Monday, June 25, 2012

2012 CrossFit Akron Duathlon Race Report

The sweet t-shirt we got. 

This was my first race since completing the Twinsburg Duathlon.  I learned a lot during that race and I had been looking forward to applying it in this race.  I didn't race as well in Twinsburg as I had hoped.  My legs were still sluggish from the marathon that was 2 weeks prior and I didn't have the power on the bike I typically have.  It felt like I was a gear short.  So, I spent the past 3 weeks in one of my favorite training spots.  The high hills of CVNP.  I live near the southern tip of CVNP on the edge of a large valley.  There are a plethora of 4 and 5 mile long hills.  It was torture for 2 weeks, but I regained the power in my legs.  During the 3rd week, I focused more on speed and running.

Post race with Colleen and Laurie

I went into this race with a lot of excitement.  It was a 1.5 mile run, 12 mile bike, and then a 5K.  With a shorter run to start, followed by a longer bike.  I felt like it suited my abilities fairly well.  My legs were feeling pretty good as I spent the prior 3 days recovering.  Most exciting of all?  I had a new secret weapon.  My new Cervelo P3!!  I'd been contemplating the purchase of a TRI bike for about a year now and finally made my decision on Thursday.

This was an early race with no pre-race packet pick up.  It worked well as they had our corral assignments listed and our packets below our rack.  It was nice having everything in one spot, so you didn't have to worry about forgetting anything.  After getting everything set, I met up with Heather.  She was doing her first TRI.  Next, I warmed up and made my way to the start.

Run 1
Going into the first run, my goal was to run harder than usual as it was short and to get out on the bike without being in too big of a hole.  The route started up a slight climb and I was initially in 4th place.  Through the 2nd half of the route, I dialed it back a bit to conserve energy.  The leader was off like a rocket and I wanted to be a little fresher on the bike to catch up.  I hit another climb and was descending the final part as the Women's TRI was already heading onto the bike route.

1.29 miles in 9:49 for an average pace of 7:34

Transition 1
I entered the transition and got stuck in a lot of TRI traffic.  I arrived at my rack after doing my best juke and jives.  CRAP!!!!! While taking off my 2nd shoe the laces went into the not!  I fumbled and fumbled with it and finally got it out.  Taking a swig of Gatorade, I headed out.

Time:  1:50

Going into this race, my intent all along was to ride my road bike.  I have no clue what I am doing on my TRI bike yet and I'm not really comfortable riding in the aero bars for long periods of time.  After riding it the past couple days, plus some encouragement from Bike Authority.  It was clear that I am faster on the Cervelo, even without being in the aero bars full time.

I mounted my trusty bike and took off.  The bike route started with a climb as well.  It helped as it gave me some time to get my legs used to the bike.  After cresting the hill, I took off and was munching on riders like pac man.  This wasn't a USAT race, so rules were a little more relaxed.  It helped as I just wound up the big diesel engine and stayed a little to the right.  After a few miles I dropped into the aero bars while hammering away.  Rider after rider were no match as I repeatedly yelled passing...passing...passing.  I made it through the first five miles in 14:11.  I began to fatigue from the aero bars and there were no flats on this course.  You were either up hill or downhill.  I decided to climb out of the aeros and coast the hills fully tucked to save energy.  This strategy worked as there wasn't anyone faster on my portion of the course.   I did leave a lot of speed on the bike as I probably spent 70% of the route in a non-aero position.

No flat roads on this route. 

12 miles in 35:16 for an average speed of 22.4 mph

Transition 2
The end of the bike was down a descent and I think I came in a little too hot.  The look on the race volunteer's face was priceless when I slammed on the breaks and my Zipps squealed to a stop.  It was really cool as there was quite the crowd cheering me on.  I tried to act cool and that I new what I was doing as I was one of the first off the bike.

Time: 1:25

The run-in to the finish

Run 2
One of the biggest mistakes I made this race was not taking any liquid out on the bike.  Normally I would never do anything so stupid, but I don't have any aero bottles for my new bike.  I had my road bike set up to train on, but I didn't want it as I thought it would hurt the aerodynamics of the bike.  Boy, I was dying for fluids 7 miles into the bike.  As a result, I decided to start my run carrying my bottle of Gatorade.  It cost me a lot of time.  I ran mile 1 in 9:00 and felt terrible.  My shoes came untied again!!!  After chucking the bottle, and getting fluids.  My legs came to life and I ran as hard as I could.  Doing miles 2 and 3 in the low 8's.  The finish was along the lake and I kicked while trying to not twist an ankle as the ground was not even.

My finish time was 1:12 and was good enough for first in my age group!!!!!!  I've never placed in an event before, so I was beyond excited.  I had a blast at this race.  It was a challenging course and there was no let down.  I've been enjoying this Duathlons, but its time to step up and do my first Triathlon *gasp*

First place bling and celebratory Christmas Ales. 

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Meet the Widowmaker

One of the great joys of purchasing a bike.  Every cyclist approaches naming their new ride differently. Typically, I just come up with a name after riding it.  It just kinda comes to me.

My current ride is named Doomsday Jesus.  I named it after a song I heard while driving home with it for the first time.

Doomsday Jesus, my Specialized S-Works Tarmac SL3

I don't have an elaborate story on how I came up with my new bikes name.  Other than it just came too me and I thought it sounded cool and a little evil.  Let me say this thing is CRAZY fast.  Without aero wheels I hit 25 mph into a headwind hardly any effort.  So, I think this bike will destroy the competition.  Thus, earning its name:  The Widowmaker.

