My lead up to the 2013 Tinfoilman Triathlon, the 3rd and final race in the Tucson Triathlon series, was less than ideal. A foot injury had limited my running to deep water running for the previous 6 weeks…zero running on tera firma!
Race morning the alarm awoke me at 0400. After a quick breakfast of waffles I tossed my pre packed race gear in the Vehicross and made the 30 minute drive to the University of Arizonas Hildibrand pool. I racked my bike and set up my gear on a prime realestate end spot in the transition area. I now had plenty of time to hang out, catch up with friends, wait in line for the bathroom and sit back and relax. I would be the 184th person to start…1 hour 48 minutes after the first starter.
The race consists of a 750 meter swim…time trial starts swam in a serpintine fashion, a 3 loop 12 mile bike and a 2 loop 3 mile run through the U of A campus.
As start time approached I jumped in to the warm up pool for a good warm up. There would be no pre race run warm up since the foot was going to be iffy to get through the race.
With the command of the starter I was off. I quickly settled into a solid pace and clicked off the 7 and a half laps. I felt great throughout the swim. I exited the water in 12:57, 22nd fastest swim on the day.
As I started running to the transition area my foot immediately began to hurt. The familiar sharp pain in the heel.
T1 was fast and smooth. Goggles off, helmet on, unrack bike and run to the mount line. I threw my leg over the bike and quickly headed out on to the bike course.
I slipped my feet into my shoes and got up to speed. Each loop is slightly uphill for half and slightly downhill the other half, one pothole infested stretch and on this morning windy. The first time up the rough section my water bottle was jetisoned…no fluids on the bike today. My legs felt great. I was able to power through the uphill sections and fly on the downhills. I weaved my way through slower traffic and on the final lap the course had opened up a bit. As I neared T2 I slipped my feet out of my shoes and prepared to dismount. I rolled into T2, jumped off my bike at the dismount line and painfully ran to my transition spot. Helmet off, running shoes on, grabbed the rest of my gear and began my run.
T1, bike, T2 combined time 30:40, 4th fastest on the day.
As I ran out of T2 I put on my sunglasses, number belt and hat. My foot was in pain but I tried to focus on running as fast as I could and manage the pain. I was moving through the field, passing people who had sterted before me, but had no idea how I was doing compared to the front runners. I pressed on maintaining as fast a pace as the pain allowed and crossed the line with the 9th fastest run on the day…20:53.
Total race time 1:04:32. Far from my fastest but good enough for 6th overall and 2nd in my agegroup.
My time allowed me to hang on to the overall series lead and take home the Tucson Triathlon Series overall championship.
Thanks Accelerate3 for the coaching to make me go fast and TriSports.com for the gear to make me go fast!
The 2012 USAT Duathlon National Championships took place in Oro Valley, Az. yesterday. Duathlon consists of a run, bike, run format. In this case it was a 35k bike sandwiched between a pair of 5k runs. The course is hilly, big rolling hills with very little flat…you are either going up or down. The run courses have one particularly cruel hill that leads you to the transition/finish.
Packet pick-up was held the day before at the El Conquistador resort and bikes were checked into transition as well.
My morning started of when I was awoke from a good nights sleep by the tunes of my alarm clock. I had a quick breakfast, got dressed and jumped into my car with my pre-packed TYR transition pack. 50 minutes later I arrived at the race venue. I like to arrive early to make sure I have plenty of time to relax and get my gear set up. I started by picking up my timing chip and then wondered into the transition area. I keep things simple…bike shoes on pedals, helmet on my bars, one pair of running shoes on feet for run1 and a second pair along with hat and sunglasses on a towel next to my bike for run2…done. Next on the agenda was a visit to the porta-potty for a quick pit stop. A bit of socializing and then they began to heard everyone out of transition and towards the start area. I was to start in the 3rd wave so I still had a bit of time for a warm up. Warm up consisted of a short solo preview of the final hill and then a little more running with coach Brian Stover.
It was then time to toe the line. The start shoot was pretty narrow as was the first section of the run so I worked my way up to the front row on the line. We got a 30 second warning, 15 second warning and then the horn blew…we were off!
The initial pace was fast and I was leading the main group with 3-4 guys off the front. I settled into a good pace. I was through the mile marker in 5:25 (I think it was placed a bit early, my Garmin beeped about 15 seconds later) and hanging onto the back of the main group. The course turns downhill shortly after this point and my fast leg turnover allowed me to start reeling people in. At the 2 mile mark my watch said 11:11. We hit the turn around and then started the grind up the hill. Ouch! As we topped out the hill we made the turn into transition.
Run 1 time 19:01
T1 was smooth and fast. Helmet on, run shoes off, bike off rack, run to mount line. A flying mount and I was off.
