Sunday, September 11, 2016

Pacific Coast Triathlon - 9/11/16

It's been 5 years since I first did this race.  It's a nice, local sprint triathlon, in a pretty good location, and it always seems to bring out many of the fastest Orange County triathletes and duathletes.  So, for me, it's a good chance to see how I stack up.

Going into this race, I hadn't been running much because of an injury, and I haven't raced since Xterra Laguna Beach in June.  I had a feeling I'd be fine with the swim/bike portions, but I had no idea how I'd do trying to run "fast."

Swim (half mile)
My watch had me around 900 yards, and I was over 3 minutes behind the top swimmers in the age group, which I kind of expected.  Not much to say here, except on the swim back to the shore, I got caught up in the large swell and was tossed pretty hard by a wave coming in.  Yes, another set of goggles donated to the Pacific Ocean.

This is a steep, paved path up to the bikes, and not much 'running' going on here.  I got to my bike and my helmet was now clipped to my bike, and I had to search around for my glasses.  They were in the shoes of the guy parked next to me.  That's what happens when you're not fast out of the water, other guys get there first, and somehow your stuff just magically gets relocated.

Bike (12 miles)
This is a short bike course on PCH, about 12 miles.  So, no pacing necessary really, just push as hard as you feel comfortable with.  Well, I did that, but never felt like I was going like I could or should.  Either way, I wasn't able to catch any of the guys that came out of the water ahead of me, so I assumed I'd be somewhere in the 3rd to 5th position off the bike.

Couldn't have done much better here.  In and out in under a minute.

Run (3 miles)
No plan here, just run as hard as my legs would let me.  Ultimately, it wasn't that fast, and I wasn't able to catch any of the guys ahead of my in my age group.  The run along the sand and the last steep climb were really showing my lack of running.

Well, I ended up 4th in my age group, more than 7 minutes off the top two guys in 40-44.  Since the top guy in my age group was 3rd overall, I was bumped up to 3rd in the age group.  Not how I wanted to get there, but I'm not going to complain, given my poor lead up into this race.

What's next? I'm not sure, maybe another sprint in October, but I'm definitely going to stop procrastination about physical therapy and get my butt in for some rehab.

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Xterra Laguna Beach - June 5, 2016

After getting outrun at Xterra Bonelli, I was hoping to put together a more complete race at Laguna Beach.  Not sure what it is, but this just isn't the year I'd been hoping it to be in regards to running.  So, as it stands, I do all that I can to hold people off from passing me.

Swim (32:23)
7th of 22 out of the water.
Posted as 1,500 meters, actual 1,885 yards.  No, I didn't swim that crooked.  By most accounts the course was long.  Also, the timing mat for T1 was way up the beach.

T1 (1:38)
3rd of 22 in T1
The timing mat was way up the beach.  This is a long run up from the beach to the parking lot, but I think I was pretty efficient and on the bike relatively quick.  No major, on to the trails...

Bike (1:21:41, 16.2 miles, 11.8 mph)
3rd of 22 on the bike.
This is not a real technical course, but it is full of climbing.  There is one 9-10 minute climb that you have to do three times before the day is over.

T2 (0:41)
2nd out of 22 in T2
No messing around here.

Run (1:01:21, 6.8 miles)
7th of 22 on the run.
Uggh, this was not a fun run.  I was constantly looking over my shoulder, knowing more guys were chasing me down.  At one point, I was in 2nd place in the age group, but ultimately couldn't hang on.

Final (2:57:45)
3rd place in the age group (out of 22), same as Xterra Bonelli Park.  The run was painful, and not just because of the hills.  It's time to take some time off and see what's causing this discomfort.

Getting set up in transition.  The orange towel makes my spot easy to find.

Yeah for me, the swim is done.  BlueSeventy Helix wetsuit.

I managed to stay ahead of these guys, no thanks to the slow traffic throughout the 'no pass' zone.

Rounding the corner to go down Elevator.

Super Xterra racer and teammate, Tom Monica.

A long, fast straightaway before heading back up I Think I Can.

Thanks to the guys from Tru Cycling for all the great pics.

I ditched the glasses because of the mist.

I did it, 3rd in the age group and 13th overall.

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Xterra Bonelli Park - May 14, 2016

Back again to race Xterra Bonelli Park for the third time.  The last two years I ended up just off the age group podium, so I was coming in this year to try to change that.  The biggest challenge would be to see how my legs would hold up just three weeks off the Belgian Waffle Ride and one week removed from St. George 70.3

Swim (14:53, GPS'd at 946 yards)
4th of 23 out of the water.  I felt like I swam pretty good, and based on the fact that I was 4th in the age group, this was likely my best triathlon swim. Yay!!

T1 (1:19)
5th out of 23
Pretty quick time because the timing mat was just outside of the transition area.

Bike (1:08, 15.4 miles over two loops, 13.6mph)
3rd fastest bike split in the age group.
Looking back, most of the time I was riding in 2nd place.  On the second loop, strong cyclist, Brian Johnson pulled ahead of me and the other guy up front.  I didn't see an age on his calf, and assumed he was in another age group, so I didn't try to kill myself to keep up.  I rode just hard enough to keep him in my sights though.

Coming into T2, I saw Brian (whom I met for the first time after the race), running the wrong way in transition.  I found out later that he missed his area and was running back to his stuff.  I exited T2 ahead of Brian and the other guy in my age group.  Little did I know that at that point in time, I was actually running in first place.

T2 (0:43)
Boom, fastest T2 in the age group.
And, like I mentioned before, I was actually leading the age group at this point.

