Thursday, April 28, 2011

100 Rides

So, tonight was a milestone of sorts.  It was the 100th ride on the ZC frame I got after demolishing the Z45 last Labor Day.

In that 100 rides a lot has changed .......

The bike that started as a Felt Z45 now has only the stem, seatpost, and brakes in common with the original stock model.  I made a number of component upgrades early on, received new wheels for Valentine's Day (the bike itself was a early Christmas gift), and then had to go and wreck the frame.  While it may bear little resemblance to that original wonderful bike my wife got me, I will always view it as a gift.  It was and still is the only road bike I've ever owned.  The new frame is essentially the same as the old, just without the yellow highlights.  The wheels were from my wife as well.  I truly appreciate the gift of this bike every time I go out for a ride (or lube a chain, change a cassette, etc.).

The rider has changed too.  At the time of the wreck I weighed somewhere around 190lbs which was down from my peak of 212lbs before cycling.  In the 100 rides since I've dropped that to 178lbs,
going from this ..... to this .... 
to this ...... 

The riding has changed too (if that wasn't evident from the above photos).  My 100th ride on the Felt ZC called for a nice zone 3 effort.  I had a very similar effort on ZC ride #6 - similar route, identical matching HR.  The difference?  Oh, about 2mph of avg speed - a 12% gain!  Thanks Coach Joey!  In fact, I've been feeling so good about my pace on recent zone 2 and zone 3 rides that I'm eager to see what I do on a threshold interval.  Alas, that'll have to wait.  In case you've forgotten, I have a score to settle first.  BikeMS, here I come.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Winds of Change

We've all experienced the wind on runs, bike rides, etc. but often we can't quantify its true impact.  Well, yesterday provided a clear opportunity.  The plan was an out-and-back route north to Lavon.  The winds?  They averaged 20mph from the South at that time with gusts much higher.  I hit the lap button to mark some key points.  Check out these splits:

217:13.145.1017.8north and east
321:00.355.1914.8south and west

Or if you prefer pictures ......

Unfortunately, there is no end in sight for these winds.  The winds and random thunderstorms are definitely threatening next weekend's BikeMS.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Random Tidbits

It has been crazy hectic lately and each day there is a blog post I never get around to writing.  So, before things get forever lost in the shuffle here are some brief snippets from the past several days .....

Thursday - It's a Lifestyle
Whether it's triathlon, cycling, or running we've all heard the phrase "It's not a sport.  It's a Lifestyle."  What could be better proof than this photo.  We finally had a chance to enjoy a family night out for a movie so what does Julian wear for a trip to the theater?  Yep, a Capo cycling cap, yellow cycling glasses, a Mellow Johnny's Bike Shop t-shirt, and a yellow sweatband (worn on the elbow instead of the wrist).  The whole look screams, "I'd rather be riding."

Friday - Jamming for Japan
Friday had a 2hr tempo ride scheduled but I only had time to squeeze in 1:15 in the now freakishly common high winds.  Why cut it short?  Well, I play in a band and the other members are both teachers.  One teaches at a high school where we annually play a few songs to cap off their talent show.  It's always hectic getting the sound set up for a short set but the kids go absolutely nuts.  By far the most excited crowd we play to each year.  Anyway, this year all the proceeds went to earthquake/tsunami relief in Japan.  It was a rockin' night that left us all tired.

Saturday - From Dawn to Dusk
Late on Friday (not long before the gig) I found out the Cheesy Riders were going to be on WFAA Channel 8.  One big catch - we had to be there by 6:15am!  Angelia and Julian going to the Heart of Heath 5k meant I'd have to wake Connor up early and bring him along.  He did really well but when we got there they notified us that we'd be on live in the 8 o'clock hour - ugh.  So, we hit McD's for some breakfast and then he rode around Victory Park until it was time.  Being the cutest Cheesy Rider, he of course stayed up front which meant plenty of TV face time!

