May 2, 2015. After an early morning wake up I made the 45 minute drive south to Sahuarita. The manmade lake at Rancho Sahuarita was the location for the return of triathlon in Sahuarita. Haka Multisport put together a great Olympic distance race course. 1500 meter swim (measured a little short on my Garmin just over 1300) in Sahuarita lake, a one loop 40k bike that included some hills to break things up, and flat and fast 10k run. Race morning water temps were about 70 degrees and wetsuit legal, and over cast skies kept the morning temps nice. However the winds decided they wanted to stir things up a bit.
After the performance of a Haka (click here if you don’t know what a Haka is) is was race time.
I started in the 3rd wave which contained all men 45+. In the comfort of my BlueSeventy Helix wetsuit I entered the water and swam to the start line. The swim was one counter clockwise loop of the lake that hugged the contours of the shoreline. I lined up in the front row left side. At the sound of the horn I swam a straight line for the first buoy. as I rounded the first buoy I saw that I was leading the pack…a first for me. I settled into a hard but comfortable pace and continued to open the gap. I swam the straightest line possible through the buoys. I soon began catching stragglers from the second wave and by the time I reached the turn at the far end of the lake I began to swim through a large group of second wave athletes and 1st wave stragglers. I found a clean line through them and again had open water in front of me. Out of the water I took a look back and saw no one near. Swim time 20:22…fastest in my agegroup (50-54) and 6th fastest overall.
The run from the water was about 450 ft. and uphill. I pulled my wetsuit down to my waste and removed my cap and goggles during the run to T1. I got quickly out of my wetsuit and put my helmet on. Un-racked my bike and was out of T1 in 1:26.
At the mount line I jumped on my bike and got up to speed. I slipped on my shoes and began the slight climb that starts the bike. After the hill the road flattens out and the winds took over. I felt great on the bike and was passing people throughout the ride. At about the 6 mile mark the course turns and begins a long steady climb for about 4 miles and is followed by a few more miles of uphill rollers. The last 3-4 miles is a fast decent back to T2. Total climbing on the course was just over 1000 ft. Bike time 1:08:53…fastest in my agegroup and 3rd fastest overall.
After slipping out of my shoes on the bike, I jumped off my bike at the dismount line and ran into T2. Racked my bike, took of my helmet and then slipped into my running shoes. I grabbed my hat, glasses, and number belt and hit the run course. In and out of T2 in :50.
A slight hill took us up to the “adventure trail” which looped around the Rancho Sahuarita community. A mostly flat and fast loop followed by a loop around the lake. I felt good for the first 4 miles. Through mile 1 in 7:16, mile 2 in 7:13, mile 3 in 7:24 and mile 4 in 7:36. I then started to feel the lack of run fitness from lack of miles from my injured knee. Mile 5 slowed to an 8:01 then i decided to bear down and push through the final mile in 7:38 and the last .2 miles at 7:27 pace. Run time 45:46…fastest in my agegroup and 6th fastest overall.
Total time 2:17:18….1st in agegroup (by 19 minutes) and 3rd overall. I missed 2nd by 8 seconds. Unfortunately he started in the 1st wave so I had no idea how close I was to him.
This is a great race to put on your calendar for next year and the race director has even more in store for next year! Check it out.
How does one celebrate their 50th birthday? If you’re me you wake up at 0300, aet a quick breakfast, throw your gear in the car and head to Sierra Vista, Az. for the 20th Annual Steelhead Triathlon on Ft. Huachuca. The race consists of an 800 yard pool swim, 12 mile hilly bike and a 3.1 mile hilly run.
After arriving I racked my bike, set up my gear and picked up my packet.
I was in the 4th wave so had a little extra time to warm up with a short run and make one last potty pitstop. I then waited for my lane to clear and got a short swim warm up in.
The horn sounded and we were off. I settled into a good solid pace. The swimmer in the next lane was a member of the Mexican National Triathlon team. I watched as he lapped me 4 times during the swim. But I seemed to be doing well against everyone else. I was out of the pool in 13:09. A quick glance at the pool saw most people were still swimming.
There was a short run to T1. T1 was quick. Goggles off, helmet on, go! 2:19.
Once on the bike I slipped my shoes on and got up to speed. The out and back bike course starts with a short rolling downhill into a sharp turn. The course continues to roll until the 2 mile mark then climbs 325 feet to the turn around. I passed a couple people in the first 2 miles. As I approached the turn around I saw the leader…the Mexican National team kid. I had closed the gap down from 3 minutes to about 2 minutes. I was off the bike in 30:00 (average speed 23mph) and had closed the gap down to about 1:30.
I was in and out of T2 in 1:02. Shoes off on the bike, helmet off, running shoes on. I put my hat and race belt on on the go.
The out and back run course is pretty much downhill to the turn around dropping 87 feet to the turn around. Then climb back to the finish. My legs were tired but I managed to average 6:39 mile pace. The first mile came in 6:12, followed by a 6:31 mile and slowed to a 7:15 uphill mile. I lost time to the leader but gained time on everyone else with a 20:16.
Total time 1:06:59. 4:42 off the first place time of the 18 year old and 4:57 ahead of the 17 year old 3rd place finisher. I won my agegroup by over 20 minutes.
Not a bad 50th!
I have been neglecting my blog lately so here is an update of what has been going on…
During my time away I have been training and did one race.
