Monday, August 5, 2013

Crossroads Triathlon and Scheels Duathlon Series

This week was certainly a HUGE step in the right direction for me.  After 6 weeks of back pain I'm still not sure how to put into words how it went away in moments of lying down last Saturday but I haven't had a bit of discomfort since.  As a result I was a finally able to run consistently through the entire week.  For the week I ran 33 miles, biked 179 miles, and swam 11,600 yards.  I also attended Barre563 twice for strength training.  I knew the combination of running consistently for the first time in 6 weeks along with ending a 10 day bike block on Wednesday that included 560 miles was not going to put my body in ideal condition to race well this weekend.  Despite that I chose to race locally on Saturday in the Crossroads Sprint triathlon held in DeWitt, Iowa and then in Iowa City on Sunday for the last race of the Scheels Duathlon series. 

Crossroads Triathlon
This event grew in numbers this year with 200 athletes competing.  It was great to see the local race increase after many years of declining numbers.  2nd year race director Kevin Benes has done a fantastic job of marketing the race and putting on a nice event.  The weather was perfect this year with temperatures in the low-60's.  Kevin organized a small elite wave of guys to go in the first wave along with one of the female age groups.  It was nice to race head to head with other guys who had a chance to place high.  I arrived early to T2 and dropped off my run gear.  I warmed up with a 2 mile run and went through my strides and drills.  After that I packed the rest of my things and rode 4 miles to T1 where I finished my warm up with 6x30 second accelerations on the bike during another 4 mile ride.  I wasn't left with much more time so my swim warm up was cut to only 200 yards. 

SWIM: The swim is 500 yards although this year it was a bit long.  I knew I was in much better swim shape than last year for this race when I had gone through a triathlon depression and hadn't been training with any purpose leading into the race.  I knew local triathletes Chris Scott and Corey Towle were better swimmers than I was so I was hoping to stay on their feet for as long as possible.  Corey didn't have a wetsuit and that slowed him down.  When the race started I let Chris Scott get away to my outside and I couldn't catch him once he came down for the first turn. I swam solo in 2nd position for about the first 350 yards until Corey came up next to me after we turned around the last buoy.   I was able to get on his hip and draft the rest of the swim in.  My swim time was 7:49 and it ranked 7th.  I had the fastest transition of the race (not counting relays) in T1 and got on my bike about 15 seconds behind Chris Scott and Corey's relay. 

BIKE: By the mile mark I was in the lead and pushing hard on the rolling hills.  I've always loved the bike course in DeWitt.  It has a lot of hills but they play to my strengths because they are long and gradual enough that I'm able to pick up a lot of speed going downhill and then use big bursts of power to climb over the tops without losing too much speed.  At mile 5.5 we hit a turnaround and it gave me a chance to see where people were at.  I had about 1:20 lead on Chris Scott and Charlie Paul was riding great in his first triathlon ever about 30 seconds behind him.  Charlie was an athlete I coached in high school and he just wrapped up his collegiate career at Iowa State where he ran 14:20 for 5k.  I knew he was going to run a ridiculous 5k split in DeWitt.  To the turn we had been riding into a northern headwind.  I was only averaging about 23 mph to the turn abut once we hit the turnaround the speeds increased dramatically.  After riding back to mile 11 we took a right hand turn to head into town where T2 awaited us.  I was able to stay in my aero position on all the hills after the first turnaround because the tailwind was enough that I was still going fast up the hills.  The bike course this year was more challenging than last year when we had winds out of the east pushing us for the final 4 miles.  I was happy to have an average speed pretty close to last year despite the more difficult conditions.  I averaged 25.7 mph and it was the fastest bike split of the race. 

RUN: I headed out of T2 knowing I had a pretty decent lead and this would be the first time I ran hard in 6 weeks.  I pushed a little harder than tempo effort to the 1/2 way point of the run and saw my lead about nearly 4 minutes to 2nd.  I was able to ease things back the rest of the way in knowing I needed to save something for Saturday's race.  I was pretty sure the first race in 6 weeks combined with the running and big bike mileage I had put in would already leave me with enough soreness.  I ended the run with a 5k split of 17:30 which tied for the 3rd fastest of the day.  My overall time was 1:01:34.  Brian Cewe had an outstanding race out of a later wave to get 2nd place in 1:03:19.  He has improved a ton over the past two years.  Charlie Paul did run the ridiculous 5k split I thought he would to get 3rd.  Charlie's 5k time AFTER swimming and biking was 15:17!!  I'm really excited about his potential in the sport.  He swam pretty well for not swimming until about a month ago and his biking is already improving a lot.  I coached Charlie in junior high and he ran the mile in about 6:20...which shows what can happen when you DREAM BIG and work hard for things.  Complete results from the race with splits can be found by clicking here.  I was also really proud of Robert White, a local triathlete I've been coaching for the past 9 weeks.  Robert dropped a staggering 20 minutes off his time from last year!!  Keep in mind this is a sprint race.  He placed 3rd in his age group and had the fastest 5k run of his life averaging under 7:00/mile.  I was also really proud of my younger brother Josh who raced the best triathlon of his life finishing in 1 hr. 28 minutes!  He's been working really hard at getting into great shape this year. 

With "15:17" Charlie Paul
Very Proud of Robert White!


