Sunday, June 26, 2011

Quakerman Duathlon

This is where it all began for me last year. With a fresh new bike I set out, having no idea what to expect. This race hooked me to strive to become something that resembles a multi-sport athlete. So, needless to say, I needed to come back this year for a visit.

I had kept my eye on the registration list over the past couple of weeks, gauging the competition, trying to predict how I might finish. I didn't recognize too strong a field and felt as though I had a decent chance to win. Then on the way to the race this morning, my wife checked the list again, and notified me that Cameron Townsend was racing as well. Cameron is head and shoulders above the rest of the competitors that typically enter duathlons, myself included. With sub-6 minute/mile running paces and 25mph+ bike speeds, he is a formidable opponent. Last year, at this event, he soundly beat me by over 15 minutes. This had become a race for 2nd place.

The first leg, a two mile run (sprint), quickly got underway and sure enough Cameron and a few other got away. I kept my cadence high and worked it as much as I dared, trying to not blow it all right away. I entered transition in 6th place, 12:07/6:04 pace.

Yesterday, I worked on improving my transition time, by leaving my bike shoes on the pedals the whole time. Feeling comfortable enough, I decided to try it in this race. I typically have a transition time around :45, so I was pleased with :37. This helped me exit transition in 3rd place, only about :10 behind second place. 1st place (Cameron) was out of transition just as I entered.

The bike...I love it!! I can go fast, usually faster than most of the competition. I credit this to good gear, a better set up and my weekly time trial racing. I caught the 2nd place racer within the 1st mile and now I was just racing to put as much of a gap between myself and the racers behind me to help for the final run. 22 miles later, I had the 2nd fastest bike time, 53:56/24.5 mph. I also established a 3 minute lead on the 3rd place rider.

Another good transition, :37, that new strategy took about :20 of my total transition time from my last race.

2nd run...always my nemesis. My times typically fall off here and today wasn't any different. Most races that I do, only have a 3 mile run at the end, this one was 4. I pushed as hard as I could and finished the 4 miles in 27:39/6:55 pace. I only gave back about :19 to the 3rd place runner. Overall I had the 7th best final run.

Overall, I finished 2nd out of 43, 1 out of 5 in my age group. 5:30 behind the leader. I'll take these results, as I have made a big stride closer to what I consider the best in the area and I am demonstrating some strong bike work. I'm still lacking in the run, especially the 2nd, though in this race, even the best 2nd run time would't have snagged the victory for me.

Next week, Tri in the Buff Duathlon. 5K run, 40K bike, 5K run. Both Cameron and the athlete that I came 2nd to in Keuka will be there, along with all of the other usual suspects. Should be a tough one!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Week of 6/6-6/11

4th week of Training Peaks. Totally different workouts than the past few weeks. Nice!

Mon (6/6): AM: Recovery Run @ HRZ1-my watch HR alert was set incorrectly, so I went slower than I should have. PM: Hilly Bike Ride, rode the ESG course in Binghamton, big hills!

Tues (6/7): Had to miss my TT race because of work. AM: Run, Hill strides

Wed (6/8): Bike intervals 5x6min up to 5aHRZ.

Thu (6/9): Run Intervals 4x6min up to 3HRZ.

Fri (6/10): Brick, 90 min Bike, 60 min Run. HRZ 1-4.

Sat (6/11): Komen 5K, 19:14, 11th overall, 2nd in AG. PR!

Sun (6/12): Negative Split Run, HRZ 1-2 1st half, HRZ 3-4 2nd Half

Totals: 111.19 miles
Run: 41.93
Bike: 69.26

Susan Komen 5K

It's my 3rd year in a row doing this race. I really enjoy the course and they always have a nice turn out. I've been feeling really good about training lately, so I was hoping for a new PR. I set out with the goal of trying to hold a 6:15 pace for the first two miles and then push as hard as I could for the last mile.
Mile 1 went off without too much of a hitch. The little incline at Gates Circle on Delaware always catches me even though I know it's coming. Finished mile 1 in 6:11.
Mile 2 continued to go well, but towards the end I could feel my energy going away from me fast. Fortunately, we turned on to Elmwood and a slight downhill. Mile 2 @ 6:13.
Mile 3, I pushed as hard as I could and finished it in 6:14. Not exactly negative splits, but hit my PR goal anyway. 5K @ 19:14/6:11 pace. 11th overall (out of 900+), 2nd in my age group out of 50+.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Keuka Lake Duathlon

After a decent week of taper, I was ready for my first attempt at the Keuka Lake Duathlon. Nice weather today, about 65 at the start overcast, but the sun came out mid-race. Not too much wind, overall mostly ideal.
5K run, 22K bike, 5K run.
My plan today was to stay in the 6:45/mile pace for the first 5K, hammer the bike hard and empty the tank in the 2nd run, hoping for the best.
The run course was a mostly flat out and back. I was able to hang in there with a 20:35/6:37 and entered transition in 4th place. The leader was about 2 minutes ahead of me at this point. T1 time: 55sec. Not that great.
Once, I got on the bike it was on! I felt like I was flying and I passed the 3rd place and 2nd place runners shortly into the bike leg. The course had a couple of decent climbs and nice, fast descents. I averaged 22.5mph and entered T2 in 2nd place. After a 44 second transition, I set out on the final run, with the leader in sight. I was about :50 behind and gaining! We hit the final turn and I was about 30 seconds or so behind. Then he turned on the afterburners and left me in the dust. Ugh! That combined with my rapidly slowing pace, ended up finishing with a 2 minute deficit. Still good enough to hold on solidly for 2nd place.
Overall, I was satisfied with my efforts. My bike was strong and my second run is getting better. I still need to get my run down in both the 1st and 2nd legs, but I guess this will come with training. I can also use some improvement in my transitions, maybe leave my shoes attached to the bike? Seeing the victory in front of my eyes, only to let it run away, is only going to serve to motivate me train harder and dig deeper.