I kept putting off my race report for the Toughman Arizona (formerly Deuceman) in Show Low, Az. while I thought about what I wanted to write. My race execution was average. I finished 2nd in the 50-54 agegroup and managed a 14th place overall. I had a good swim which was shortened due to the lakes extreme low level. My bike went very good. Then I wilted away in the heat on the run but soldiered on finishing in 5:08:02.
Now the race directors perfornance…not so good. I sent a lenghthly note to the RD explaining my displeasure with a list of problems that needed to be fixed. Lack of porta potties, running out of water, running out of cups, lack of mile markers, the worst awards ever, and many other problems. Some of these have already been addressed by the RD (They sent out new and improved awards). I am hoping the others will be corrected for next year to bring this once great race back up to the high standards that were set by TriSports Racing.
Since the race, I have taken a few weeks of recovery time and have now started my build up for my Ironman. Last month (July) saw me log 30.3 miles in the pool, 830.01 miles on the bike and 152.36 miles of running. The fun continues!
March 23, 2014 was a day of firsts. It was my first race of the season. It was my first race in the 50-54 agegroup. It was my first race post injury. It was the Tucson Triathlon.
The Tucson Triathlon is the first race of the 3 race Tucson Triathlon series. The race takes place on and around the University of Arizona campus. The sprint distance race consists of a 750 meter serpentine swim, a 12 mile 3 loop bike, and a 2 loop 3 mile run.
My day started at 0400 with the sound of the alarm. A quick breakfast of waffles, got dressed and jumped in to my prepacked vehicle. I arrived at the race site at 0500. I racked my bike on an end spot and set up my transition area. After getting body marked I returned to my vehicle and took an hour nap since I was not to start until 4th from the last. Next on the agenda was a quick stop in the restroom. With about 45 minutes until start time I headed out with my coach, Brian Stover (Accelerate3), for a warm up run followed by some swimming.
It was now go time!
On the start command I was off. We started in 15 second intervals. Seven an a half laps of the 50 meter pool. I quickly settled into my pace and was feeling good. I caught my 15 second person at the 650 meter mark. I then enjoyed the draft. Out of the water in 12:25…about average for me. 12th fastest swim of the day and fastest in agegroup. On the short run to T1 I passed 4 people.
T1 was fast and uneventful. Goggles off, helmet on, run to mount line and jump on bike.
Once on the bike I put my shoes on and quickly got up to speed. I felt great on the bike and was passing many of the slower people who started ahead of me. On Euclid, the rough section of road, I stayed out of the aerobars to absorb the shock and keep the power going. As I came around on the third lap I slipped out of my shoes and turned into the transition area. As I hit the dismount line I jumped from my bike and hit the ground running.
I racked my bike, removed my helmet, running shoes on, grabbed my hat, sunglasses and number…run.
T1, bike, T2 time 31:27. 6th fastest for the day and fastest in agegroup.
On the run I put on my glasses, race number and hat. Prior to the race I had told my coach I would be happy to run under 19 minutes, I had taken 15 weeks off of running with a heel stress fracture during the second half of last season. As I went into the first loop of the run, coach Brian was starting his second loop (he started ahead of me). Perfect timing…a rabbit! I stayed with him till the first turn around then dropped back about 10 yards and tried to hang on. The second loop I maintained my pace and pushed hard to the finish line. I crossed the finish with a run split of 18:57…goal met! 7th fastest run of the day and fastest in agegroup.
My overall time, 1:04:49, put me in 5th place overall and 1st in the 50-54 agegroup.
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!
I have been training with the new Garmin Forerunner 910XT HR for the past 2 1/2 weeks. I purchased one of the first to go out the door at TriSports.com. Included in the box are the watch, charger, several attachments for the charger for use in other countries (very useful if you travel internationally), a USB ANT+ drive, the heart rate strap, and the users quick start manual (in every language imaginable). The first thing I noticed was that considering all the tasks the watch is capable of the manual only contained 15 pages.
The unit is just slightly larger than my Timex Ironman watch. There are 2 buttons on each side of the watch and 2 on the face of the watch. The buttons are well laid out for ease of use. The 910 is very easy to use for it’s basic features which explains the 15 page manual. There is a more in depth manual online that allows for further features. It took about 2 hours to fully charge the watch. When you power the watch up it walks you through the set up proceedure. The set up takes about 5 minutes and is very easy. The watch has settings for swimming, biking, running and a triathlon mode. Each area has the option of customizing the pages for the info displayed.
In swim mode the watch displays workout time, average pace, distance, avg. strokes/length, avg. swim golf (swolf) score, interval pace, interval distance, interval time, last length strokes, stroke rate. The 910m can be set for open water or pool swimming.
In bike mode there are displays for power functions, workout time, avg. speed, distance, elevation, heart rate, lap time, lap speed, lap distance, last lap info, and a virtual pacer.
In run mode there are displays for workout time, pace, distance, elevation, heart rate, lap time, lap pace, lap distance, last lap info, and a virtual pacer.
In triathlon mode the 910 switches between modes with the push of the lap button and can be set to give seperate transition times.
The watch connects to satalites fairly quickly. Basic operations are very easy to use and navigate. In swim mode the 910 will not pick up distance during kick sets and attempts (not always accurately) to track what stroke you are swimming. I have had no problems with the bike and run modes.
Downloading info from the 910 to Garmin Connect is extremely simple. You simply plug in the USB ANT drive, and after the initial set up, turn the watch on within 3 meters of your computer and it automaticly uploads your workouts.
If you swim, bike, and run and are into information overload and ease of use, this is the tool for you.