Monday, August 12, 2013

Duathlon World Championships

So the race is done but I didn't leave Ottawa with the finishing time I wanted. I sat down before the trip and planned out my race for the opening 10k, T1, the 40k bike, T2, and the final 5k run. In doing this I had a pacing plan, nutrition plan, Wattage plan, final run plan, and a back up plan if things went wrong. So here is the official recap/report on how it all went down.

The opening 10k goal time was 41-42 minutes. I know I can run sub 40 but I was intentionally holding back to keep the legs feeling good and hammer on the bike. 1k in I was running sub 6 and hanging towards the back of the run pack (not a great sign unless everyone is WAY to amped up). But either way I was holding my plan. I backed off and worked on settling in to MY race. I slowly started coming up on groups and would sit on the back to use the wind block to recover (11mph headwinds/crosswinds). After the first loop I was at 20:11 and needed to back off more if I was going to have the race I wanted. I continued to work my plan and made my way up through a few more bodies and went into T1 at 41:35! Right on goal. I practiced T1 4-100 times the day before and a few times race morning. T1 goal 1 minute. Actual: 49 seconds.

Starting the 40k bike I felt awesome, pumped to be on the bike (still my favorite event) but also that my plan A was all in order. 11mph headwinds and a bit of a climb out to the crit section of the course kept my wattage a bit higher than I wanted but I knew I would settle into my 230-240 range. I immediately started picking off guys, 1st a Japanese, then a few Canadians and South Africans. Coming out of the crit section I was still feeling good and everything looked good every time I would check my power. I continued into the headwind keeping my cadence high (97RPM) which is a little high for me for the duration of the bike. The 1st loop I did in just under 35 minutes and the 2nd loop I planned on getting after it a little more since I was still behind and calculating out my time I was going to be slow getting off the bike. My goal was 1:02-1:04. On the 2nd loop at the far turn around I took my 2nd gel of the race and when I went to wash it down I had no fluid left. That meant 10-15 minutes of no hydration and the sticky, gooey taste in my mouth. I finished the 2nd loop in 33 minutes and some change giving me a final time on the bike in 1:08:48. I passed a good amount of racers during the bike, some in my wave and some in the wave ahead and the best part was no one passed me! Off the mark but at that point I just pressed on and needed to find whatever I had left on the 5k. T2 however was again quick and easy. I allotted 1 minute each time and this time 44 seconds. Silver lining!!

The 5k goal time was 21-22 minutes. I knew coming off the bike seeing I was 4-6 minutes off my goal I wasn't going to do as well as I planned but still had work to do. I tried to get my rhythm in the opening 1k but needed to stop to wash the gel down that I took on the bike. 1 quick drink and I was off. I settled into what would be my pace for the middle part of the run around 2k in and held that until the final 1k. Again  no one to pass me but I wasn't able to pick up the pace enough to close the distance on the guy a about 2 minutes up on me. The course was good in terms of seeing people, there were 2 out and backs and this allowed you to see how the other guys were looking. Me, I always smiled and gave a nod hoping I would find one of them at the point of cracking. Didn't work! I tried to pick up the pace around 2.5k and that was the 1st time I have ever actually puked in my mouth. Spit out whatever came up and backed off again. Kristen and I talked before the race that if I didn't puke I didn't go hard enough. Well that was a good indicator that I was on the limit. (We sometimes are very scientific like that) After getting another drink to wash out my mouth I was coming through the final 1k+-. I decided that I had enough in my legs and body to push the final bit so I turned it up again not really caring if I puked so long as I didn't shit myself (amazing how my mind works during a race). Puked up a little more this time and spit it out but kept the pace higher. Grabbed the flag of my country and crossed the line with some mild cramping in the quads and my left calf.

So after a few bottles of water, gatorade and more water I started to feel a little better. My final time was 2:14... good enough for 21st in my age group and 166 overall. Nothing great, not what I planned, but I now have an idea of what I need to do next year in Spain.

I was going to hang up my duathlon racing and complete an IM but after this I have decided that I don't care about IM as much as I do love duathlon and duathlon racing. It's a different kind of hurt. It's the hurt 99% of people don't like. As Dave S and I have said; when you finish a race and can't figure out if you have to go puke or take a shit, you didn't go hard enough. I like to call that twisted gut.

I love that feeling.

So next for me is the Canadian. Kristen and I decided that I'm going for the 113km du instead of the 226km. I need my speed back. We took a chance on trying to balance training for worlds (intensity) and a full (volume) and we both feel that the volume was higher than the intensity causing my less than perfect form at worlds. The good thing that I took from this is I am now very motivated to have the race I want this October in AZ. at nationals.

