Thursday, June 21, 2007
Sunday, June 17, 2007
Just a couple short years after he had a heart attack, he was riding this on a daily basis. (He's in the yellow helmet.) A few moments later, THIS happened:
Thursday, June 14, 2007
THEN THERE'S THE "HAVEN'T YOU LEARNED ANYTHING?" PLAN:
Here's why I think this might work: I will be in Iowa all summer with nothing but time on my hands until school starts. That's eight weeks of being left to my own devices -- no school, no friends, no other life. So for more than half of the time between now and race day, I'll have nothing better to do than train. Wouldn't it be helpful to have a big juicy carrot out in front of me?
Sunday, June 10, 2007
I'd say this day was a slice of chaos pie (home-baked!) topped with tiny victory sprinkles.
First of all, to set yourself up for success, pack the night before rather than 15 minutes before you head out the door. I'm begging you. I DID think about packing the night before...but then I thought "Oh, I know where all my stuff is...it'll be fine." NO. No, it won't.
Here's what I forgot:
- floor pump
- extra CO2 cartridges
- extra nutrition
I train indoors on my bike without socks, so the big worry was whether the run would be doable. It was; I didn't feel any discomfort.
Here's how the event went down:
RUN: 7K -- 43:??
What?! The Web said 5K! Sonuva! You know, the extra mile just isn't my style. (Dibs on T-shirt rights!) Also, it was surpisingly hot out there...just as surprisingly, I wasn't giddy or nervous at all before this race. I'm usually so worked up I can't sleep the night before and I almost puke at the start line. Perhaps a little worry would have helped a little with the packing situation.
The WSMR courses always tend to be a little short (this one was only 4.0 miles) and if my calculations are correct, I managed to keep a sub-11:00-ish pace, which was my goal given my Pb legs, so I'm fine with it.
Bike: 35K -- 1:40:??
So why don't I know my exact splits? Because I haven't sat down to figure out how to do laps on my new hrm AND I put my front wheel on backwards (!) so the sensor was on the wrong side. (I TOLD you I was a nincompoop.) For the first 5K, I was riding blind, as it were. I had no idea how fast (or slow) I was going. It seemed pretty slow to me, so I actually GOT OFF MY BIKE to see if my tires were fully inflated.
This is huge. I never do this. At my last tri, I rode 12 miles on a mushy back tire and last summer, I rode most of a half-iron on a mushy front tire. Why? Because I'm so afraid that whatever problem exists will get worse if I try to "handle" it. So I just avoid it. But not this day. I actually did some investigating.
This is when I discovered the front tire was mushy and the wheel was on backwards. I used the only CO2 cartridge in my seatpack...fixed and fixed. And off I went, a little nervous about whether I might need more air later. (Pack the night before. The Night Before!)
I'm really okay with my bike split. I haven't been doing much riding lately, and I thought this would take me closer to two hours. The slopes out here are deceptive, but on parts that have taken me down below 10mph in the past, I was able to go 13-15mph!
AND THEN...late on the bike...I passed someone! Amazing!
Mostly, I am happy with being able to work hard and go fast (for me) so long and so late on the course. The last 6 miles are uphill and especially miserable (for me), but I kept grinding away.
Swim: 400m -- about 9 minutes
Blisters. Big ones. On the insides of both of my feet. I felt the skin flapping in the water. Never, ever run without socks again.
More victory sprinkles: when I got in the water, this guy was about 125m ahead of me. (At WSMR, the swim is in a 25m pool -- you go up and back in each of 8 lanes for a total of 400m.) I caught and PASSED him at 325m! Okay, he wasn't so much swimming as much as he was floating and waving his limbs. I really HAD to pass this guy.
Total time: 2:38:17
Hmmm...I wonder what would happen if I buckled down and got serious about this.
Next goal: set the tone with a respectable debut at the Cornman Tri in IOWA!
Friday, June 8, 2007
Thursday, June 7, 2007
I have to admit, I did most of the uphill portion in my granny ring, and I went _really_slow_(almost backwards), but what are you gonna do?
I am still in deep poop for this Saturday's race. I don't know what I was thinking entering that crazy trail race in the mountains a week before my last New Mexico tri.
Don't get your hopes up, folks. I will be out there for a long time. (Yes, it is a sprint.)
I will not be going out on a high note.
Sunday, June 3, 2007
Parked and walked up the hill to registration -- winded! You know you're in trouble when the race organizers have THREE ambulances on hand. This is going to be miserable. (Start/finish: 8665 ft. Low point/mile 5: 7729 ft.)
Mile 2: 22:--
Did I just get faster? Amazing. Still feeling good. Still breathing lightly. This part of the trail was gorgeous -- a tunnel of green under the trees! Then the trail went through this drainage culvert that went under the highway. The race organizers placed lanterns in there, but mostly, it was a low tunnel of gnats and darkness and seeping water. CREEPY! Then the woman in front of me (a different one) says "I just don't want to get trapped by a bear in here!"
For crying out loud! I'm already afraid of the dark...then she goes and adds bears to the mix! I had forgotten we were in bear country (Smokey Bear, as a matter of fact). For the next half-mile I worried about whether my fruity deodorant might be mistaken for bear candy. (I guess it wasn't. Lucky me.)
Mile 3: 43:53
The two miles of downhill gave way to a healthy uphill section. After a stop at the port-O-john, a handful of WALKERS were ahead of me. Luckily, the trail started downhill again, and I regained my
Mile 5: 1:05
It took me just as long to cover the last three miles as it did to cover the first five. I had a little non-cough going on this last part-- just a little something that stuck on my uvula and could not be coughed or ahem-ed off. Mostly annoying.
The Last Point-One: I RAN BABY!
No way was I going to walk across the finish line. I dug deep and ran s.l.o.w.l.y. up the last bit of the trail, past two other runners, and across the line at 2:07:31.
I realize this is pretty slow for eight miles, but between the terrain and the altitude, I had no way to gauge what a "reasonable" time would be.
I half expected to take more than three hours to do this, and not be able to run at all, so this went WAY better than expected. Frankly, I was aspiring for dead last because it was better than dead. There were at least four runners behind me...I admit a very tall walker passed me, but what am I supposed to do with my stubby legs?
All in all, a GREAT experience -- I'm really happy I took it on. But honestly, I'm more happy that I get to go back to the easy stuff -- triathlon!