RUN 1- The first run was a loop around the park on the road. I knew it was going to be longer than 2 miles because I've run this loop many times and know it is nearly 2.5 miles around the park. We began at a very fast pace. I was in 5th place for the first 1/2 mile and was beginning to wonder if I was going really slow or if the guys ahead of me were just moving really fast. I glanced at my Garmin GPS watch and saw I was on an average pace of 5:02/mile. Okay, that question was answered. I tried to stay in a good an comfortable rhythm. My big goal for doing this race was to see some improvement in my running. I have been great in workouts but not so great in races. I wanted to get a better run showing to build some confidence heading into Ironman Racine 70.3 in a few weeks. I went through the mile in 5:08 and by that time I had moved into 3rd place. My goal pace for the run was between 5:15 and 5:20/mile and just after the mile I moved into 2nd place behind Phil Young who competes for an elite running team from Iowa called Runablaze. I knew I would not be able to match his running pace. I stayed comfortable and finished the 2.6 mile run at 5:18 pace so I was right on my goal and it felt relatively easy to hit.
BIKE: Out on the bike I passed Phil about a mile in. We took a left out of the park and rode on River Drive for about 1.5 miles before turning onto Concord Drive. Concord was a pretty bumpy road but dead flat. I kept my eyes glued to the road looking to avoid potholes. I was riding pretty well on this section between 26 and 27 miles per hour. Just after the 5 mile mark I looked up and saw the lead vehicle making a sharp right hand turn. The road was really torn up with lots of gravel on it so I quickly came ot almost a complete stop so I could make the turn without wiping out. We then went across two sets of railroad tracks that I took pretty conservatively and went up the only hill on the course. It was pretty steep but not very long. I got out of the saddle and my back tire began slipping on the wet road so I just sat down and shifted to an easy gear so I could get up the hill without my tire slipping. Not long after the top we turned around and I knew the course was not going to be 14.5 miles. We were just barely past mile 6 at the turn. I did a time check and found I had about 1 minute 30 sec. lead on 2nd place so I had no need to take any chances back down the hill, across the tracks, and back through the dangerous turn. I was very conservative through all of that back down to Concord Drive where I could start going fast again. I got off the bike with a time of just over 30 minutes. The results said it was 26 mph but that was figured on a distance of 13 miles and it was probably closer to 12.5 so about 25 mph average.
RUN 2: Out on run 2 I knew I had a big enough lead that I could just cruise in to still win but I thought about what my goals were for the race. I wanted to run fast and didn't really care about the overall placing. I pushed from the beginning and I was averaging about 5:35 to the turaround. On the way back my legs began to feel even better and I dropped my pace to about 5:25/mile. I knew this run was going to be a bit longer than 5k and I wanted to see what my time would be as I went through the 5k mark. My last couple races have been terrible times in the 5k off the bike compared to what I should be running. Last week I was 18:36 for the 5k at the QC Triathlon. As I pushed harder my legs felt even better. It was cool to see Jen running on her way out as I passed her when I headed back. She teamed up with Rick Solis who did the bike portion extremely well. Jen was running in 3rd place. As I went through the 5k mark I glanced down at my GPS and saw it turn over to 17:00. That time is much more in line with where I think I should be running right now based on my fitness. I finished with an overall time of 1:02:15. The 2nd run ended up being 3.25 miles so it was closer to the advertised distance than the other portions of the event. It was fun watching people finish after I got done. Michelle Russell had only ridden her bike a handful of times over the past few years and she finished as the 3rd overall female. My swim Coach Stacey Zapolski and her daughter Haley both did the event and finished looking great. My friend Aaron Maurer did his first duathlon ever on a really old mountain bike and he was awesome. I was super impressed by Aaron's running. He began exercising a lot a year ago with a goal of doing a 1/2 marathon. He trained diligently and completed that even last Septemeber. Now he has moved on to preparing for a marathon. He ran his last 5k faster than he could have run a 5k without biking or running before it a year ago. It is fun to see people improve so much when they commit themselves to being healthy and living an active lifestyle. Congratulations to all the finishers. Complete results with split times can be found by clicking here. Remember the distances they have are slightly off. It was 2.6 mile run, 12.5 mile bike, and 3.25 mile run.
The week was a good one. 28 hours training with 62 miles running, 200 miles biking, and 18,600 yards of swimming. As I hoped I have cut the volume down a bit but had a lot of good quality workouts focusing on intervals with the bike and run hoping I can prepare myself to go fast in Racine in 3 weeks. Thanks for reading! DREAM BIG!!