Run (29:57, 3.4 miles)
4th fastest run in the age group.
So, yes, I started the run in 1st, but Brian passed my pretty quick up the first steep climb.  He was always in my sights, in case I wanted to try to chase him down, but honestly, I had assumed he wasn't in my age group, so I guess I just wasn't self-motivated to chase him, which is a silly excuse either way.  I was then passed by the next guy in my age group, somewhere around mile two.  I tried to keep pace with him for a little while, but that only lasted about a quarter mile.  

Finish (1:54:43)
3rd place out of 23 in the age group, and only about 45 seconds behind the first two guys.  Overall, I was 11th out of 150 racers.

It's always nice to get the end of the rack.  It makes for easy transitions.

Finishing up the first bike loop.  I was in second place at the time.

The loops require a run through transition.

The home stretch.  Thanks to teammate Adam Harita for the pics.

The podium...3rd place for me.

Post-race beers with teammates Tom Monica and Adam Harita

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

June '14 Training Summary

Last full month before Vineman 70.3...

33,100 yards, 14 swims
A little more consistency, and about 2,000 more yards than last month.  This month, I started following some workouts posted on Slowtwitch, aka the "Tarpon Challenge."  The workouts have been good and I like the change of pace.  I was definitely getting into a rut.  It's a 10 week program, and I plan to stick to it with hopes of getting my Ironman Lake Tahoe swim under 70 minutes (vs. 78 minutes at IMAZ).

393 miles, 15 rides (6 on the trainer)
Back on the mountain bike a little more this month, with five rides in the dirt.  Somehow, I squeezed in two more rides than May, and my Saturdays have been consistent around four hours each.

Key ride: I jumped back into the local Over the Hump mountain bike race series.  They are every Tuesday night, but that is typically a tough night with family commitments.  These are relatively short rates, around 65-70 minutes, but they are very anaerobic.  My average heart rate for the Tuesday night race was 169, with a max of 185.  Admittedly, I don't push myself this hard in my regular training, so this is a great way to push me out of my comfort zone a bit.

107 miles, 18 runs
There it is, my biggest run month ever.  With my schedule, it has been hard to find the extra time to make this happen.  I'd love to get that up to 120 by August, but it'll be tough to do.  More slow miles, at an aerobic pace, and my average pace for the month was 8:24/mile.  This is a tad slower than last month, but that's ok, and it is probably due to a very hilly trail run this month.

Other Stuff
Elliptical: 0 minutes
Strength training: 2 hours, 10 minutes (4 workouts)

Sunday, June 1, 2014

May '14 Training Summary

Back to some consistency....

31,200 yards, 14 swims
Some consistency back in my swimming, but still trying to find a way to get a little more volume in.  I was able to get about 9,000 yards in two one week periods, but at this level, I don't expect large gains in speed or swim fitness.

479 miles, 13 rides (5 on the trainer)
Mileage was up this month, partly because only two of my rides were on the mountain bike.   Total climbing for the month was almost 31,000.  For my trainer rides, I usually estimate anywhere between 500 and 1,000 feet of climbing, based on time and effort.

Key ride: I did an 80 mile loop of Orange County, early in the month.  My goal is to get at least four hour rides on each Saturday.  On this day, I rode 4:20 and climbed 3,773 feet.  I still need more climbing on my rides as it gets closer to September and Ironman Lake Tahoe.

95 miles, 15 runs
One of my biggest run months ever.   I've been trying to up my mileage, mostly with slower miles.  My average pace for the month was 8:23/mile.

Other Stuff
Elliptical: 40 minutes
Strength training: 3 hours, 15 minutes (5 workouts)

Thursday, May 1, 2014

April Training Summary

With vacation, a mountain bike race and a bit of burnout, April was an off month. 

17,500 yards, 10 swims
I was able to get in a couple open water swims in Turks and Caicos. Other than that, I ended up taking about two weeks off at the end of the month. It was a good mental break, but my first swim back was a mess. No more two week breaks for me. 

277 miles, 15 rides (6 on the trainer)
After getting back from vacation, I tried to cram in as much mountain biking as I could. Heading into the Whiskey 50, I really needed some time on the trails to get comfortable again. 

Key ride: I hit some local trails to make sure I could handle the climbing and time required for the Whiskey 50. I ended up climbing 6,500 feet in 36 miles, which ended up being about 4.5 hours. It was work, but I finished that ride confident that I'd be good at the Whiskey 50. (Race report to follow)

48 miles, 8 runs
A light month, but that sums up the month. 

Other Stuff
Elliptical: 55 minutes
Strength training: 45 minutes
Total training time: 37 hours (vs. 55 in March)

Monday, March 31, 2014

March Training Summary

Hopefully quick and to the point....

Total training time in March was 52 hours. All of this includes my totals from Oceanside Ironman 70.3, which was on 3/29.  Race recap to follow in separate blog entry. 

Yards: 37,600, 17 swims
Consistency is improving, and I got in 4 swims each week. This is probably the max number of days I could fit into my schedule, so the next step is to bump up the yardage on these days. 

Miles: 440
My current schedule and routine is keeping me at 3 rides per week, with 2 of the 3 being on the trainer in the garage. I dont think 3 days is going to be enough for Lake Tahoe training, but this is something I'll have to figure out soon. 

87 miles, 13 runs
I've been able to slowly increase mileage, while keeping the knee pain away. This last race is proof that I need more run endurance, so the plan is to up the mileage with more easy runs throughout the month. 

Other Stuff
Elliptical: 30 minutes. I usually only go to the elliptical if I think my knee isn't good to run. 
Strength Training: 2 hours, 3 workouts. So far, just this small amount of strength training seems to be helping with my Runners Knee, so I'll continue with at least once per week. 
Weight: I was able to drop a couple pounds this month prepping for Oceanside. On race morning, I was just under 148. In January, I was bouncing between 153 and 155.