I had a 4hr ride scheduled later in the day and Angelia was going to join me for part of it.  The plan was for me to do the same route as in this post with an extra loop at the north end.  Angelia was going to ride with me to the pit stop 18mi in then turn back.  That's not what happened.  She decided to forge ahead and join me on the full route.  Unfortunately several issues including hot spots on the feet and an unsettled stomach led to a struggle of a ride for her.  Despite all that, she really had a solid ride in the end covering 50 miles (we skipped the second north loop) with some nice hill climbs in the middle section.  Big kudos to Tri4SuccessMom for sticking it out!  With the slower than planned for pace we actually arrived home after dark, completing a day when I was out with my bike both before sunrise and after sunset.

Oh, and that Heart of Heath 5k I mentioned ..... Julian took 3rd place in his age group, but I'll save the details for Angelia's race recap.

Have a safe and happy Easter!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Riding Buddy Fail

This morning my plan was to ride the "hill route".  While we are in a primarily flat area there is a nice collection of short 8-11% grades near the lake that you can hit in quick succession.  I had coordinated the night before with riding buddy Keith to meet up while on the warm-up portion of the route.  That didn't exactly work out ......

I managed to leave on time as soon as Angelia returned from her 5:30-6:30am swim (better her than me at that time!).  My route started northbound which meant a warm-up in a headwind (what's new?).  There was a bit of a mist in the air and it wasn't too bright out.  Still, I had my dark lenses in expecting the sun to be popping up.  Keith was going to be riding in the opposite direction from his house until we spotted each other.  There were no other riders out until right about the point I expected to see him.  Bingo!  I spot a Rockwall Cycling jersey and red handlebars.

Keith and I with our relay partners after the TMS Duathlon
Mistake 1: Keith has a red frame, not red bar tape!  I should have realized that regardless of what else I saw through my mist covered dark lenses across a multi-lane divided highway.  I sit up and raise my hand high in the air to signal him and he responds in kind.  I slow down and pull to the side waiting for him to turn around and join me.  A couple dogs check out me and my bike but they seem friendly so I don't worry about them too much.  Where's Keith?  There was a good spot to turn around right there - why did he pass it?  For some reason the dogs start getting agitated.  A little pacing and subtle growls plus a third dog charging across the field tell me it's time to get moving.  I go up the road a bit, make a u-turn, and head south thinking maybe Keith was confused about the route and was waiting for me.  Not only was he not at the intersection but he was nowhere in sight.

Mistake 2: Keith would have waited.  No doubt about it.  For some reason I start to entertain thoughts like perhaps he didn't realize that was me back there and he would still be plugging away southbound looking for me.  A ridiculous thought for sure as the giant hand signal I gave earlier went well beyond the usual "acknowledging a fellow cyclist mini-wave".  In the end I added several miles to my warm-up and got the lucky bonus of doing the northbound section into the wind again.  Yea!

Keith had some time limitations so I knew that even if we found each other at this point he would have to break off on his own anyway.  Looks like this would be a solo hill route after all.  All of a sudden I hear a bike coming up behind me.  It pulls alongside, I take a look, and think "Crap! Red handlebars and a Rockwall Cycling jersey, but I don't know this guy!"  I asked the obvious question and yes, this is the guy I waved to earlier on.  He was doing threshold intervals per his coach, which happens to also be my coach.  We chatted a bit before hitting a main intersection where he turned back for his next interval and I headed to the hills.

The route had about 1200ft of climbing and as you can see the majority of it is packed in a 12 mile long segment from mile 14 to 26.  1200ft may not be a lot on a long ride but packed into that distance it's enough to get your attention, especially at grades up to 11%.  I conquered the first few with relative ease but when I hit the real stuff (around mile 19 on the graph) it was obvious I wasn't going to have my best day.  The hills just seemed longer today.  I made it up all of them and completed the route, which by the way is a heck of a lot more than I accomplished my first time through these hills, but my performance just didn't meet the level I thought I was at now.  Oh well, workout completed.  Side note: The day never got any brighter nor did it get warmer.  In fact, by the time I got home it was 57 degrees, windy, and wet.  It never really bothered me while riding even though I was in minimal gear, probably because I was focused on keeping my heart in my chest at the crest of each climb.

