Thursday, July 29, 2010

Dubuque Duathlon Photos

I received an email from the Dubuque Chamber of Commerce this week as follows:


Thank you for being a part of the Dubuque Regional Sports Commission inaugural Duathlon. We hope to see you back next year on Saturday, July 16, 2011. To view photos from the race, please click here.

All the best!
So I scanned through and picked out some shots of myself and here they are. Bonus! And for those wanting more information on the event, read my race recap.

As I was warming up, I recall this person asking me to stop as she had to take a photo of my shoes.

Why, hello ladies! There were two waves with the men going first followed by the ladies. I was already returning in as the ladies left the line for the opening 1.2 mile run.

Leaving T1. As one of my readers had pointed out to me, nice of them to put the racks on black asphalt on a super hot day.

Heading out of T2. I leave the ventilator cap (by Hammer Nutrition) on for the runs as well. it really helps me stay cool and keep the sweat in my eyes to a minimum. You can order your own if you want to give it a try.

The big finish. Never did a finish line look so good before. That second run was hot-hot-hot and a real killer.
So there you have it to give you some idea of what the event looked like. Mark down Saturday, July 16, 2011 on your calendars if you want to try and tackle this one!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Fantasy Cycling Challenge Results

We didn't have many people play, perhaps that was the short notice and next year we'll have tons of participants. But it was a blast regardless and we are certain to do this again next year. Here are the results of the the Tour de France Fantasy Cycling challenge.

Coming in first was Adam Beston of Utah. Adam wins a Tyr transition bag and he's already excited about it. Per Adam:

Woohoo, I usually end up biking to tri's either from home or from campsite/hotel seeing as we only have 1 car for the family so this will get the most use possible! Thanks again.
Thanks again for playing everyone. See you next year. We'll try to get the word out a bit earlier next time around.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Swim Meet Results

The Boy® had his very first outdoor swim meet this past weekend. It was held at the Richfield Outdoor Municipal pool and other than the chaos of navigating the Crosstown construction of 35W and Highway 62, not a bad setup. Severe lack of bleacher setup and horrific sight lines for parents, so I didn't take much in the way of any photos. It was neat to be outside, but we all agreed that we prefer indoor meets when all said and done.

The meet was the A/B/C Finals sanctioned by Minnesota Swimming, Inc. and USA Swimming, Inc. As  stressed to the Boy® it is an honor just to qualify for finals so any thing of top of that, be it a new personal record or even placement in top 8 of his class would be nothing more than icing on the proverbial cake.

To qualify, a person must have swam a time below the standard for each class for long-course (50-meter) pool. The Boy® had qualified in the 50- & 100-meter freestyle and 50-meter backstroke in the C category.

Saturday morning he had two events. The 50-meter freestyle and 50-meter backstroke. Results as follows:

50-meter Freestyle (9-10 yo Boys)
37.99 - A Time
43.59 - B Time
50.59 - C Time

Current PR - 45.22
Meet Result - 45.57 (12th out of 16 in C)

We had gone in thinking the B time was within reach. So we (the Boy® & I) were slightly disappointed in not even bettering his PR. But we discussed how this was the first time in an outdoor pool. And the Boy® also stated he didn't relish getting up at 5:50 AM on a Saturday morning and just wasn't in a good place physically or mentally when it came time for his heat.

50-meter Backstroke (9-10 yo Boys)
00:46.19 - A Time
00:53.09 - B Time
01:01.59 - C Time

Old PR - 01:00.21
Meet Result (new PR) - 57.61 (10th out of 15 in C)

I'm not a screamer. In fact all morning I had to put up with the shrill cry of several mothers behind me yelling out for their child. I figured, what the hell, if they are going to I am. So I positioned myself on the pool deck nearest lane 7 where the the Boy® would be swimming. He had an awesome start. We've been working on that. I ask him to imagine his starts in his mind and then actually do them as he pictures them. This was a pretty push back with underwater dolphin kick and he came up positioned quite well.

By the time he reached me at about the 35-meter mark his little bottom was starting to sink. So I started screaming. I mean, really screaming. You can always tell when you child can hear you, can't you? Because they immediately react. Up came his bottom and he started kicking hard. We had hoped to break one minute and he did. Job well done.

Sunday was just one event. So the early alarm came again but we knew we'd be done early with the rest of the day in front of us so I think mentally he was in a better spot.

