Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Win a Garmin 910XT

Trying to win one of these.  Go to http://falkeetriathlon.blogspot.com/2012/12/win-new-in-box-garmin-910xt-gps.html for a chance.  There is a minimum number of entries for this to be given away, so check it out.  This blog is good for all kinds of info, and has links to many others.  He also is a regular content provider to Everyman Tri.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Boilerman Race Report

This was my first Boilerman, an Olympic distance event (1500m/40k/10k).  I didn’t know it existed, as I have done the Powerman duathlon the past two years.  Though I am disappointed that event was not offered, I don’t miss the cruel conditions it offered the previous two years.  Especially the first one.  You can read about them HERE-2010 and HERE-2011.

Anyway, back to Boilerman.  I was beginning to have reservations as I considered the weather potential: last day of September, cold and rain that week, wind.  The thought of swimming in whitecaps, combined with being soaking wet and nearly naked on the bike with sub-50 degrees and high winds, and maybe rain.  Oh wait, that was Powerman 2010, without the swim.

Anyway, the weather was sunny and cold in the morning, but it warmed up to a near perfect temperature.  The wind picked up, gusting pretty hard on the northbound legs on the bike, but overall, was a great day.  Check in was easy.  I got my stuff, though I was disappointed they ran out of swim caps.  How does that happen?  X entrants=X caps.  I thought Purdue focused on math and engineering…  There were large contingents represented from Purdue, Michigan, Grand Valley State University, Wabash, and others I cannot recall.

The Swim 25:03 1:31/100m pace (NOT)

The swim was interesting.  I hadn’t trained for a swim.  At all.  I did swim 1000m a few days before, just to swing my arms and see if my pace was what I predicted.  It was.  The swim was three waves, separated by three minutes.  Wave one was collegiate, wave 2 was AG 39 and under, wave 3 was AG 40+.

The swim was a little weedy at the start.  I had long strings of “seaweed” caught on my arms, which made me laugh.  I tried to pick a line that kept me clear of carnage, yet I was steamrolled a bunch of times.  I was glad my goggles were tinted, since the sun was in my eyes for the first third of the swim.  I had done everything I could to ensure my wetsuit was pulled up high enough to keep it from pulling me into a curl.  It seemed to work.  But I didn’t get “warmed up” until probably halfway.  And my head was cold until then too.  It was hard for me to sight where the buoys were; I just tried to follow people.  My attempts to draft were fruitless as well, since my speed was not fast enough.  Any eight year old girl can beat me in a short distance.  But I can go a long distance, albeit slow.  Funny thing about open water swims like this: it takes me a long while to get comfortable and in a groove.  During the first five minutes, drowning is a thought.  Odd.  I can swim just fine (but not fast – technique stinks), and tread water for hours.  Why does getting beat up during a swim affect me this way??

The rest of the swim was uneventful, though there was a person who kept hitting and crowding me for quite some time, even though there was plenty of room around us.  It was making me mad.  I exited the swim and had a long run (300m?) to T1.  My observation about the swim course is that it had to be short.  Very short, given my time.  The entry point didn’t agree with what was shown online, so maybe that was it.  But there is no doubt in my mind that it was no 1500m.  My estimate was 1100m.  My 25 minute swim should have been 33 minutes.

T1 2:34

No issues here, except the grass had been cut and I had tons of grass stuck to my feet.

The Bike 1:09:32  21.5 MPH

The bike started odd.  I was sleepy for the first ten minutes.  Huh?  I was passing people most of the race, though near the end I was passed by two people.  My back started to hurt a bit, which hadn’t happened on any other ride.  The only change was my new shoes.  The ride was a bit windy, and for about ½ of it, on roads I have ridden before.  It was very windy towards the end; strong winds came from the north and made me fight for 16mph.  I stayed at a comfortable pace – maybe too comfortable, for most of the ride.  I should have been faster.