I did of course touch base with Keith when I got home and the story just got crazier.  Those who have followed this blog may recall me switching out the color scheme on my bike, changing out the yellow tires and bar tape for red.  Hmmmm, I was on a bike with RED BAR TAPE and wearing a ROCKWALL CYCLING JERSEY ...... sound familiar?  Yep, Keith spotted that other guy too ..... and followed him.  However, Keith being smarter than me on this particular morning realized his error sooner and turned back.  I believe we actually were both heading south at the same time out of each other's sight then turned around and headed north at the same time.  Obviously, that's a difficult way to cross paths.  Oh well, guess there's always next time.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

In the Fast Lane

I was sitting about 3rd in line but the pace was a little slow for my liking so I moved over and smoothly accelerated off the front.  I carried it through a downhill and caught the next pack at the base of a climb.  Safely in the slipstream I just maintained through the next few turns.  Once on an open straightaway I found an opening in a quicker line to the left, slipped into the gap, and accelerated with them.  It wasn't long before deciding to really open it up and I made an aggressive move to the right.  But enough about my rush-hour commute home ......  Oh, you thought I was talking about a bike race?

Saturday was the standard craziness for our family.  The Springer Stampede 5k was being run in our neighborhood and originally I thought we'd all participate.  However, it was picture day for Connor's t-ball team and our scheduled timeslot?  A half-hour before the 5k start time.  So, while Angelia and Julian prepped for the 5k, Connor and I headed to the ballpark for photos.  As a coach I get 2 free 5x7s of just me and the little man which I thought was a nice bonus in addition to the individual and team shots.  As soon as we were done I looked at my watch and thought it was actually possible to get to the race in time to see the finish.  Indeed we got there about 5 minutes before Julian crossed the line with a 24:33 - just off his PR and only 4 seconds behind his age group winner.  Angelia (who said she was going to take it easy) did as I predicted and ran a strong race with a nice finishing sprint and a PR of 35:46.  I'll let her give you the details of how that happened on her race recap.

Already a crazy day and it wasn't even 10am yet.  That's a good thing because I had a 50+ miler to get in on my end of things.  I left Connor with Angelia and Julian at the school carnival that was going on post-race and headed home to get ready.  The route is a good one that I've done once before with the assistance of 2 other riders.  This time would be a solo effort which meant no help with the wind.  If you don't live in these parts then let me enlighten you to what we've been dealing with:

And in case you think that's a fluke, it's not.  The average wind speed for the last month has been 12mph with gusts around 25mph on average during that month.  The forecast called for lower winds on this particular morning but that was not reality.  The ride north was brutal and I frequently found myself riding 12-14mph on the flats.  It was really discouraging and I was already calculating where I needed to abandon the route to get home in time for other obligations.  However, I had missed some workouts this week so I wasn't cutting this one short if it wasn't truly, 100%, undeniably necessary.  I made a quick pitstop at the lone gas station along the route, gathered my thoughts, and set off on the lollipop portion of the route.  This section is peppered with short but decent grade climbs.  Strangely, for as negative as I was early on, I started feeling really good.  I was conquering the grades with relative ease whether sitting or standing.  I was enjoying the ride!  After the loop was complete I popped into the same gas station again to refill my water bottle and headed home.  I got a partial tailwind in some sections and the head/cross wind sections were more bearable now.  In the end it really was one of my better rides.  Really starting to feel the training paying off.

Sunday started off with a nice tempo ride.  Nothing crazy, just a 27mi out and back route.  I started early before the winds really kicked in but it was cold.  Temps around 50 at the start but I knew it would be 70 within a couple hours.  A tricky temperature to dress for.  I opted for a base layer, arm warmers, barrier skull cap, and glove liners with my normal summer kit.  At the turnaround I removed all the extra stuff except the base layer which kept me comfortable, though slightly warmer than usual.  While the ride out was calm and cool the return route was all headwind .... and it was picking up fast.  My thoughts weren't on my ride though, they were on Angelia and Julian who would be taking off on this same route as soon as I returned.  The wind did end up finally taking a toll on Julian and I had to do a first ..... pick him up and bring him home early.  To be honest, we were a bit upset as he has issues staying hydrated and we both think that was the real culprit here.  Oh well, we all have those days.  On the plus side, Angelia said she was riding well and may have stumbled upon a new riding partner at the end of her route.  That's always good news!  After that it was off to the usual birthday parties and baseball practice.  That's our weekend ....... we live it in the fast lane.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Lions Dash 5k