100-meter Freestyle (9-10 yo Boys)
01:24.69 - A Time
01:37.29 - B Time
01:52.89 - C Time

Current PR - 01:45.07
Meet Result - 01:45.22 (unknown overall; but 6th out of 8 in his heat)

We talked about seeing how close we could get to B qualifying time. I broke this race into 50-meter segments for him, explaining that if he swam a 50 at 49 seconds followed by a 50 at 48 seconds he would swim 1:37. Simple as that. Not go out too fast. Not go out too slow. Two consistent laps. Easy in theory, hard in practice as we all know.

He has a good start but came up and immediately knew he was in trouble. When he is pushing himself too hard, the Boy® has horrible hand entry, simply slaps the water. It was the case here. He had a 47-sec split at the turn and just could not sustain his pace using improper technique. It was frustrating for me as we've been working on this. Still waiting for the light-bulb to go off, and it will. He has the enthusiasm and the energy to be a good mid-level swimmer. He just needs to slow down, listen (and hear!) his coaches and get his form in order.

Hopefully I don't sound like a helicopter parent. I just want to get inside his head and understand what makes this kid tick. Like I told him today when he was having a post-race sulk, it is how one responds to adversity and disappointment that defines who you are. So we had a teachable moment that all parents have countless times with their children. You can only hope that ten percent of it sticks.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Introducing the BBT (Bacon Basil Tomato) Sandwich

If you are busy and only have a few minutes in which to make a sandwich, try out this recipe.

Split a piece (about 3 1/2 by 5 in.) of ciabatta bread (or a crusty roll) in half lengthwise. Toast lightly. Spread cut sides generously with mayonnaise. Cover bottom half with 4 to 6 large fresh basil leaves and a thick layer of 4 to 6 slices firm-ripe large tomatoes. Sprinkle with salt and fresh-ground pepper to taste. Top with 2 slices crisp-cooked bacon. Cap with top half of ciabatta (or top half of roll).


Thursday, July 22, 2010

Big Swim Weekend Ahead

I'm very stoked for this weekend. First, I won't be racing! I actually am taking a break. A much needed break. However, the Boy® is racing. His swim team will be competing in the A/B/C Finals sponsored by the Richfield Swim Club. What's really going to be neat is the pool (50 meter) is outdoors. I haven't seen an outdoor swim meet since high school. This should be loads of fun.

The Boy® recently swam at a meet that he and the team did very well in. It was the weekend that I was competing at Cornman so I had to rely on the Well Kept Wife™ to take video. Here are the results.

First up, the Boy® anchored the winning Boys 9-10 medley relay. The whole team did great. Here's that video:

He also had an awesome battle in the Boys 9-10 100-yard freestyle and ended up winning his heat. He is in the black swim cap and orange goggles. His time of 1:32.49 makes him the fastest swimmer in the least, that is what I'm telling him. Here is that video:

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Race Result: Dubuque Duathlon

Event: Dubuque Duathlon
Date: Saturday, July 17
Location: Dubuque, Iowa
Results: Results

Personal results

Goal: 01:15:00
Actual: 1:15:20
Overall: 7th (123 total); top 5.7%
Overall Male Age Group (40-49): 4th (13 total); top 31%

The Recap

As I was driving around Dubuque this past Friday night, I kept thinking I must have turned north from the Twin Cities instead of traveling south as I swear I was in Duluth. Or even Stillwater. As everywhere one looked there were hills. Sort of like a Dr. Seuss book! There were long hills, short hills. Steep hills, easy hills. Rolling hills, grinder hills. Hills that took you up, up, up. and hills that took you down, down, down.

This was the very first Dubuque Duathlon and they did a great job in their inaugural year. The event was well run and organized. The location was easy to find and remote enough to not have to deal with traffic on the bike course. They had cold water, cookies, banana's, and bagels for the feed afterwards. And the medals were saucer size...sure wish I could have snagged one.

They also did a very nice thing. The Dubuque Park & Rec actually paid the one-day $10 USAT license fee for anyone that was not a USAT member. Very nice.

I would recommend this event to the following people:
  • Cyclists who count the ability to climb as a distinct advantage
  • Seasoned athletes who hate to climb but want to test or gauge their climbing ability
I would not recommend this race to the following people:
  • Have never competed in a multi-sport event
  • Have never rode the bikes course, or at the very least, driven it
The race organizers can make improvements next year by having more port-a-potties. Two for a total attendance of 123 athletes...not enough. And it caused the race to be delayed as people were still in line at start time.