T2 0.58

The Run 46:01 (7:24)

I started the run feeling good, and quickly got into a groove.  I wasn’t quite in the pain cave, but I was in zone 4 for sure.  The first 4 miles were through a neighborhood, and though I was passed by two people, they were going pretty fast.  I was running in the 6:30-7:00/mi pace for some time, only slowing because I wasn’t paying attention.  A guy caught up to me and we spoke briefly.  He asked what my age group was and I told him.  He said “Shit, me too.  I can’t sustain this pace.”  We fist bumped and said good luck.  I then left him.  As I hit the last section around the lake, it really slowed me down.  For the last 1.75 miles around lake; ½ of that was lumpy field grass.  I ran okay, but the grass run slowed me down.  My pace was 8min/mi; on the pavement below7 min. The grass was ankle busting for me, but probably carpet for a trail runner.  I picked up the pace on the hard pack, and passed a few people in the last 200m.  I had to look back a few times to ensure nobody was going to sprint by me.  As I exited the finish chute and turned in my timing chip, the guy I had passed finished.  He had closed a rather large lead I had on him by not slowing down in the grass.

The Finish 2:24:07 5/14 AG 78/243 overall

Overall, I think I did okay, especially since I hadn’t trained for it.  I was disappointed that the swim was short, because I wanted to have another benchmark in the deck.  This clearly is not a 2:24 Oly tri for me.  The post-race food was clearly for the youngsters.  There were dozens of pizzas, bagels, and fruit.  I looked for the results and found I was not getting on the podium.  I packed up my stuff and rode the 1.5 mi back to my car.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Funny Movie Scene

This has to be one of my favorite movies scenes.  I laugh every time I see it.  From the British version of Death at a Funeral.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Fishers Triathlon

This is my third time at this race, and I like it because it’s close to home, in a pool, and the roads are smooth.  There were some timing issues, as the first numbers reported weren’t even close (like, all swim times were sub-5min).  Those were corrected, though there are a few issues related to the location of the time hacks, as well as the overall time.  It seems the pool end wasn’t at the pool exit, but at the T1 entry.  And it didn’t take me a minute to get there.  I was passing people the entire race, in all three segments.  In fact, I was never passed by anyone.

The Swim  watch 11:09, official results 12:13

This was a time trial start, with people lined up based on what they reported their swim pace to be,  It never ceases to amaze me how people either don’t have a clue about their pace, or don’t think about a pace they can actually sustain for the course.  As I entered the pool area, about twenty minutes into the race, I already saw people doing the backstroke, pseudo sidestroke, and dog paddle, before reaching 150 meters.  Holy crap, way to think it through.  Somewhere around the 370m mark I saw a person in the next lane walking.  Yes walking.  Anyway, the swim was uneventful, if not slow.  I swam at the pace I expected; I hit my watch entering the pool, and split at the exit, so I was close to my 2:10/100m projection.  I should be faster, though not by much, as I have not been swimming much.  But I was satisfied with this.  I passed people the whole time, with only a few areas of congestion for me to break through.

T1 2:15, official results 1:47

I was slower than I should have been, as I was putting on socks.  Additionally, I was late arriving, and had a lousy position in the corral – it was first come, first serve, not line up by race number.

The Bike  watch 27:59 22.3 mph, official results 28:25

Uneventful, though I should have been faster.  Couldn’t generate the power I wanted, though I was passing people the entire time.  At one point in the first loop, a guy pulled in front of me and slowed down – to 10mph!  I yelled at him, “Hey, can I get by you please!”  He moved over.  I didn’t want to get a penalty for passing on the right or crossing the center line (there were cones at this point).  The road was smooth, and people were very courteous when they heard “On your left!”; well, except for the one guy.

T2  watch 1:14, official results 1:08

Used my new Zoot TT5.0 shoes.  Had a little trouble getting my left foot in.  I should have been 20 seconds faster here.

The Run   watch 20:50, official results 20:50

The first mile is mostly uphill, and as I got a cadence, things settled just a bit.  I was passing people the whole time, and as I approached the halfway point, spotted a guy to catch.  He was going about the same pace it seemed, and I had a rabbit.  I caught him at mile 2 and as I passed, he started dropping.  I called to him to hang on to me, which he did until the last 300 meters or so.  Entering the school parking lot, I saw another group of people to pass, which I did, and kept the pace to make sure nobody burned me in the last 50m.  Overall my run felt great, as I ran a pace I might have run on fresh legs.  Yes, I know, my legs shouldn’t have been too spent after a 10mi effort, but I found a decent breathing/pain threshold that I could sustain.  Had I upped the pain (a bunch), I am pretty sure I could have gone sub-20 on the 5k.