From Tri4SuccessMom .........
I am not a writer and since my husband was not there I get to blog about it so have fun with this.  I ran in the Lions Dash 5k on April 2nd 2011 it was for the Providence Academy here in Rockwall, Texas.  The Rockwall Running Center was hosting the event so I knew it was going to be a challenge.  Why you ask?  Any thing that Coach Barrett runs has lots of hills!  I was told before the start that the course was fairly flat. WOW, did I just hear that right - "fairly flat"?  Yep, but by Coach Barrett’s standards it was flat!  I have been working hard over the last couple of months to get faster - Turtles are fast, right?  So my day was here. Were my legs ready?  Only time would tell.

And they're off!
So the race started and off I went, and as usual, I was left in the dust.  At the first turn there was Lee, one of my fellow racing buddies from the RRC.  He was yelling at me, telling I looked good, and my form was awesome!  I felt good other than the legs felt like lead bricks!  I had my iPod Nano on so I had fast paced music to help keep me going.  Here comes turn two .... people were starting to pass me on the way back.  Boy, they were flying!  Here comes Tiffany from the RRC .... she had one person in front of her so I told her, "You can catch him. Go for it."  Off she went like a cheetah chasing after her prey!  As I continued on, more people were passing me in the opposite direction so I knew I was getting close to the turn around.  Then here comes my running buddy Debbie ..... and there goes my running buddy - she was running strong.  I am so proud of her.  We both started running last July together.  Finally the turn around - was I really the last one?  UGH!  Oh well someone has to be the caboose.  I jokingly said to Ollie and Jenny who were manning the water station, "I am bring up the rear."  So I grabbed some water and headed back.  After a few minutes, I was beginning to lose it or my mind was playing tricks .... there where people behind me!  What, you mean I was not the caboose?!?  YEA me!  I was so excited to see people behind me when all of a sudden, my legs screamed out, "Hey lady who do you think you are - Michael Johnson?"  At that point I realized I had turned back on to Justin Rd and was making a slow climb up!  All I could do was repeat in my head "Come on OLD LADY".  My running buddy Debbie says that to me when I am being sluggish, so she knows she better be ready to sprint if she says it because off I will go!  Once I got to the top of Justin Rd there was Lee yelling for me!  Yea Lee!  I made my final turn and started picking up the pace.  At this point I am really struggling.  My legs are screaming, my mind is saying "slow down", but my HEART will not let me!  That’s right - my HEART told my legs and head to "shut up and get over it."  In the distance I could see Debbie on the side yelling at me.  She had better not be saying, "Come on OLD LADY!"  She wasn’t.  She was yelling sweet things this time.  With the last 180yds to go I give it all my legs have to offer and finished strong.  Yea, it was over!

So I bet you are wondering how my time was?  I had to look at my watch twice.  Could it be I took 5mins of my last 5k in January 2011?  WOW!  I got a high five from Coach Barrett and a hug from Debbie and I was ELATED.  Turtles are fast, right?

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Swim, Bike, but not much Run

Swimming: The boys have triathlons coming up in May.  Our little 4yr old athlete will be doing his first tri at the Hooty's Kids Tri.  It's a non-sanctioned event where parental assistance is allowed every step of the way.  The course for his age is a 25yd swim, 1mi bike, and 1/2mi run.  Julian will be participating as well but his course distances will be doubled.  The bigger focus for him is our local kids tri in Buffalo Creek a couple weeks later.  That one is sanctioned and timed.  Only one little catch ...... the boys hadn't been in a pool this year!

We solved that problem by getting the boys over to our state of the art aquatic center for swimming evaluations last night.  Julian surprised us with better swimming form than we've ever seen from him.  I think he's truly committed to this triathlon thing this time around.  Connor was a superb swimmer last summer but will likely take a little longer to re-acclimate to the water.  Anyway, we heard back from the center the next day and they each had their first lesson which went very well.

Cycling: For Angelia and I, the next event on the calendar is BikeMS in 2-1/2 weeks.  She's planning on doing the half day rides each day (ride to lunch then shuttle to finish) so her riding volume hasn't changed much.  She's not a fan of the wind (who is?) but has gotten out and fought through it (I keep pointing out it's useless to avoid it.  It could be windy at BikeMS after all.).