Also, with a USAT event I feel it is important to have 5-year age group increments. Yeah, personal as it cost me a podium dealing with a 10-year age group. But I understand as with any first year event, they probably weren't sure what the turnout would be and wanted to save on cost.

I really wish I could share my Garmin stats with you in order to show the elevation changes on the bike. Sadly, the damn thing froze on me right after T1. It has frozen now and then but always as I prepare for a workout. Never during a race, until now. It was really frustrating.

The weather was wicked hot. After setting up transition I checked via my cell phone at 8:15 am (race start 9 am). At that time it was 82 F with a heat index of 85 F due to the high humidity. By race time I'm sure it was pushing 90 F. The air was heavy and I was sweating profusely after just setting up transition! And there was no wind to speak of....and I sure could have used a breeze just to cool off even a little bit.

The weather can't be controlled but it affected my outcome. To be frank, I was disappointed with my result. But I was having some heating issues and was even experiencing chills on the second run....not good. Plus, I missed my Friday workout due to the Real Job and travel time.

Just this week on the Tour de France one topic of conversation was around how the riders handled their rare off days. Some worked hard. Others had an easy workout. Still others did nothing. I'm one that likes to get in a 3 mile easy run and a 10-mile easy bike the day before a race. It helps keep the legs primed for racing. Whenever I miss my routine, I suffer. The legs just sort of show up dead and I can't seem to get them going on race day. Still, if you study the results my times aren't too damn bad for a guy one year away from 50-years old in comparison to the young pups in their twenties.

Let's get into the race segments.

Run One - 1.2 miles
Goal - 07:30 (6:15 per mile pace)
Actual Time - 7:25 (6:11 per mile pace)
Overall Rank - 10th (123 total)
AG (40-49) Rank - 4th (13 total)

The start was slightly delayed due to people in the port-a-pottie line. There were two waves. First wave was all males followed by the girls. This was a simple out-and-back. I was wondering if I could hold a sub-6 minute per mile pace and was running 5:55 pace but slowed on the way back. The race was not going to be won on the first run and I was already boiling hot.

I was surprised how quickly the turn around came. I was in 12th and was able to move up a couple spots before we hit transition.

Goal - 1:10
Actual Time - 0:54

I beat two people out of transition that I had come in behind on from the run. This made me happy. Gosh, I'm OK with T1 when I don't have to strip a wet suit! The happiness did not last.

Bike - 17 miles per results (actually 15 miles)
Goal - 45:19 (22.5 MPH)
Actual Time - 44:52 (22.7 MPH per results, actually 20.1 MPH)
Overall Rank - 9th (123 total)
AG (40-49) Rank - 4th (13 total)

Mr. Honest here again. I could simply let my time on the results stand...but that's not me. The course was not 17 miles, it was 15 miles. I'm surprised they left 17-miles on the results as the organizers even announced this fact at the starting line.

The times show just how difficult the bike course was. The top bike split was by Matt Jasper at 42:16 which does not equate to 24.1 MPH but rather 21.29 MPH. When is the last time that you saw the fastest bike average below 22 MPH!?!

The bike course was a two loop affair. Which meant we had the same monster climb twice....and the same screaming descent twice. But for the most part, the course was climb-climb-climb for a good 3/4's of the course with the big descent thrown in for mercy sake I suppose.

Lets take a look at some video I took the night before the race. Please be aware the video was taken via my cell phone but the quality is still pretty good. First the big climb.

I'm not a climber. So I am sure many of you are chuckling at me that I think this climb hard. All I say up next year then! You can't get a true idea of the grade from the video.

Near the end of the bike course loop you are greeted by this sign:

And this descent goes on a long time. When I drove it twice the night before I thought I might even have a shot at 50 MPH on the bike. I wasn't sure how the CervĂ©lo P3 would handle that speed. And sections of the entire road on the bike course were rough. You certainly did not want to take your eyes off the road for very long in case a sudden hole or rut would catch you unawares. Let's take a look at the video:

In the end, I didn't hit 50 MPH but I did hit 44 MPH. And the bike handled like a dream. Not even a shimmy or a shake. I would feel totally safe taking this bike over 50 MPH if the chance ever presented itself.