1 mi 7:39
1 mi 6:09
1.1 mi 7:02

Final  watch 1:03:25, official results: 1:04:23
5/35 AG
29/316 overall

Monday, September 10, 2012

It's Official - Ironman Wisconsin 2013

It's official.  I have signed up for Ironman Wisconsin 2013.  Registration opened at 1pm local time, and by 1:04 I was registered.  Good thing, because it sold out in a record time of nine hours http://ironman.com/events/ironman/wisconsin/ironman-wisconsin-fills-in-record-time#axzz26IpL376N.  It’s official.  By the grace of God and hopefully good training, I will be ready for this adventure.  In addition, I plan to get a hair sample or some other token from my buddy Dave, who got me to sign up for this, so that I can make a voodoo doll of him to carry on the bike and during the run, so I can jam pins in it.  The venue is attractive for only two reasons: 1) It is within reasonable driving distance.  Transporting a bike is too expensive.  2) There is a possibility of cooler weather, though it can be hot.  The flip side is that this is a two-loop course…  I absolutely hate two-loop anything.  Until this year, the swim was two-loop.  Now it is a single.  But the bike and run are two-loop.  Worse, the run turnaround passes within 100 meters of the finish.  That hurts.  And to add to the suffering, the bike course is one of the most hilly and challenging of all of the IM bike courses.  But hey, this is about suffering, and on that front there will be no disappointment.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Eagle Creek Triathlon (Duathlon) Race Report

I ran the duathlon, as I was "defending my title", having been overall winner last year. My expectations were low, as I had not only failed to do any speed work, I had a brutal workout just two days prior. My legs were so smoked, it hurt to lay on my back, front, and sides; good thing too, had there been pain in any other position, it might have kept me awake. Sitting hurt too. The only pre-race actions that could have been worse would have been to pound tequila the night before, and have BBQ pork for breakfast.

The Race

We lined up, and there were many more people than last year.  And a couple of really fast-looking and young people up front...  I lined up and got ready for the start.  My legs were very tight, and though I had tried to loosen and stretch with a short, short run, it didn't help.

- Run #1 2mi 13:50 (6)

The run starts uphill for about 400m.  As I went up the hill, I realized two things: 1) I couldn't feel my legs.  It was like they were not there, or not mine. Damn workout. 2) the people ahead of me were flying.  I finished okay, though I should have been faster. Splits were 6:50 and 7:00.  The guys up front ran 10:50, 10:54.

- T1 1:14

- Bike 10mi 29:43 20.2mph (8)

Bike was uneventful, except it felt like my brakes were on the whole time.  In fact the rear was... There was a wheel alignment issue which had one shoe rubbing the whole time.

- T2 1:40 (18)

- Run #2 3mi 22:11 (7)

I hit it hard, though my mental pain meter was soft. Looking at my splits, my second mile I was a pansy, as the road was flat.  A woman passed me just before the last mile, and I sped up to hang with her.  Splits: 7:30, 8:00, 6:42.  Huge variation.

- Finish 1:08:39 (6) 1st in AG

Though I didn't defend my title, I won my age group, and was 6th overall. My time was better than last year as well.  If I would have had better legs, I think I could have had 3rd overall, but no better.  The guys up front were really fast runners.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Richmond Triathlon Race Report

Not much to report, as I waited too long to make notes.  But I must say Muncie Multisport puts on a nice race.   The prizes were good, and there was a sweet bike raffle.  Food and consideration for family that was there to watch was really good.

- Swim 9:09 2:30/100 400yd

·         Hard to breathe with wetsuit
·         Water temp 70; should have left suit

T1 2:25

Bike 41:23 13.4mi 19.4mph

T2 0:58

Run 23:14 5k 7:30 pace

First and last mile (almost) on a rutted levee.  I was concerned about rolling my ankle, considering I only run on pavement.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Geist Half Marathon Race Report

Having run it every year, I am a plankholder to this race and feel obligated to run it.  But I really like it too.  It always has a good crowd, and the course is my home course.  One of my favorite runs is a 10.1 miler around the lake (including the short section from my house).