My new2012  Cervelo P3 TT/TRI bike

Carbon 3T bars

Front view

No room for air on that rear wheel = speed. 

Went with the Ultegra drivetrain

Side view

Fizik Arione saddle

Rear view.  

My road weapons....Doomsday Jesus and The Widowmaker

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

2012 Twinsburg Duathlon Race Report

Logo from the shirt event shirt.

This is the first time I have done this event and my first Duathlon since 2010.  I decided to do this race over the winter and I am really glad I did.  The race is comprised of a 2 mile run followed by a 10 mile bike race and then another 2 mile run.  Technically this is a sprint distance, which really didn't play to my strengths as I have been endurance training the past 4 months.  Plus, I was only 2 weeks recovered from running a marathon.  Regardless, I decided to have some fun and use it as a learning experience as I plan on focusing more on multi-sport races the rest of the year. 

Me with fellow #dirtyrunners Chris Cole and Christian Heller

Run 1
Prior to the race, we received instructions from the USA-T representative as this was a sanctioned event.  I quickly became paranoid as there were a lot of rules and I didn't want to make a mistakes as a result of my lack of knowledge.  After the rules briefing, we were ready to start.  They were playing some house music and I had to be "that guy" who was fist pumping seconds before the race.  I was there to have fun right?  

We were off and it turned in to a fast race immediately.  I really had no idea what to expect from myself as I am currently at odds with running.  I'm still so disgusted with how that marathon went that if I didn't run again this year, I wouldn't care.  I think I've ran a total of 3 miles since 5/20.  My plan was to run in the 8:30 range.  As usual I got caught up in the moment and ran mile 1 in 7:36.  The second mile was mostly uphill so it helped slow me down.  

First 2 mile time:  16:09, which was the 69th fastest.  

My transition spot. 

Transition 1
Holy train wreck batman!  Yep, that bad.  My bib number for this race was #8 and I was jacked to have this number as it was Dale Earnhardt Jr's old number.  Plus, the bike racks are sorted by number.  Wouldn't you think 8 would be up front?  Nope, I was all the way in the back and had to run across a whole parking lot to change gear.  Now, this isn't two bad in shoes, but I am not good enough yet to leave my cycling shoes pre-clipped.  So, I have to clomp through a parking lot in carbon fiber cycling shoes.  Not fun.  

Transition 1 time:  2:00

Bike 1
I rode the bike course the week before and I had it all planned out.  I would be fairly aggressive on hill 1 then hammer the flats to the second hill at mile 8 and hammer the final mile into the transition.  Unfortunately, this strategy did not work out too well.  As my ride began, it started to drizzle and it made things a little tricky.  Initially, I was excited as I am confident in my bike handling and figured I could be more aggressive and make up some time.  I hit the first false flat and into the first hill with great speed as I passing one rider after another.  Once I crested the first hill.  I was greeted with a nice headwind and I continued to hammer and passed rider after rider.  By this point the drizzle became a light rain.  Just enough to slick up the road.  While attacking the next corner.  I could feel my rear wheel slip and it quickly brought me back to reality.  I was hear to have fun and was not competing with anyone other than myself.  So, it wasn't worth wrecking ten grand in race equipment being stupid.  So, I dropped it back to about 80% and took it easy on the corners.  Sadly, I was passed by a rider.  This is the first time in over a year that this has happened.  Its something I will need to get used to as I do more of these as there was some serious riders at this race.  

Fail, I do not have my bike split as I messed up my Garmin.  I had the race programed into it, but double clicked the button by mistake out of transition one.  The race time grouped both transition times in with the bike time.  Official time was 35:50 with 2 minutes being transition 1 and atleast another 2 minutes being the 2nd transition.  My best guess is 10 miles in 31:20-31:50 range.  Even with my terrible transition times.  I post the 35th fastest bike and transition times.  

Run 2
Anybody who has done a multi-sport knows this.  There is no hell quite like bike to run.  It's really an odd feeling for the first quarter of a mile.  I went as hard as I could and ran fairly well.  It was kind of odd as there wasn't much traffic.  I kept I that close to the front?  am I that far behind?  It ended up being neither as the race had just sorted out that way.  

Run 2 time 17:18, which was the 79th fastest 2nd run time. 

I finished 7th in my age group and 54th overall.  I had a bast a this race and will be back next year.  It was very organized and worth every penny.  Northcoast Multisports and USAT did a great job.  I am pleased with how things went given the conditions of the weather and my lack of sprint training.  I finished 2 minutes better than my goal time, I learned a lot, and I had a blast.  What else can you ask for from a race?  Not much, maybe a Clydesdale division next year.  

I look forward to applying what I learned over the next 3 weeks and see how I can improve for my next race at Cross Fit Akron Duathlon.  

Things I learned/will be working on: 

1) Speed - need to implement for intervals and brick workouts into my training.
2) Transitions - I felt like a 3 legged dog trying to hump a football.  Lots of practice is needed. 
3) Ride to my strengths
4) Work on shorter/faster runs.
5) Lighten up. 

Congrats to everyone in this race.  It was insanely fast and some of those times were amazing for this course.  Especially in that weather.  


Not only did we get an event shirt, but we also go a water bottle.  Thanks Bike Authority!