Goal - 1:00
Actual Time - 0:58

Under one minute twice in one event? I even took a swig from the bike water bottle as I would not have made the first water stop otherwise.

Run Two - 3  miles
Goal - 20:00 (6:40 per mile pace)
Time - 21:13 (7:05 per mile)
Overall Rank - 8th (123 total)
AG (40-49) Rank - 3rd (13 total)

Not quite the Bataan death march but damn close. The first 2 miles were down in a gully along a small lake which followed a snaking walk path.

And let me tell you, I was cooking like a pig over a open fire. There was no wind. It was so hot. I would have loved a cold towel or ice thrown my way. I think I actually had a mirage of a little old man wearing Bermuda shorts and black socks with a  hose asking me, "Would you like to be sprayed?" Yes, yes. A thousand times yes.

I actually opened up quite well for the first mile and caught two people and I estimate (damn you Garmin!) I was running 6:40 pace easy. Then I got hit with chills and started to get a little wobbly. I didn't think that I was going down as in get this guy into a ice bath stat. But I know I slowed up greatly.

In talking to people after the race, people were split on which was worse: The big ass ascent or the hot second run. As you can see, no one broke 6 minute per mile pace on run two. And it was the first time this year that one of my runs exceed 7 minute per mile pace.

I think I'll return next year. With a support group to toss me an ice towel as I start run two. I have to get me one of those big ol' medals! Look out 50-59 age group!

Next Event: Tentative is the Columbus (Nebraska) Duathlon on Saturday (Aug 7). I say tentative as this one has been a USAT sanctioned event but due to construction have had to alter the bike course and is currently awaiting USAT approval. This will give me my third USAT duathlon in 2010 and also would be my sixth different state that I have raced in this season. I've already raced in Minnesota, Arizona, Arkansas, North Dakota, and Iowa. Why not another state!?!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Race Preview: Dubuque Duathlon

Event: Dubuque Duathlon
Date: Saturday, July 17
Location: Dubuque, IA
Previous Results: Inaugural Event

This event is: Run 1.2 Miles, Bike 17 Miles, Run 3 Miles. There is no official web site and I actually had to mail in (as in snail mail) my entry! Other than the course map, I am totally blind as to the topography of the course and what may await me. So I toss in my time goals very tongue in cheek:

Run 1: 07:30 (6:15 per mile pace)
T1: 1:10
Bike: 45:19 (22.5 MPH)
T2: 1:00
Run 2: 20:00 (6:40 per mile pace)
Total: 01:15:00

There should be some good competition. The city lies at the junction of three states: Iowa, Illinois, and Wisconsin, a region locally known as the Tri-State Area. It is one of the few large cities in Iowa with hills so the event could turn just as challenging as the previous Iowa event did! Dubuque is supposedly a wonderful city to visit and I'm looking forward to my brief stay there.

Good luck to everyone racing this weekend!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Barefoot Running

A number of my fellow nutty triathletes have espoused the need to run barefoot. To feel the dirt between ones toes. More like feel the squishy pungent aroma of dog poop. But when I saw a story in the July issue of Runner Triathlete News, I felt compelled to share one person's take on this movement.

I wasn't about to type in the whole article, so I scanned in the pages for your enjoyment. Be sure and click on each image to view bigger or save the image on use your favorite application to read in larger view if it is difficult to see. And you bare foot hippie sure and let me know how its going out there!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Race Result: Cornman Triathlon

Event: Cornman Triathlon
Date: Sunday, July 11
Location: Gladbrook, Iowa
Results: Results

Personal results

Goal: 01:10:02
Actual: 1:10:34
Overall: 16th (235 total); top 6.8%
Overall Male Age Group (45-49): 2nd (20 total); top 10.0%

The Recap

The Cornman is a very well run event. It just happens to be in the middle of nowhere...or at least feels that way. It is a quick four hour jaunt from the Twin Cities to the race site. This year it served as the Midwest Special Qualifier which qualified the top 33% per age group for the USAT Age Group National Championship in Tuscaloosa, AL on September 25, 2010. By virtue of placing second in my age group, I did qualify. I'm uncertain if I will actually attend. Just qualifying is achievement enough for me.

Even though it may very well be a case of 'right place, right time' aspect to the qualification, I feel the toughness of the course earned me the spot. I make no apologies. For me, this is a big achievement....just being invited to the big party. If you are curious, here are the 2009 AG National Results.