I don’t have much to report.  As usual, the expo was quick and easy to get the bib.  The vendors and lack of schwag is no surprise, given the size of the race and the price.  And that is fine with me.  But there was one significant exception:  Ameriana Bank gave out vouchers for a $20 Runner’s Forum card.  They are a local bank, locally owned, and a major race sponsor.  I stopped by their branch to pick up the $20 card, and they have large pictures in branches of local customers – pretty cool.  A local bank with local customers that somehow didn’t get swallowed up by big banking.

On race day, there is easy parking and quick shuttles.  I woke up early and had my normal pre-race meal of oatmeal, a small bagel, peanut butter, and coffee.  I arrived 30 min before the start, and got to the starting corral 10 min before start.  The only issue/not issue I experienced was the bus driver gave erroneous information by saying he thought the race start got pushed to 7:15.  This was not the case, but I had time to spare.  The National Anthem was performed well, and I didn’t notice any idiots failing to remove hats or continue walking.  While not a big deal as a spectator, there was a glitch with the airplane formation, as it did not arrive at the conclusion of the anthem (as it normally would), but a minute later.

The race started and we were off.  As I crossed the timing mat I saw a running shoe but could not even get close to grab it.  I then saw the poor owner trying to somehow get it by travelling upstream.  Anyway, I didn’t push my pace too hard.  I started easy and did not worry about speed and passing.  I had good room and just took it easy.  My heart rate was in a reasonable place the entire race.  I felt good, just not fast.  My weight is higher than it should be for racing, but I am not concerned with it.  I was just out to have fun.  I ran intervals on Wednesday, which isn’t exactly a good prescription for a PR.  And I had no intent to even try.  I wasn’t trained enough for a fast half.  I ran a steady race and grabbed water at just a few stations.  I was targeting a 1:45 finish, which is okay but needs to be closer to 1:35.  I kicked it during the last two miles, trying to pass and crush a guy in the last mile.  To my chagrin I looked over my shoulder and he sped up to stay with me.  I was running a pace I could not sustain.  I tried to shake him and as we started the bridge approach he started to drop back.  I told him to hang on so we could finish fast, and then he ended up passing me, finishing 50m ahead.  My final time was 1:45:29.  Not bad, but not fast.  I should actually train for these things.  I might actually get to that 1:30 range…



Friday, June 1, 2012

Lawrence Triathlon Race Report

This is a very late race report, which I "wrote" (made notes) right after, but just have not had time to write about.

• Hot 95
• Worked in yard night before and all day before 4 pm race
• Beer at finish
• Course was good
• COLD water at aid stations was welcome
• Good prizes raffled at finish

- Swim 6:59 350yd 2:11/100

• Right on planned target
• Passed a few people
• Saw worst swim stroke ever

- T1 2:04

- Bike 34:25 11mi 19.2mph

• Not a bad two-loop course
• Excellent traffic control combined with closed roads

- T2 0:49

- Run 27;45 5k 8:58pace

• Meltdown: mind and legs not willing.  Sheesh, it’s only a 5k
• Hot
• Finish line 200yds from last turn was excellent location

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Rev3 Knoxville Race Report 2012

This is a very late race report, which I "wrote" (made notes) right after, but just have not had time to write about.

• Expo decent
• Volunteers super
• Very well organized and professional
• Long walk from T1 to start
• Transition in covered parking was nice, but crowded (row-to-row)
• Photos not done by external group, so many kinks to work out as they develop this process.  Like, two weeks + to post some of them, longer for the rest, and low quantity of photos available.  Quality was decent (the reason for bringing back in-house).  Never got promised finish line photo (months later received a link, but not searchable. I never found mine).
• Morning meal not planned well – bought oatmeal (dry) at Starbucks (in hotel) prior afternoon.  Simply didn’t think about meals.
• Neither the Starbucks in hotel, or any other nearby coffee shop location open early on race morning.  Hundreds of people who would get coffee, yet no place opened early for the event.  A coffee stand could have made a killing.
• Street fair night before.  Had to drink beer.
• Never enough portolets – got in line near start. Had to go in barefoot (yuk).  But it could have been way worse.  Later found lines all gone 10min prior to Oly start.

