Sunday, April 19, 2015

Shelbyville #3 Race Report

April 12th was the 3rd & final race of this 2015 series.  (Race Report #1 & #2 HERE & HERE.)

The weather was much better for this race.  It started off a bit cool but warmed up quickly.   I decided to buy a one piece kit to race in.  I bought it the day before & swam a 1650 in it but wasn't sure how it would feel on the bike or run.  I was breaking the nothing new on race day rule.  Fortunately it fit good & I had no issues with it.

We left the house around 6:40AM & made a quick stop at McD's for Steve.  We arrived in Shelbyville around 7:40AM.  For this race, 50 minutes is plenty of time for packet pick up & transition setup.  This time we parked by transition so we needed even less time to get setup.

Since the weather was looking good the turn out was even better than race #2.  The race director decided on self seeding again since it went so well last time.  Not sure if it was because more folks signed up for this one or what but the swim was a cluster!  I seeded myself around folks that said they were around 9-9:30 minutes.  I had mostly clear water until about the half way point.  I was switching lanes & pushing off but I didn't see the pack of guys coming towards me.  There must have been 4 or 5 guys right together coming into the wall.  I ended up having a skull to skull head on collision.  It was awful.  I have never experienced that before.  I have run into folks but never like that.  I popped up & then went on swimming assessing the situation as I swam.  I was even slower than normal & paranoid for the rest of the swim.   I finished the swim about 25 seconds slower than the previous race.

Swim Time: 9m44s

I took the transition pretty easy trying to determine if my collision was going to be a big deal.  I put on my cycling jacket as I jogged down to transition.  I didn't feel dizzy or anything so I figured I was good to go.   I put the cycling hood under my helmet & put on gloves.  I would later realize this was too much because the day was warming up quickly.  I think the jacket would have been fine but the hood & gloves were unnecessary.

Transition #1: 2m23s

The bike segment was 16 miles & a different route than race #2.  The first part of the ride felt hard.  Not sure if I was just dazed from the pool incident or because of the hills but I felt I was going pretty slow.  Somewhere between mile 5 & 10 I realized I messed up my watch again.  I remembered to put it in multisport mode, I remembered to start the damn thing but when I got out of the pool I hit start/stop button instead of lap & then when leaving transition I hit the same start/stop button again.  So basically, I was still in swim mode but didn't realize it until well into the bike.  Ugh.  One of these days I will get it right.    Overall, the bike course was actually a good mix of sustained climbs, rollers & a fast return.  I remember telling Steve how much I really liked the bike course.

Bike Time: 56m32s (17.0 mph)

Nothing exciting to report in T2.  I did drop the jacket since it was 54F by this point.

Transition #2: 0m49s

The 5k run was the same course as race #2 so I knew what to expect.  I felt surprising good on the run - well, as good as a run can ever feel for me.  My first mile clicked off at 9m34s which is pretty darn speedy for me.  I slowed a bit on the return due to a couple of walk breaks on the hills but overall I had almost a 3 minute improvement from race #2.

Run Time: 30m15s  - Slow close to a sub 30 minute 5K!

Total Time: 1h39m45s  - 2/3 in Age Group.

The new tri suit worked great.  It is really comfy on the bike & run.  What I really like is there is no extra fabric to move around in the swim plus it doesn't expose my belly like a two piece kit does.

George & I with our Button Hole Age Group Award

I am really glad I decided to do the Shelbyville series this year.  I am starting off the season so much stronger on the bike.  The series was very good to me.  I won some very functional awards too - a bike tool, socks & Button Hole chamois cream.

Plus for just showing up to the first race I won my age group which surprisingly qualified me for Nationals.  I received this email a couple of week ago which cracked me up.

What surprises me even more is that I am seriously considering signing up for it.  I realize there is a good chance of coming in dead last but I think the experience will be awesome.  Plus I may never, ever qualify again so why not?  Anyhoo, I have the hotel booked but will wait to see how Challenge Knoxville goes before signing up for the actual race.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Run the Bluegrass 7 Miler Recap

Yesterday was the Run the Bluegrass Half Marathon & 7 Miler.  This is the second year I have run the 7 Miler.  You can read last years race recap here.

Fortunately the weather was dry & sunny but it was the coldest day in the 10 day forecast.  I had a hard time deciding what to wear but settled on a long sleeved undershirt, thermal top & windbreaker on top.  I wore compression shorts, thermal pants & knee high wool socks on the bottoms.  I also wore a ear wrap & my Thoroughbred Classic beanie & 2 pairs of gloves.   Overall it worked.  The only thing I took off during the run was the gloves & depending on the wind I unzipped or zipped my jacket.