The lake is small but a fantastic sandy beach. The water temperature was 77.5 F but there were areas of sudden cold pools followed by warmer ones. So it was wet suit legal and that made me happy.

The transition area is different in that the bike racks simply line two sides of a path. At first, I found this weird but came to actually like. I parked the bike at the end closest to the bike mount area. This allowed me time to strip the wet suit as much as possible.

And that's where the fun ended as far as enjoying the course. The course is t-o-u-g-h. Not brutal. Not epic. But is is tough and I would not recommend to a first time triathlete.

The bike was rolling hills and not that bad save for about two miles into the course. That is where you are greeted by a hill of the first magnitude that will have you shifting into the small chainring on the front. I ended up in the granny and was standing. I saw two people actually dismount and walk it and I'm sure others behind me did as well. It really wasn't too bad but certainly has your HR nearing the red zone.

But even worse, it was a hill at the end of the first mile in the run that probably had people swearing, crying or all both. It certainly had me doing nothing more than a fast shuffle. Thankfully, they had an aid station right on the crest and its the first time this year I slowed to take on fluids during a run in a triathlon. More on the course in the race segments.

The event had some nice hardware as well. Three deep in all age groups. The hardware was big and heavy. Here's a photo, the can of Coke serving to show the size.

I recommend the triathlon. Especially for those, like myself, who would rather be looked on as an individual participant and not just a number. Held during the same weekend as the big dinosaur that is the Lifetime Fitness triathlon, this is a nice alternative with the added bonus of being the midwest national qualifier. It also has a nice post race feed.

Let's get into the race segments.

Swim - 500 meters
Goal - 08:45
Time - 8:21 (1:32 per 100 yds)
Overall Rank - 22nd (235 total)
AG (45-49) Rank - 1st (20 total)

The start was on the edge of the grass-sand boundary about 10-yards from shore. There was ample room as my wave was just the 40-49 males. I had early contact with one person and then I was gone and had smooth sailing even when I caught the previous waves. Water clarity is murky and there was a slight odor of motor fuel but I liked the lake. Very calm as the wind was virtually dead. Like swimming in your bathtub. If not for the challenging bike and run course, this would be a great swim venue for a first time triathlete.

I believe this is the very first time I have had the fastest swim time for my age group. Twenty years ago my swim sucked and my bike was crap. I lived and survived by being able to blaze the run (low 5's per mile pace). Now that the speed is gone, I have adapted success by being balanced across all three disciplines. Rating a fastest swim split shows my progress and importance of being balanced.

Goal - 2:00
Time - 1:45

Actually surprised I was under two minutes as I dropped my swim googles on the shore as I ran up towards transition. Thought about leaving them but remembering this was a USAT event I did not want to receive a time penalty as I believe there are penalties for leaving items on the course.

Bike - 14 miles
Goal - 37:17 (22.5 MPH)
Actual - 37:59 (22.1 MPH)
Overall Rank - 15th (235 total)
AG (45-49) Rank - 2nd (20 total)

I really am pleased with this time even though I did not meet my goal. Trust me, this is one course you do not set a time goal wirthout having ridden before. Lost time on the Big Hill, the loopy turn-around through the sleepy town of Gladbrook, and then some tight corners near the end. My suggestion to the race organizers would be to skip the tour of Gladbrook's back streets. I was averaging 23.1 MPH when we hit Gladbrook and by the time we left and started back I was under 22 MPH.

This is where the AG overall win was lost as it still is true "it is all about the bike". One minute and four seconds separated me from first. One minute and twelve seconds separated me from the winners bike split. But even had I met my goal I still lose so my congratulations to a great ride goes to Tim Hodge.

The roads were fairly smooth (save for Gladbrook) and except for the rollers the course can be considered fast. All intersections were manned for safety.

Goal - 1:20
Time - 1:07

Under my goal. Under 1:00 would have been better. But at least my T2 time is heading down.

Run - 5K
Goal - 20:40 (6:40 per mile pace)
Time - 21:25 (6:54 per mile)
Overall Rank - 21st (235 total)
AG (45-49) Rank - 1st (20 total)

Even before I left transition, the big honkin' hill was foremost on my mind. People had warned me of it leading up to the event. It was the general conversation during morning setup. Everyone was dreading it. And suddenly, there it loomed.

