewhat hilly W&OD (Washington and Old Dominion) trail so given that I was going to have to constantly be pedaling to move myself forward I was not sure if I was going to be able to keep that pace up for 23 miles. Well I completed the bike in 1:19:59.02. I saw this on my watch before I reset it for the run. I was well ahead of my goal but at the time I did not know how far.
Now for the second transition and the final run.
I dismount from my bike and half expecting to fall flat on my face from my legs giving out I was quite surprised at how well they felt. I was able to jog into transition instead of a quick walk. (On the very big plus side the transition was on grass so I did not have to worry about walking/running in my bike shoes on the road surface.) I rack my bike, un-clip and remove helmet, switch out my shoes and away I go.
I start out the second run a little faster then my jog into transition after the bike. I wanted to move slowly at first to get into a rhythm before trying to lay down the hammer. What was nice about the run was that it went into the campground so I was able to see my family at the turn around, that was motivation. A secondary goal that I had was not to walk any part of the second run. I accomplished that. I did, however, have to stop to tie my shoe, that made me mad. Anyway, here I come up to the 3 mile mark and around the bend into the home stretch. I look up at the clock and I am very happy. I cross the line in a gun time of: 2:19:27.79 and a chip time of: 2:19:21.75
I was well over my goal and I felt really good afterwards, a little tired but not too sore. Which makes me wonder if I was selling myself short on my goal time.
The first duathlon I did was in Columbia, MD back in Aug 2011. It was a 2 mile run, 26 mile bike and 4 mile run. I did that in 2:53:43 it was a hillier bike course then the one in Surry.
They had a fantastic BBQ party after the event. We then packed up our trailer to go home. Pam, my wife, drove home and I slept most of the way.
So for my records, there were 24 finishers in my age group. I finished 18th. There were 189 males and I finished 108th. There were 343 finishers and I finished in 135th place overall.

So I am starting to think..........whats next.....hmmmmmmm.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Rock and Roll USA half marathon

Well it has been a while hasn't it.
On March 17th, St. Patricks Day, I participated in the inaugural Rock and Roll USA half marathon. This was my A race. I was looking forward to it. Many of the plodders were running in it. Some were even doing the full.
We travel down to RFK stadium parking that morning. It was a cool morning but not as cool as the day before.
I had been drinking water on the ride in and thus had to use the bathroom many times before the gun went off.
We met up with a lot of the other plodders before hand and had some social time and took some pictures.
So it was time, and off we went.
My goal was to finish in 2 hours or under.
I started of feeling very good. I was behind the 2 hour pace group. I knew that they were in front of me but unsure as too exactly where they were.
As we were making our way down Constitution Ave, I caught up to the 2 hour pace group.
I was feeling really good at the time. I did not push too hard but did not feel that I could stay with them, so off I went.
I wasn't until I got around mile 7 near Harvard St where I started to fall apart. I was starting to feel really tired. Then the 2 hour pace group went by. I was a little disturbed by it but then realized that I caught up to them so I do have some time in the bank.
I tried not to let it bother me. But I started to really feel it in my legs.
I had to walk a bit. I did feel defeated.
I continued to plod on. I had a time to meet.
Well as it turns out I did not make my time. I came in at 2:05.
I feel that I left it all out there on the course.
In looking back at the day, it started out a cool morning but then it did grow warm. The pollen from the trees were very high as well. Not that I am trying to make excuses for why I did not make my goal but just looking for answers.