We got there a little early & hung out in the Expo area to stay warm & take some pre-race pics.

Me, Audrey & Shannon
Me & Steve
So speaking of Steve.  He is 7.5 weeks post rectal cancer surgery & was committed to running this race.  He has run all previous years of the Run the Bluegrass & would be one of 60 streakers if he raced this year.   He also wanted to show cancer who is the boss.   

Steve, Jen & Dave at the Start
Three of his running buddies ran the entire half with him to keep him company.   I think they thought it would be an easy run but nothing about this Half is easy.  The hills are constant. I think someone said there are 33 hills in the half marathon.   His Garmin 920 has the live tracking feature which comes in handy.  When I finished the 7 miler I saw he was already at mile 10 maintaining a sub 9:30 minute / mile.  He ended up finishing the half in 2:03.  Crazy.  He totally kicked cancer's ass!!

My race was uneventful.  It is pretty much the same story as last year.   Lots & lots of human traffic for the first 3.5 miles.  Wave 7 is when all the 7 milers start which means weaving through the wave 6'ers & even some wave 5 folks.  Around mile 3.5 the half marathoners turn left & the 7 milers go straight so the second have of the race is awesome.  The half marathoners rejoin the 7 milers shortly after the split but then it is the lead runners.  It isn't often that I get to run with the leaders even if it is only for a few seconds as they zoom by.  Still it was awesome to see these speedy guys & gals fly by.

For the most part I maintained a 4 minute run / 1 minute walk.  There were a few times I adjusted based on hills/water stops but for the most part I tried to stick to the plan.  Every time I thought about how tired my hips & legs were I thought about Steve & how he was probably feeling.   Thinking this way got me to the finish line & with a time about 45 seconds off of last years time which I was very happy with.  

The crowd support & volunteers are awesome!  This race has really blossomed over the past 5 years.  This year they had over 4,000 runners and it keeps getting better & better.  Post race there was live music, food, beer & an indoor expo.  They had gear check which was extremely convenient.   It meant hanging on to warmer clothes longer before the race & having dry clothes post race to change into.  They even did right by the race shirts.  Due to the port strikes the normal Nike dry fit shirts were not going to make it in time for race day.  They came up with an alternate plan & had hoodies screened by a local company.  They are pretty sweet.  I think I like these better than the Nike shirts. 

My only wish was that it was about 30 degrees warmer so we could enjoy hanging outside more.

This year they offered the option to sign up for free race photos automatically posted to your Facebook wall.   Below is an example of the free race photo - hehehe.  
Ruth, Audrey, me & Shannon post race free photo
Race Results Station Inside Expo 
Hoodie, 7 Mile Medal, Race Guide & Personalized Bib
Steve's 5 Year Streaker Shot Glasses & Half Medal

Post race we headed to West Sixth for their 3 year birthday celebration.  We hung out there for a couple hours then headed home for some serious couch sitting & to watch some basketball. Go CATS!

If I am serious about this Olympic Triathlon in May then today I have a 1 hour swim & 2 hour ride on the schedule.  I am trying to muster up the energy & motivation to head out the door.....

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Twofer Race Weekend

Race #1 of the Twofer:

Yesterday was the Railrunner 10 Miler & 5K.  It was originally scheduled 2 weeks ago but thanks to a foot of snow & 3 inches of rain the course was flooded out.   I won a race entry from 3 Way Racing at one of the West 6th Tuesday night runs.  I signed up for the 5K since there was no way I was in 10 mile shape.

Treacy, Audrey, Mary & Me
The forecast for race time was mid 40s & sunny.  I wore 2 long sleeved shirts & tights.  Too much.  I got really hot around mile 2.  I would have been fine with 1 long sleeved shirt & capris.  The course was really nice.  Both races were all on the RJ Corman property in Nicholasville.  There were some hills too.  I decided to wear my Newtons - big mistake.  My calves were crazy sore afterwards.  Should have stuck to my Hokas.

The 10 miler started at 9AM & the 5K at 9:05AM.  My favorite cheerleader, Steve, was back too.  This makes me happy.  It was weird not having him at my last race.  

Our run group was split between the 10 Miler & the 5K.  Once I started running I was very happy to only be doing the 5K.  I have been building my run / walk intervals since the first of the year & decided to run 1 mile, walk 1 minute for this race.  It worked well - I pushed hard but not too hard since I knew I had to run another 5K on Sunday.