It's a little different on my end as I have a score to settle (detailed in my last post).  Last week was a bit of a recovery week after the Fast&Furious Duathlon but even then I managed to get in over 100mi on the bike.  This week is really stepping it up.  I've had back to back interval sessions the last 2 days - 10min threshold on Tuesday and shorter "all out" bursts on Wednesday.  There's easier stuff lined up the next couple days but the weekend rides are getting longer.  I suspect I'll hit 170 miles this week and even more the next.
Tuesday's Threshold Intervals Wednesday's "All Out" Intervals
Running: Well, this area has been lacking.  After the duathlon, I had one 30min jog and that's it.  The focus is 100% bike this month so I don't expect that to change on my end.  Angelia, meanwhile, has been dealing with a "mis-behaving" left pelvis which has negated much of her scheduled run training.  She did however set a new 5k PR about a week and a half ago but I wasn't there so no race report yet (She's feverishly typing one next to me.  Expect to see it soon.).  Even though the training has been non-existent as of late, she will be running (as will Julian) in the Springer Stampede this weekend.  Asked about her planned approach to the run, she replied, "To survive."  I have a funny hunch once they fire that gun she'll take off full speed ahead!  You may have to wait to hear about it though.  Once again I won't be there as Connor and I have another obligation - baseball pictures.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

I Have a Score to Settle

With my early season focus in the rear-view mirror (the duathlon), it is time to conquer my demon from last year - BikeMS.  Anyone who's been around charity cycling events knows that all types complete these rides.  Imagine how frustrated I was last year when I completed the first day of the ride (86mi) only to wake up with severely inflamed IT bands.  I never got a chance to ride across the finish line in Fort Worth's Sundance Square on day 2.  Instead it was months of therapy (after adding a case of jumper's knee to my woes) and short rides until the pain hit.  For weeks those rides were only 6mi long.  Yep, you heard me, 6 miles.  I recovered to finish the year strong at the Wish100 and the Livestrong Challenge, but now it's time to finish BikeMS!

Once again I'll be riding as a member of the Cheesy Riders, a Pepsico cycling team that supports a number of charities.  One cool perk about participating in these events with this team are the jerseys.  People are always commenting on our Chester the Cheetah influenced designs.

However, this event has a minimum fundraising amount in order to participate so I need your help.  Perhaps you've noticed the BikeMS logo at the top of the left sidebar on this blog.  Please take a moment to click it and help fight MS with a donation as little as $5.  Every little bit does help.  If you aren't familiar with what multiple sclerosis entails then take a moment to learn about it here.  It's a very scary disease but progress is being made daily thanks to the fundraising attached to events like this.  Please help.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Wake up legs!

Wow, it's Friday already which means I should be feeling ready for some nice weekend rides.  The truth is my legs seem to be on their own timetable.  The Fast & Furious Duathlon was on Sunday (recap here) and while I competed hard I didn't feel near as bad post-race as I have in the past.  So why are my legs taking so long to return to normal?  Monday was a rest day, went for a recovery spin Tuesday, then another rest day Wednesday.  By the time I was scheduled to go out for a jog on Thursday I should have felt great.  Instead the legs were heavy, tight, sore, you name it ...... and that was before the run!  Just walking around the office I felt like an old man.  Oh well, I stuck to the plan and put my time in anyway.  I followed that up with another recovery spin this morning.  It was my first weekday morning ride in quite some time but the goal was to get out there before the winds really picked up.  That, and it was only 71 degrees compared to the 88 it will be later.  The plan this weekend calls for a couple 2+ hour tempo rides then more rest on Monday before I have to really kick it back into gear.  The alarm is going off ...... wake up legs!

Monday, April 4, 2011

A Fast and Furious Duathlon

On Sunday, the time had arrived for me to truly join the world of the multisport athlete at the Fast & Furious Duathlon.  No relay team this time, I was going to have to put the run and bike together myself.  Julian had a different type of challenge ahead.  He has done a kids triathlon before but this would be his first adult multisport event.  The course length would require a more sustained effort than he's accustomed to.  This recap, however, starts the day before .....