- Swim 32:21 .9mi (2:14/100)

• I was drowning for the first 200m
• Water was cold at first, but temp was perfect with Xterra farmer john
• Wetsuit was first real swim; I swam 500 in pool, but I found I had not pulled it up high enough in the race, which pulled my shoulders down making me bend in the water.  Back started to hurt.  And it is harder to breathe in the suit.
• Don’t know what I was thinking: I knew swim was 1500m/.9 mi, but somehow I estimated time for 900m…  Stupid
• Had suit been adjusted better, I could have comfortably maintained pace for 2.4mi.  Why this distance???  Hmmm.

- T1 6:20

• LONG run from swim finish to T1.  My guess is 500m.

- Ride 1:22:10 40k

• Hilly
• Highway portions interesting, especially with open traffic and merge lane

- T2 2:01

- Run 55:57 10k

• Hot, but shaded for a good portion of it
• Bagged water was really nice – could carry it and drink what I should, vs. ½ cups and dehydration
• 1st 3mi 7:51 pace, 2nd brutal; my brain was cooking.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Boston wrinkle

Boston allows deferrals to 2013 due to heat (expected to be around 88F). From the Christian Science Monitor:

The Boston Athletic Association, the marathon organizer, allowed competitors to opt out of the race because of the heat and defer until next year. About 16 percent (or 4,290 runners) decided against competing, the BAA said. Race organizers recommended late last week that "only the fittest runners should consider participating" in the 26.2-mile course, and, in only the second time since the event began, gave registrants the opportunity to defer participation until 2013. The other time was in 2010, when several hundred European runners could not make the trip because of air travel delays caused by the erupting volcano in Iceland.

Okay, so heat is a major concern, especially if one has not trained in the heat, and since it is April, presumably many people are not trained well for heat, though it has been pretty warm since February. But this now impacts ME. How, might one say? Because I qualified for the 2012 Boston Marathon, but could not get in due to the new (and quite fair) roll down process that allowed faster qualifiers first dibs on the limited number of race slots. Based on the roll down for 2012, it looked like I could perhaps still get in for 2013, provided I run about a 3:22 or 3:23, or maybe even closer to the 3:25:00 max time for 45-49 age group. But now there are 4,290 runners already taking 2013 race slots, effectively reducing the slots available for bladerunners (those at the high end of qualifying times). Bollocks! I would bet money the folks who deferred were locals who didn't have to worry about plane ticket and hotel expenses lost at the last minute. Had I gotten a slot, I'd have run no matter what. I wouldn't have worried about finishing time, as I just want to go to the show, get photos and stuff, and knock it off the bucket list.

I guess I better run 3:20 or faster...

Tuesday, February 21, 2012


The race calendar is starting to get filled. I signed up for the Carmel Marathon on April 21, then the Rev 3 triathlon (Olympic) on May 6, with the Geist half marathon on May 19. I don't know what I was thinking with the Rev 3 - I was shamed into it by my buddy and fellow masochist Dave (his blog).

This makes for a tough month, which wouldn't be bad if it was September (and I had a solid training base). But this winter has been my worst ever, as I have been lucky to run one day per week. I am so not ready. my current fitness is the worst it has been in years. I have to really kick it in now, and smartly. There will be suffering...

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Biggest Rip-Off Ever?

I don't normally pay attention to commercials, but this one caught my ear after some blathering about "the money is expensive, but not as much as a payday loan." WTF? I rewound the DVR and was able to see the terms in small print. Holy crap this is worse than a loan shark. For a $5,000 loan, the APR is 116.73%, payable over 84 months... Yes, that's over $35,000 in interest for a $5k loan. I suspect there is a penalty for paying it off early. Who signs up for this crap? You may as well borrow some cash from Harry "The Hatchet" Fingers. Or maybe raffle off a kidney or cornea.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

I need one of these

This just came out. I need one. It's the new Cervelo P5. The only way that is going to happen is if I win a seven-figure lottery.

Oh well. I set my bike up in my office, as the garage thing wasn't working out this winter season. Plus, the added pressure may shame me into doing better in 2012. It does not quite compare...