T1 time 45 seconds
The bike is 2 laps. Big rolling hills…all big chain ring. My run legs quickly became bike legs. The first leg out to the turn around was a little congested with everyone jockeying for position. I put in a big surge and passed the group and then things started to open up a little. I settled in and then flew down the downhill sections back to the half way turn around. The second loop was smooth with minimal traffic. Towards the end just had to pay attention as I was picking off people from the earlier waves which started 10 and 25 minutes before my wave. As I approached transition I slipped my feet out of my shoes. As I hit the dismount line I hit the ground running.
Bike time 54:49
T2 was again fast and smooth. Rack bike, helmet off, run shoes on, grab hat and sunglasses…run.
T2 time 50 seconds
I was pleasantly surprised…my legs felt good. My turnover was fast and smooth. I focused on holding everything together knowing that the final hill was going to be filled with a lot of pain and it didn’t disappoint. I had picked off quite a few people in the first two miles and now needed to hold them off on the hill. As I clawed my way up the hill I was passed by 2 people. A quick glance at their calves revealed that one of them was in my age group. I could not respond…I was redlined and had nothing left to give. As I entered the finish shoot I was glad to be at the line…nothing left in the tank.
Run 2 time…20:40
Overall time 1:36:02 a course PR!
7th place in the 45-49 agegroup, 48th place overall and a qualifying slot for the World Championship team. The slot will be passed though [ unless I win the lottery or a rich sponsor wants to fund a trip to France 🙂 ].
Afterwards I enjoyed the ice-cold wet towel, the yogurt parfae and sitting under the TriSports.com shade canopy and chairs.
Today the calves were a bit tight and sore!
Off for some more training until the next race!
Yesterday (2/20/2011) was my first race of the season. The TriSports.com Desert Classic Duathlon was the venue and doubled as the USA Triathlon southwest regional Duathlon championships. This years course was changed from the previous years. The runs were a bit longer and the consensus was they were definately harder than past years. The bike course remained the same, just started at a differant point on the course. The weekend started on Saturday with the drive up from Tucson. The drive was made a little more challenging by a show put on by mother nature. She blew up winds of 50+ mph and near brown out (blowing dust) conditions followed by pouring rain. Several accidents on the highway made for slow and not moving at all traffic for a 3-4 mile stretch (people drive in stupid mode even when weather dictates otherwise). After arriving in the Phoenix area and picking up my race packet I headed to my Phoenix area race headquarters/home stay at my good friend Victors home. Victor graciously opens his door to me whenever I race in the area…big thanks for the hospitality!
Race morning I awoke to cool and cloudy conditions. After last years cold and rain I had packed my gear with all conditions in mind. I arrived at the McDowell Mountain Park early since I like to take my time getting ready. I set up my gear and then scoped out the conditions to make my clothing choices. I decided on my regular TriSports.com/Accelerate3 team kit along with arm warmers and light gloves. After a short warm up run with coach Brian it was time to get to the start line. The Pro wave got on it’s way followed by all those “young” guys in the 39 and under wave. 5 minutes later it was our turn. The horn went off and we were on our way. The first run was 3.2 miles. It started off with 3/4 mile on pavement and then turned onto the trail. The trail conditions were soft, wet and some mud. I started off at a comfortable pace knowing the hard parts of the trail came later in the run. There was a small group of “fast” runners and then I led up the chase. I eased into the pace that I planned on keeping and maintained my position on the run. Mid way through I started to pick off people from the under 39 wave. My nice light race flats had tripled in weight thanks to the build up of mud. I entered T1 feeling good and ready to rock on the bike. T1 went smooth and in a matter of seconds was on the long run-out to the bike mount line. The wet, rough ground did not feel good on bare feet! After mounting my bike I was off on the 21 mile bike. The roads were still wet from the previous nights rains. The course basically consists of an out and back with large rollers followed by a second out and back with false flats and rough pavement. On the bike I felt strong and quickly settled into my rhythm. I was passed by a few of the ultra fast bike guys and began to pick off a few off the fast run guys. The wind stayed away this year. The last couple miles on the bike are slightly downhill. This allowed me to ease up a bit but still maintain my speed. Coming up to the dismount line I had my feet out of my bike shoes, quickly dismounted and began the run into T2. The rough pavement hurt even more with my feet being partially frozen. I dawned my running shoes, ditched my helmet and arm warmers, grabbed my visor and glasses and was off on run 2. The 2nd run was 3 miles and contained numerous short and steep hills throughout and not much in the way of flat ground. The first 10 minutes my legs were dead and my feet still frozen. After that I put the pedal down and pretty much red lined it to the finish. With less than a mile to go I looked over my shoulder and saw no one. Half a mile later I heard the sound of feet hitting the trail behind me. Shortly after I was passed by 2 competitors. I quickly glanced at their calves and was relieved to see they were in the younger age groups and not mine. I hit the finish line in 1:45:45…good enough for 14th overall age grouper and 2nd in the 45-49 age group.
Next up is the Duathlon National Championships!