The Day Before - Scouting the Course
If you've followed this blog for any time at all then you know there was no reason to doubt Julian could complete this event athletically.  My concerns were in relation to course awareness (i.e. making the correct turns, holding good lines, not creating hazards for fellow athletes, etc.).  It's too much to ask a 9yr old to absorb all the information in a 10 minute long pre-race meeting so the decision was made to scout the course the day before.

No cars, no worries,
except the wind.
The transition area was already roped off and Jack from Ironhead Race Productions was in the process of marking the routes.  We asked him a couple questions and then casually rode around the 2mi run course.  There were 2 distances at this event so I stressed to Julian the important spots where he may see someone go one direction while he needs to go another.  When it came time to ride the bike route we encountered a "Road Closed" sign at the dam.  Was that going to stop us?  No.  I lifted our bikes over the gate and we took off riding (we encountered other cyclists who had done the same).  The nice thing was we basically had a closed course for our scouting ride --- sweet!

After navigating the bike route I asked Julian to lead me on a final tour of the run route before we'd head home.  There's one spot where it can be difficult to discern whether the road goes right or left due to the way the parking lot is situated.  Julian was unsure, made an adjustment too late on the turn, caught some loose gravel, and ...... joined the road rash club!  He stayed tough afterwards and still managed the ride back to the car.  My parent card got revoked as I forgot to bring a first aid kit.  Luckily there was a couple prepping their boat that gave us supplies.  Once we got back to the car I found a Walgreen's and finished the job.  The photo is actually from after the race the next day.

Race Day
Connor's relaxed pre-race ritual.
Ah, race day has arrived and with it ..... Mother Nature.  The winds accelerated overnight with sustained speeds around 20mph and gusts around 40mph.  Going across a dam there is no shelter from what would be a crosswind both ways.  Now the question of whether Julian could stay upright on his bike created more worry than the previous day's crash and ability to navigate the course.  He was still ready to give it a try but I gave him clear instructions on what to do if the winds got too dangerous for him.
Transition area ready.  Racers ready.Early on the first 2mi run.
The first 2mi run leg was perfectly paced for me.  Julian hung with me for about a mile before easing ahead (as usual).  I was however surprised to be passed before the 1 mile turnaround by 3 racers who were doing the long course with a 3 minute delayed start.  Really?  I'm not going THAT slow.
Julian about 1-1/2 miles in.  I'm circled in red.Julian at the mount line.
Ah, the bike.  Sweet relief for my legs which still aren't used to pounding the pavement.  Notice the smile in the photo below.  I swear I have the heartrate data to show I was still working hard.  I passed Julian before the dam - told him he was doing great and reminded him to hold his line to the right.  At first the wind didn't seem as bad as I had prepared for mentally.  Then I passed the tower in the middle of the dam ..... yikes!  For a brief moment you're sheltered completely and then the wind smacks you incredibly hard.  I had trouble holding on and was very worried about how Julian would handle it.  A few miles later I was glad to see him at a point on the route where he had already passed the tower.  Excellent!  Now he just has to pass it the other direction.  It turned out to be more difficult than that.  The wind was getting worse by the minute and the return leg was much tougher in that regard.  Not much I could do other than continue to race my race and hope for the best for Julian.
Run = pain.  Bike = smile.Making a pass near transition.
A quick wave to Angelia and Connor.
So, off I go on the 2nd run leg.  I was holding a similar pace to the 1st run leg -- a good sign.  Near the turnaround point a mile in, I came up behind 2 runners side-by-side and noticed something interesting.  All 3 of us had the same race age on our calf.  Perfect!  I now had a real race scenario to keep me sharp and focused to the finish.  One of the two guys I recognized as we had gone back and forth twice on the bike leg. He pulled ahead of the other runner and soon after I did as well.  The pace was comfortable so I stayed back a bit and planned on making a move in the last 1/2mi if I could.  Around that point I heard a voice yelling out from across the park - "Go Julian!"  I had begun to worry as it's an out and back course and I expected to see him earlier on.  Angelia's voice calling out to Julian allowed me to keep my mind in the game through the finish.  I wasn't sure if the yell was for him coming in on the bike or already out on the run.  It turned out he was rounding the corner headed towards me.  I told him he was doing great and to keep it going.  The time had come to make my move.  I gently accelerated past the other runner I had been trailing.  There was no need to look back.  I had chosen my pace for the final stretch and if he countered with a surge past me then so be it.  The final 1/8th of a mile is right along the water and the windiest spot on the route.  It took a lot to maintain a good pace through there but I finished strong about 6 minutes below my goal time!
For once I get to be the rabbit and someone else the carrot!Connor excitedly rooting me on as I cross the line.
Once I crossed the line we knew it wouldn't be long before we spotted Julian.  Just a few minutes later he came around the corner still looking solid.  As is always the case at these events, he picks up a lot of casual fans and there was plenty of cheering for him on that final stretch.  He ended up crossing the line at 1 hour 21 minutes, right on the time I projected for him ...... before accounting for the wind!  Needless to say we we're very impressed with his effort.  A crash the day before and a crosswind that gave seasoned riders trouble were overcome in full stride.
Heading out on run number 2.A strong finish from a determined athlete.

