Monday, June 27, 2011

Live Uncommon! Davenport Duathlon Race Report and Results

My wife Jen and I are thrilled to be part of an initiative in the Quad Cities called "Live Uncommon". The idea for Live Uncommon was brought to us by Jim and Michelle Russell who through the support of Russell Construction wanted to promote active lifestyles in the Quad Cities. We couldn't be more excited about the goals of Live Uncommon. The goal of Live Uncommon is to encourage people to live active lifestyles while maintaining balance with family, work, and community service. So often I hear people say they would like to exercise more but they don't have time. Whether it be due to work or business that comes from leading a family many people neglect making physical activity a priority. Live Uncommon believes you can still live a healthy and active lifestyle while balancing all the other very important aspects that life brings. Jen and I have two kids of our own and we believe it is very important to model for them the importance of living healthy and active lifestyles. One thing we did about a year before our oldest child Payton was born was purchase a treadmill. We debated about what kind to get, how much to spend...etc. We decided to go with a cheeper model from Dick's Sporting Goods that cost us about $800.00. 4 years later that treadmill is still being used very regularly. It gives us many more options for exercising with the business of a family and work. We can run in the morning before the kids wake up without leaving the house. We can run in the evening after they go to bed. We can run while they are taking naps. I asked Jen last week what we would do if our treadmill broke and very quickly she responded, "We will buy another one." We both believe that we have gotten more than our money's worth from this one. I know it does cost money. I know it is also an investment into our health. It's tough to put a pricetag on one's health. How much is it worth to be healthy? Does the cost ever get repayed? Do the doctor bills go down? Can you put a price on living longer? So often people invest into stocks, retirement funds, money market accounts, life about investing in your own health? I believe it is very important. One of the other investments I made that has proved invaluable was a trainer for my bike. I don't mean a personal trainer like a coach, I'm talking about a stand that my bike goes on so I can ride indoors. I bought my first Cycleops trainer in 2000 and it lasted me 10 years. It was about $175.00. I put thousands of miles on that trainer and it was well worth the investment. It gave me chances to ride at home without having to drive to a gym. I cut down on driving time and costs. Once our kids were born this trainer was even more valuable. This winter I rode over 3,000 miles on my trainer and most of it was while my kids were sleeping. I would not have been able to leave the house to train but I made it work. I am currently coaching an athlete who is a husband and father of 3. He has found a way to add triathlon to his balance in life. He does nearly every single bike workout on the trainer at his house and he runs on a treadmill. He has done extremely well in competitions while maintaining this balance. We would love for you to check out the website for Live Uncommon at and join the movement. We are excited about it and hope to inspire more people in the community to be active and lead balanced lives. None of this would be possible without the support of Russell Construction and Jim and Michelle Russell who had a vision for helping get the community to be more active. We are very thankful for their support and creation of "Live Uncommon".

On Sunday Jen and I drove to Credit Island Park in Davenport for the inaugural Davenport Duathlon. The duathlon was advertised as a 2 mile run, 14.5 mile bike, and a 5k run. The distances were a bit off but we had a blast supporting this event. We had spent Saturday with the family at Adventureland and when my alarm went off at 6:00 (a little later than for a typical race) I was really tired and began to wish I had not signed up for this. I had a little coffee and a small breakfast before packing the bike into the car and heading for the park to get a short warm-up in.
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!!

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