The air was perfectly calm. So I'm sure my gasping was made even louder to the spectators who had come to the summit to watch people suffer. Still, I hit the 1-mile mark...just a 20-yards from the 6:30 per mile pace so I was on my way to meeting my 6:40 goal. It's just the hill took some steam out of the legs.

I recovered fine. Sucked up three more runners on the way into the finish and picked up pace the last 1/2 mile. I ran the best I could and take the time given. Fairly earned. No excuses. I left it all out there. I expect better run splits this coming weekend....unless that course has a big hill!

Next Event: Inaugural Dubuque Duathlon in Dubuque, Iowa on Saturday (July 17).

Thursday, July 8, 2010

App of the Month: Swim Planner

I now own a smart phone. Not a iPhone, but a HTC EVO. I really like it. And the apps available are cool. From Google SkyMap to Pandora radio, this little baby can produce. I stumbled across a very neat app for triathletes earlier this week that I wanted to share with you. It comes from the folks at Tri Faster.

Over the past two decades, Tri Faster coaches have been writing swim workouts for their athletes and swim teams. When talking to swimmers and triathletes, they learned many people head to the pool without a workout in mind or do not understand how to write a workout that is challenging but appropriate for their level of fitness.

Like me, do you head to the pool without a workout in mind or spend too much time trying to find or write one? The Swim Planner app creates swim workouts in seconds based on your total desired workout distance and swimming ability. All you need to decide is how far you want to swim, enter a recent time trial time, and the app will take over from there to generate a new swim workout similar to the ones Tri Faster coaches provide their athletes. If you don't like the workout, click New to generate another until you get one you like from the hundreds available. Workouts can be emailed or copied to the clipboard for use in other apps.

It is very easy to setup. Just enter a few paramaters.

And you are given a workout!

You can even email the workout to yourself or to others. Virtual training anyone? Here is a workout I recently did using this app.

Warmup Set (300y)
250 easy-mod @ 4:30
50 non-free

Main Set (1300y)
3 x [25, 50, 75, 100, 75, 50, 25] @ 0:20 rest between each interval
100 drill

Warmdown Set (400y)
4 x 100 easy-mod @ 2:00

This app is not free, having a very nominal $2.99 charge. BlackBerry smartphone version available on the BlackBerry App World™ storefront. iPhone and iPod touch version available on the App Store.  Android version available on the Android Market (search for "Swim Planner"), via AndroLib, or simply going to "Market" on your EVO phone, or by using the following QR code:

Have fun with it!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Race Preview: Cornman Triathlon

Event: 2010 Cornman Triathlon
Date: Sunday, July 11
Location: Union Grove State Park, Gladbrook, IA
Previous Results: Never competed at. Results from 2009 for those curious types

This event is a 500 meter Swim, 14 Mile Bike, 5K Run. The Cornman serves as the Midwest Special Qualifier which qualifies the top 33% per age group for the USAT Age Group National Championship in Tuscaloosa, AL on September 25, 2010.

My goal is to qualify for nationals from the 45-49 age group. My time goals are:

Swim: 08:45
T1: 2:00
Bike: 37:17 (22.5 MPH).
T2: 1:20
Run: 20:40 (6:40 per mile pace)
Total: 01:10:02

Here are some photos from last Saturday's MinneMan Triathlon. I was in my Johnny Cash mood so I was the Man in Black.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Tour de France Fantasy Cycling Challenge

I am inviting you to sign up for the VERSUS Fantasy Cycling Challenge where you can have the chance to win exclusive prizes. Sign up now at See the Official Prizes and How to Play. The winner of my fantasy group will win a TYR transition bag. I am not eligible to win.

To sign up for a team, click here to create your account. Once you have created an account, join the league with the information supplied below. Sign up by July 6 so your team is eligible from the start.

League Name: Tundra TDF Fantasy

League Password: tundra

Everyone be sure and understand the rules. Once it officially begins (stage 4 on July 7) your roster is locked although you can change your lineup each day. Looks like you will want a sprinter and a climber for sure.

Your team salary must not exceed $500. Participants will only be able to make changes to the fifteen (15) riders on their teams during the Practice Period. Participants who enter after the Practice Period will not be able to make changes to their team once they have selected their fifteen (15) riders. After selecting your team, you can select a starting lineup of nine (9) riders for the next day. Each day a rider from your starting lineup places within the top fifteen (15) riders for the day, or is identified as the overall leader, best climber, or best sprinter, you will receive points. 