Dam Duathlon
Sunday was the final duathlon of the Scheels Duathlon series and I was hoping to finish things off by winning for the 3rd time in the 3 race series.  I knew this could be a HUGE day for iHope.  Also exciting was that Jen would be racing in the duathlon with me.  We woke up early at 4:45.  It wasn't much sleep because we had been at a wedding carb loading with cake until about 11:00 pm the night before.  As we drove to the course we realized this was going to be a HUGE challenge.  The hills were endless and not the rolling type that I prefer.  They were long and steep.  The race consisted of a 2 mile run, 15 mile bike, and 2 mile run.  Both runs were uphill for the first half and downhill the 2nd half.  The hill running I knew would make me even more sore than I already was.  As expected with the return to running and the race on Saturday I was quite sore on Sunday morning. 

RUN: I knew the first run would be faster than my body was ready for.  The course was a bit long.  I think I averaged right around 5:35/mile on the first 2 mile run.  I was content to come into T1 along side 2 other guys in a 3 man lead group.  I was hoping to gain at least a 1 minute advantage on the bike so I wouldn't have to dig into suffer mode on the 2nd run. 

BIKE: I had trouble getting away on the bike course.  The hills were steep enough that I was not comfortable.  I rode the first couple big hills in my small ring but at the first 180 degree turn around mile 3.5 I was only up by 10 seconds.  This course was challenging enough with the hills but it also featured five 180 degree speed sucking turns.  All of that combined to make for constant effort changes and short extreme power spikes which the legs would pay for.  At the 2nd turnaround near mile 5 I had opened the gap to 20 seconds.  I had made the decision to stay in my big gear up the climbs and grind out a lower cadence to the top.  I was going faster that way than spinning faster in the small gears.  The 3rd 180 turn was in a tough spot.  It was in the middle of a big downhill and I wasn't expecting it so I came off the turn in a really bad gear.  I was up about 25 seconds.  By the next 180 turn the gap was up to 40 seconds.  On the final 180 turn it was 1 minute.  Heading back to T2 things got a bit scary.  I had to pass 2 cars that were stopped at one intersection and that always leads to a bit of a nervous moment.  Then the worst was as I approached the downhill turnaround where I would be going straight since I had already done my 2nd lap.  As I got close there was a biker I was about to lap.  I knew she would beat me to the spot by about 5 seconds so I thought I would be clear to charge down the hill.  Just before she turned around at the spot she glanced over her shoulder and panicked a bit causing a "freeze" reaction.  I was scared we were going to crash.  I was able to escape just to her right and get going again.  I cruised into T2 with the fastest bike split of the race. 

RUN2: I knew I had about a minute lead which should be enough over 2 miles if I didn't experience any major disasters.  To win the series I only needed to be 4th but I wanted to win the last race as well.  I ran pretty relaxed and at the turn saw I still had over a minute lead so I ran comfortably to the finish line although the downhill mile beat the crap out of my quad muscles that are aching as I type this report.  I won the race in a time of 1:03:09.  Jen won the women's race as well.  That was the first time we have both won a multisport race together.  Hopefully we'll experience that more down the road.  I was thrilled to be done when I hit the finish line.  I knew I had really asked a lot out of my body this week by wearing myself out on the bike, running for the first time in 6 weeks, and then racing twice.  It is something I am paying for now but with some easy recovery workouts the next couple days I think my body will adapt to that workload and come out stronger.  It was great spending time with our friend Phil Pancrazio after the duathlon.  Phil raced awesome.  He is in the best shape of his life at age 56!  It's awesome to see how health and fitness can continue at any age.  Complete results with splits can be found by clicking here

The Dam Duathlon and Scheels series win were very meaningful to the iHope Foundation.  I earned $150.00 for winning the race yesterday and then was awarded my biggest racing check to date of $1,000.00 for winning the series.  The money I win is being matched by my parents who have been so generous to the foundation.  That means yesterday's checks will buy pay for over 4 iPads for low-income students who have great character and work traits.  My goal when starting the foundation was to purchase 1 iPad in the spring and accumulate $2,000.00 in the foundation by the end of the summer.  We were able to award 2 iPads in the spring and have now accumulated about $9,000.00 for the foundation.  I've been overwhelmed by the support and generosity others have shown to this cause.  If you would like to contribute with a tax deductible donation to iHope you can click the link here.  What was once just a dream of endowing this foundation is now rapidly approaching reality. 

I am also pleased to announce that Barre563 has extended the iHope promotion for another week.  For every new client special purchased using promotional code "iHope" they are donating 1/2 of the $20.00 fee back to the foundation.  I have been amazed by how much I have gained from attending class twice weekly over the past 3 weeks.  I am going to continue attending because I know this is going to help me race better than ever.  I can already see and feel the differences.  I believe with how tired and sore I was I would not have raced as well this past weekend without the strength gains I've made from Barre563.  To sign up or get more information about Barre563 visit 

I have 2 weeks remaining until Pigman Longcourse.  My immediate focus is on getting recovered.  Next week will be an easy week.  I realize I'll be racing without the running mileage I would recommend anyone have going into a 1/2 Ironman distance race.  I'll be going in on 3 weeks of running and if all goes well my longest run will be 10 miles next weekend.  Not ideal for coming off the bike and racing a 13.1 miles but I'll give it my best shot and hope the long bike rides give me enough endurance to survive.  The race will also be a VERY talented field.  I've earned about $3,000.00 racing for iHope this summer (not counting Mr. and Mrs. Paul's generous match) so anything else the rest of the season would be a bonus.  Thanks for reading!  DREAM BIG!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Wow! Good job and that's great news for iHope:)