So 2 races remain...
1. The Canadian 8/31/13
2. Duathlon Nationals 10/26/13

Then I will take 1 month off of all training and enjoy the smaller things, ie... my honey do list!

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Todi sandals

This year I have decided that since I own about 20 pairs of shoes and all kinds of multisport gear I would start doing reviews on my blog.

Today I am reviewing the Todi sandal. Designed for people and athletes who beat their feet up during the day to have something to relax in.

  • Fit and Feel
    • Out of the box these fit a little big, I went 1/2 size down from most of my running shoes and they were roomy but not to the point where they would fall off. As I have worn them they are starting to mold more to my foot and now feel great. 
  • 1st thoughts
    • When I 1st read about these I was intrigued because I always wear sandals of some type after a race, unless it is cold, and thought these looked good but would also serve the purpose I always am going for. To let my feet relax, as they just took a beating from another duathlon.
  • 1st time wearing them  
    • I got them on Christmas from my parents and out of the box I noticed they were very solid. Not bulky like some sandals but seemed very well made. I wore them a bit that night around the house and they felt like they looked, very comfortable. 
  • 1.5 weeks in
    • I have worn these almost everyday since Christmas and I am very satisfied with the purchase. I know my parents got them but I gave them a USAT code to use so they saved some money, 30%, but feel they are worth every penny still. I train between 10-12 hrs a week and run anywhere from 20-35 miles a week and the rest is spent on cycling. These are by far the most comfortable sandals I have worn and would recommend them to anyone. 
  • The only drawback 
    • The only drawback in my opinion is the sizing. The sizing runs a little big, which is stated on the website that you should order a size down if you wear a 1/2 size. I would follow that recommendation. Otherwise I haven't found anything to complain about. 
When you look at the site there are numerous bullets regarding the purpose of the sandal and mention of the features. Check out the link below and you can explore more for yourself. 

New Balance 110W review

I got these shoes about a week ago and noticed some chatter on some of the social media sites regarding questions about them, so I decided it would be good to throw my 2 cents in since I have now had 2 runs in them.

Here is what NB has to say about this shoe, "The New Balance 110 trail running shoe sets a new precedent in lightweight trail racing, making such a powerful impression that it has been named "Best Minimalist" in the TrailRunner Editor's Choice awards. Built in close collaboration with leaders in the sport, this minimalistic trail runner is built to deliver the optimal race day experience. A great combination of tried and tested features with new performance attributes will ensure that this highly anticipated update to the 101 delivers a smooth and responsive ride on any trail."

Here is my breakdown of the shoe after getting a pair in the mail, which wasn't free!!

  • Looks & Feel
    • I think it's a sharp looking shoe, love the synthetic upper material. Lightweight (9.1 oz) and a nice bright yellow shoe hiding under the blue water resistant outside.
  • Test fit
    • Tried them on, walked around and immediately noticed why it was suggested to size down from my Minimus 10 road shoes. They run longer but slightly narrower as well. No complaints but definitely keep that in mind if/when ordering. If you have the minimus trail it is more cushioned and truly felt like the minimus road with lugs on the bottom. Very comfortable. My only complaint would be the top of the upper is very snug, I was worried on my run it would be uncomfortable but it seemed ok and I had my tights underneath. Anyone with bigger ankles than me may run into an issue.
  • 1st run
    • Ran 10 miles in zone 2/3, did some intervals on the road and I couldn't tell the difference between this and my road 10's. Felt great under foot, very lightweight, and responsive. These shoes had superb traction in the snow, and felt very solid on the mostly untouched sidewalks. It was 20 degrees here yesterday during my run and my feet were toasty. Not only does the upper keep the elements out, it keeps the warmth in. See below.
  • Post 1st run thoughts 
    • Got home did my cool down and stretching and then realized how hot my feet were. For me that's huge. I am cold all the time and to get done with a run and spend another 10 minutes outside doing warm down drills my feet are always cold this time of year. I was very pleased with that.
  • 2nd run 
    • 10k in 9 degrees. All zone 2 but all hills. Again the shoes performed like my Minimus 10 road and felt great. Feet were again nice and toasty despite every other part of my body being cold. The pic I have attached is after todays run and the shoes have a good collection of salt and sand on them but no snow made its way in. 
  • Post 2nd run thoughts
    • After a few runs in these shoes I am very happy with the purchase. I paid $124 for them and feel they are worth every penny. Again, my only complaint if you would even call it that is that the top of the synthetic upper is snug but I have had no issues with it. I guess I would say it is more of a precaution to those who have big calves/ankles. 
    • So far I have 16 miles in on these shoes and feel comfortable recommending them to anyone who uses minimal shoes already. They are a 4mm drop shoe, so if you haven't been running in minimal shoes slowly work your way up in mileage. 
  • Here is a link to the New Balance Site:

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Philly Marathon

Earlier this week while talking to Kristen Roe, my business partner/coach we set my paces for Philly. To keep it simple my 1/2 was supposed to be 1:38 and full was 3:08-3:10. The next biggest obstacle was which shoes I would wear. This is huge for me and more than 95% psychological but none the less I brought 2 pair with me. The temp was supposed to be 40, which meant dress accordingly. I did that except
It seemed to drop in temp when the sun went behind clouds.
So everything was in place for a Big Bang to go out on and end 2012. I was within 10 seconds of my pace through the 1st 1/2 and felt like a million dollars. Picked up my pace to try for MY goal of 3:05. I was on my way to that when a guy dropped a Gu packet and if I didn't juke around him I would have trampled him. In doing that I got a sharp pain in my VMO. That was mile 17.5. It was ok on the up hills but shit luck would have it the hills were basically gone. So I really started getting in my own head and breaking down physically as well. So I ran into a good friend and he pushed me to keep running and ill owe him a beer for that I finished with 3:23:.... Not really sure what the official time is yet but cool to know many people have even asked for details. I know I entertain a lot of people with my race reports but aside from having a burger and beers within the hour of finishing the highlights as follows: chose to wear the Mizzuno Precision 13, and my feet were happy, saw a sign at mile 4 that said you have stamina, call me. My response was she should be closer to the finish if she wants "real" stamina, the fan support was awesome on the whole course, we stayed with a friend, Krista, who lived all of 2 blocks from the start/finish so it was a nice cool down walk with her back after to reunite with Beth, my nutrition and hydration was perfect, the weather was cool but I think that helped keep me fresh and most importantly I beat my last marathon time by over 1hr and 10 minutes. I guess I better mention how Orlin Howell, my Du inspiration pushed me, literally as he saw me break at mile 24 from the pain in my quad and continued to yell at me for the remainder of the race. It was all I heard until I hit mile 26 because he was sucked up by the crowds. I really couldn't have done it without him.
Now I'm on 2 weeks of rest which is my off season and then I start training for Alabama and the Duathlon Nationals. I'm very excited about how much progress I have made in the last year and will continue to make this winter.
In closing a special thank you to Orlin, who pushed me when I wanted to quit, Krista for her hospitality, Kevin for the awesome beer we drank, and most of all Beth who deals with my dumb-ass ideas and is willing to stand around while I suffer and then drive me home so I can type this.

Thank you to everyone on helping me have an awesome year and all of the kind words of support. They aren't ignored and I value all of your responses, wherever they come from.


Thursday, October 25, 2012

Next Season

So this season hasn't ended yet but I am working on some things for next season already. I have put together what looks to be an awesome season of racing and can't wait for the marathon to come and go so I can refocus on my true love, duathlons.
Here is a quick run down of the races I will be doing and Beth is very excited to see how much money I am able to spend on travel and hotels. I think it will be time to start racking up the frequent flier miles and I plan on making next season the best yet.
I have a few new sponsors for next season and am still looking for a couple more. More to come on this as it develops. So here is a rough sketch of my races:

  •         Prospect Park Duathlon
  •         Double Oaks Duathlon (ITU Qualifier 2013)
  •         Orange County Duathlon (ITU Qualifier 2013)
  •         Apple Duathlon (ITU Qualifier 2013)
  •         Wilkes-Barre Duathlon
  •         Warrior Duathlon
  •         ITU World Championships (Ottawa Canada)
  •       USAT Duathlon Nationals (ITU Qualifier 2014)

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Empire State 1/2 marathon

What a great fall day for a race. Being that it was 44 at the start and not raining I was super excited to have a great performance. Mostly because all of my long runs for the last 3 weeks have been in the pouring rain. I knew there would be a great field and Kristen and I decided on an agressive pacing plan. I wanted to test my legs and see how hard I could push since all of my long runs have been at tempo so I went out hard for the 1st 5k to see how my time has improved over the season and after hitting mile 3 in 18:30 I backed off the pace and settled in to my pace for the remainder (6:40). I finished with a 6:44 pace, 1:29:37 for 13.3 miles, and took 3rd in my age group. I was very pleased as there was some of the best local racers I know in the field and also in my age group.

Next up for me is Philly which will be the end of my season and after today I am really looking forward to getting in under 3:11. Kristen and I have set a goal of 3:10 but I am pushing for 3:05. It is flat and fast, same as today but the hard part for me is the mental breaks and turning off my brain. This is something to work on in the coming weeks.