You may change your starting lineup of nine (9) riders each day, or leave it the same throughout the Contest Period. Only starting lineups changed at or before 2:59 a.m. ET each day will be realized the next day; changes to a lineup received after 2:59 a.m. ET on a given day will not be realized until two (2) days following the date the changes were made.

Good luck!

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Race Result: MinneMan Triathlon

Event: MinneMan Triathlon
Date: Saturday, July 3
Location: Oak Grove, Minnesota
Results: Results

Personal results

Goal: 01:09:01
Last Year: 01:17:07
Actual: 1:05:43
Overall: 41st (414 total); top 9.9%
Overall Male Age Group (45-49): 5th (27 total); top 18.5%

The Recap

Getting up at 4 AM on a holiday weekend is not really my cup of tea. But I did get up and made it out to the race in plenty of time. I was setup and ready to go with a good hour before start.

It was windy, with winds sustained at 15-18 MPH. Actually, the lake seemed fairly calm and then if like magic, right before the event started the dreaded frothy white caps appeared. Here's how it looked well before the wind started to pick up.

Really not that bad. And the wind wasn't that bad on the bike either. Yeah, at times it was hold on dearly to the handlebars as the rear disc was getting a full taste of a sudden gust, but I never reached "Cuss like a mad Irishman" stage. It was getting hot and steamy by the time I hit the run, but I did not require any fluids.

In all, a very nice tuneup event. It felt easy at times which makes me think I was not pushing hard enough, even though the gasping for air would have me think otherwise.

My age group (45-49), was quite simply loaded. A number of the 45-49 big dogs from the area showed up for this one. I thought if I had a good performance I could crack the top 5, which I was able to do. This should help my USAT ranking at the end of the year. I congratulate those you finished ahead of me. Solid, solid times.

I talked with Charlie Roach afterwards. Charlie is one of those amazing people that seems to stay fast despite being 53. Charlie was a week removed from doing the Ironman 70.3 Buffalo Springs Lake Triathlon in Lubbock, Texas where he finished 7th overall out of 52 entrants in the 50-54 AG with a 5:03:56 posting. Then he returns to post a 1:00.43 at MinneMan to win the 50-54 AG.

He and I had meet at the Minneapolis Duathlon last year when I won the 45-49 and he the 50-54. I asked Charlie if he wouldn't mind slowing down a bit next season when I join his age group. He just chuckled and said the 50-54 has become very competitive. I'm not happy. I graduate to another age group in 2011 and have to deal with the likes of Charlie. Yippee.

Let's get into the race segments.

Swim - 0.3 miles
Goal - 09:14
Last year - 12:53
Time - 5:52 (1:07 per 100 yds)
Overall Rank - 48th (414 total)
AG (45-49) Rank - 4th (27 total)

OK, you might think "Wow, Brian! You had an awesome swim. Seven minutes better than last year!'. Um, stop right there. It was a shorter course than last year. It certainly was not 0.3 miles. And you could walk half-way to the turn-around buoy if you had chosen to do so.

Honestly, the first 60 or so yards were just running through the water. By the time I started my first swim stroke I was cooked just from running! And there were people still running as I swam by them.

I'm not even sure a wet suit was needed as you were in the water for such a short time. However, my time would not have been as fast.

Goal - 2:35
Last year - 2:37
Time - 2:31

Before you start chiding me about my T1 time, realize it really is a long stretch to reach the bike corral. I actually had a very good transition. My upper wet suit was off before I even left the water and had stripped my bottom wet suit (recall the Desoto Water Rover is a two piece suit) to my waist as I hit the beach. No time wasted or lost in transition due to any mistakes. Pretty happy here.

Bike - 13 miles
Goal - 35:27 (22.0 MPH).
Last Year - 37:04 (21.0 MPH)
Actual - 35:11 (22.2 MPH)
Overall Rank - 44th (414 total)
AG (45-49) Rank - 5th (27 total)

I really am happy with this reult at the same time knowing I have some work to do. The Real Job has been stealing a lot of hours from my training. I know I need to be over 23 MPH to be in consideration for 'respectable'. And I hope to yet get there this year.

I did not like the course last year, but felt more comfortable this year. There still are two areas I do not like. One is near the end when you are riding through surburban streets. You are literally riding through a neighborhood. It just does not seem like road racing. The second is at the end when you are on a narrow walking path for a good 1/2 to 1 mile. You lose so much speed there as you twist and turn on the path.