The official time splits:
Run1R1 PaceT1BikeSpeedT2Run2R2 PaceOverallOverall Rank
Chris17:068:33min/mi01:2434:1119.3mph01:2617:008:30min/mi01:11:0934 of 85
Julian16:318:16min/mi01:1245:1614.6mph01:3416:418:21min/mi01:21:1560 of 85

Remember those 2 age groupers I passed?  That moved me up to a whopping 7th out of 10.  What do you expect in an age group that boasted 3 of the top 5 overall?  Julian of course faired much better taking home 1st place honors in the 10&Under division.  In fact, only one competitor under the age of 21 had a faster time - a 13yr old who was only marginally faster on the run but held a strong edge on the bike.
This was my primary event for the first part of the year and after a success there are always thanks to be given.

To my wife Angelia: Thank you for all the loud cheering and the massive quantity of photos.  Your voice carried over the entire run course.  A simple call of "Julian!" over the wind let me know everything was going well and allowed me to focus on the task at hand.  Your enthusiasm was infectious.

To my son Connor: Thank you for hanging in there on a 5am wake-up call just to hop in the car and stand around watching other people do their thing.  I heard you cheering for me every time the course came near you, and you were the first to greet me at the finish line with more excitement than I could muster for myself.

To my coach Joey: Thank you for seamlessly transitioning from cycling coach to duathlon coach.  It's hard to believe I've barely been running for 2 months but the plan you laid out worked perfectly.  I felt ready to go and confident on race morning.

To race director Jack of IRP:  Thanks for taking the time to answer all my questions.  I have no doubt it played a crucial role in Julian and I having such a successful race.

And to my son Julian:  Thank you for showing the strength to persevere through the road rash and the wind.  I know from first-hand accounts you inspired many to keep going when they wanted to give in to the elements.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

1st Quarter Retrospective

So, I sat at my computer this morning with the thoughts of writing a first quarter review and darn it, MomSwimBikeRun has already beaten me to the punch!  It's been an interesting start to the year for all the blogging world as we shake off the winter rust and get primed for target events.  For me, not only did the training start to kick into gear but I introduced my family to the blogosphere with these 3 posts:

How It Began
2010: A Slow-twitch Odyssey (part 1)
2010: A Slow-twitch Odyssey (part 2)

If you're just joining the party, give them a read for a look at the genesis of our active lifestyle.

For 2011, it took all of one day for Julian to show he was faster than a speeding bullet at the Superman 5k.  Angelia set a PR as well.

I came face to face with the harsh reality of Off-season "Fitness".

I started running for the first time.  Less than 2 weeks later I ran an unexpected 5k on my training run.

We competed at the Texas Motor Speedway Duathlon ..... and came home with bling!

Angelia ran her first 10k.  It was more 5k bling for Julian and I at the Trinity River Levee Run.

Julian joined me for some brick intervals.  Then he did it again a week later with his new bike.

Connor had his first t-ball practice.

We closed out the 1st quarter with 5k PR's for all of us at the Green Door 5k.

Immediately followed by a t-ball game.  Go Tigers!

For the technical side of the review I don't have numbers for Angelia or Julian but here's my monthly volume so far this year.  Not quite where I want it yet but we're getting there.  At least the numbers are trending up!