5K Time: 30m24sec - 3/19 AG  <<------ Also read 3rd in Age Group!

This was the first time running this event & it was awesome.  The facility is great.  Indoor toilets, heated pavilion to hang out before & after the race.  Post race food - Gliers goetta sliders, Zaxby's chicken sandwich & Ice Cream.  All racers received a finishers medal.  The best part of the race is it benefits the Chrysalis House.  This event raised almost $6K for Chrysalis House.  Just Awesome.

Race #2 of the Twofer:

This morning was another early wake up.  It was the 2nd race in the Shelbyville Triathlon Series.  (Race #1 Report).  The 2nd race is a 400 yard swim, 12 mile bike & 3.1 mile run.  The weather was about the same as yesterday - low to mid 40s for race time so we were on for a tradition triathlon today.

Due to a miscommunication during registration the swim ended up being self seeded.  I was not too thrilled with that but it actually worked out well.  I self seeded around 9:30 and was only passed by 2 people.  I didn't pass anyone.  For the majority of the swim I had clear water.  I remembered that I forget to start my watch around 60 yards into the swim.  I started it mid stroke.  Didn't really matter since I somehow also messed up the multisport setting.  Oh well.

Swim Time: 9m25s  <<---- Pretty darn close to my 9m30s self seeded time

T1 felt like an eternity & it pretty much was.  My plan was to wear my BTC kit for the swim & then put cycling tights, a jacket & windbreaker on for the bike. It is not fun trying to put on clothes over wet skin.  I did the best I could & headed out to the transition area.  There I put on my socks, shoes, helmet & gloves.  I always feel discombobulated during the first triathlon of the season.  Even more so when it is cold & extra clothing is needed.

T1 Time: 3m37s

The bike was a 2 lap course.  The course was nice - mostly on small roads & on the shoulder of the bypass.  Traffic wasn't a problem & the roads were in good shape.  With all the snow & cold this winter I was concerned about pot holes.

The first half of the loop was into the wind.  I didn't realize that at first - I just thought I was painfully slow coming into my first race of the season.  This winter I did try to maintain my bike with lots of spin classes & time on the trainer.  The only outdoor rides were the last couple of weeks on the Legacy Trail.  I had no idea where my speed was going to be for this race.

When we finally turned I realized how windy it was because it felt like I was flying.  Since I had accidentally set my watch to swim I had no idea what my speed was and since I started it late I really didn't know where I was time wise.  Again, oops & oh well.

Bike Time: 41m40s (17.3 mph)  <<----- OK, wow, that was a surprise.  I ended the last season at Tri for Sight with a 17.1 mph ride so this was super shocking.  I really thought I was somewhere in the 15 mph range.  My data junkie self really wishes I didn't botch my watch settings since it would be nice to confirm the course was really 12 miles.  :-)

T2 was crazy slow too.  I was planning to wear my New Balance shoes that had the speed laces but after how sore my calves were this morning I switched to my Hokas.  These do not have speed laces yet so I actually had to tie my shoes in T2 - gasp!  I stripped off the wind breaker but left the jacket & cycling tights on for the run.

T2 Time: 2m10s

I decided my run/walk interval would be 3 minute run / 2 minute walk.   The Hoka's were the right call.  These shoes are really working great for me right now.

About 3 minutes into the run I had the sensation that my pants were falling down.  Well, that's because they were!  What make good cycling tights does NOT make for good run tights.  Every few minutes I had to pull them up.  I finally pulled them up & tucked them into my tri shorts which worked well enough to get me to the finish.

I followed my run/walk interval until the turnaround.  I decided to walk the hills instead & I think that worked well for me.  It meant more running but it did my calves good.

Run Time: 33m08s

As usual, when I was driving out to Shelbyville this morning I was wondering why, oh why do I do these races?  Can't I just train & be happy with that.  Well, of course after the finish the feeling is always the opposite.  I am so glad I signed up for this series.  It pushed me to train all winter when I would have been much more lax like previous years.  I think I am starting this season where I left off last season which is great.  Now if I can only stay injury free!

Total Time: 1h30m02s  <<---- Ugh, I totally could have run 3 seconds faster!

Age Group: 2 / 3 <<----- Hello, what!?  Another age group place?  OK, so the odds were pretty damn good today but still I am still digging it.

Me & Kimberly
Love the shirts, Love the functional awards!


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