I got passed three times but ended up passing two of those back. I felt in control the whole way. Didn't really tighten up at all.

Goal - 1:30
Last year - 1:55
Time - 1:24

Went smooth. Nothing of note here.

Run - 3 miles
Goal - 20:15 (6:45 per mile pace)
Last Year - 22:40 (7:34 per mile)
Time - 20:47 (6:56 per mile)
Overall Rank - 30th (414 total)
AG (45-49) Rank - 2nd (27 total)

Hmm. I'm not sure about the accuracy of the course. I was moving pretty good despite the lingering injury. I went by the first mile at 5:55. So, either the first mile marker was way off. Or the run course is longer than advertised. Or I slowed way down. Or a little of all three. Either way, I do believe I was faster than 6:55 per mile pace. But we all ran the same course so ultimately it does not matter.

I was happy to get through this run without more harm to the calf/Achilles debacle currently taking place in the left lower leg. I'm not sure how the next few days will feel. I think I probably will take two or three days off from running to make sure I don't create more inflammation.

Weekend Shout Outs!!!!

Shout out to Don Schmeichel racing with the big dogs (Elite) and his finish at MinneMan. Always good to see Don and his parents. Don sells Wilier bikes, which are stunning. Truly gorgeous.

Shout out to Chris Hawes for his great finish at MinneMan. Chris is one of the vital Gear West product test team members. Read his blog for great reviews on triathlon equipment. Finally nice to meet you Chris.

Next Event: The big one for my 2010 season. Cornman Sprint Triathlon in Gladbrook, Iowa. Cornman is the Midwest Special Qualifier which qualifies the top 33% per age group for the USAT Age Group National Championship in Tuscaloosa, AL on September 25, 2010. If I'm not puking after I finish, I did not do my job.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Totals: Month Ending June 2010

What is it about the month of June that creates the injury bug for me? Pushing too hard? Or is it too many races? Carrying too much weight? Not doing core work? I dunno. But here was another month like last year...albeit not as severe...that my running suffered.

I'm carrying a lot of running miles in these legs. One can't run 100-mile weeks in your youth and not expect some long-term damage later in life. I go to bed with an electric heating pad on my lower back. Invariably on any given day one of my legs is wrapped in ice or sporting those sexy compression hose.

Once upon a time I would spring out of bed, lace up the shoes, and hit the pavement. Now, it takes me 90-minutes just to feel human and move.

I hate to think that eventually I will need to give up running. That the day will come when the hips, knees, muscles and ligaments down there won't let me run any longer. Until then, I guess I need to keep plodding along.

June's highlight was the Liberty Oly, my first in 21-years. Save for some bad transitions at Bismarck and I could have had my first overall win in the same span. I did come away satisfied with each race. At the end of the month I was dealing with a lower left calf/upper Achilles injury. After resting for eight days it is much improved but still tight. Marching on.

Numbers for June, 2010. All per Garmin expect where noted.

June 2010 Total Numbers
Total Workout Hours: 31:39.51
Swim Miles - 11.48
Bike Miles - 317.79
Run Miles -  53.97 (7:56 per mile avg)

compare to last year

June 2009 Total Numbers
Swim Miles -  9.83
Bike Miles - 256.42
Run Miles - 6.80 (per Nike Plus). Achilles injury.

Last Month

May 2010 Total Numbers
Total Workout Hours: 41:09.05
Swim Miles - 11.36
Bike Miles - 344.85
Run Miles - 111.54 (8:00 per mile avg)

So my run mileage was half of what it was in May. This was partially due to my race schedule as I had signed up for one each weekend and ended up competing in three of them. And then the aforementioned leg injury which occurred at the tail end of a 4-mile workout in which I was running a negative split workout. Now I might find myself in the vicious cycle of race, rip the leg to shreds, recover with no run workouts, race and repeat. Fun.  But I'm hoping this is just simply an overuse acute injury and with a little TLC, I'll be back on my game.

Upcoming in July

July 3- MinneMan Triathlon (USAT) - 0.3 mi swim, 13 mi bike, 3 mi run.

Jul 11 - Cornman Triathlon (USAT), Gladbrook, IA - 500 meter swim, 14 mi bike, 5K run

July 17 - Dubuque Duathlon, Iowa (USAT) - Run 1.2 Miles, Bike 17 Miles, Run 3 Miles