Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Crabman Sprint Triathlon

Crabman Sprint Triathlon, South Kingstown, Sunday, July 29, 2012
Distance:  1/4 mile swim, 11 mile bike, 3.1 mile run

Results here.  1:04:12.  39th out of 309.  5th in age group.

Swim:  9:37, 167th overall (last year 8:35).  How come a minute slower?  Uneventful, other than couldn't see the second buoy due to sun - is that where I lost time?  The boys started 5 minutes ahead of me in their swim wave.  I chatted with Steve just before the start, and then never saw him again.

With my boys before the swim:
Steve said I looked quite feminine in my pink swim cap!

Done with the swim - hard to run in this thing!

Bike:  32:28, 58th overall (last year 32:45).  Thought I would have made up more time here.  Average speed 20.1 mph, maximum 27, on a mostly flat course.  I passed Matthew on Route 1 on the first lap, and Mark on the second.  Elise blew by me at about the same place, despite starting 5 minutes behind me.
Sharp turn on bike route

Run:  18:38, 4th overall (last year 19:55).  Had an abysmal T2 (1:42, 227th overall) in which I went down the wrong row and couldn't find my own setup.  Mark was behind me getting off the bike into T2, but still passed me in T2 due to my ineptitude.  It was too bad to lose time here, because I had a killer run.  I did not repeat my slow first mile from New London, as my first split off the bike was a much better 6:05, followed by 5:57 and 5:53.  Didn't count the runners this time, but I was having fun reeling them in one at a time.  Caught Mark at about mile 1, and got to see him again at mile 2 as the loop had a turnaround.  Passed Elise on the home stretch, and booked it in to finish 19 seconds ahead of last year's time.

Start of run - time to reel 'em in
Pumping arms in mid-air sprint to finish

Other WTAC finishers:  Steve ended up 1st in our age group.  Elise was 2nd woman overall.  Mike B looked strong -6th in a deep age group on I think his 2nd tri ever.  A few NRA guys as well - caught up with Ben afterwards - 4th in his age group after running Blessing on Friday AND Beavers on Saturday.

Both my boys did great.  There were only 3 finishers in the 14 & under category - Mark took a 1st and Matthew a 3rd.  Mark had a great swim with 60th overall, and finished 38th overall in the run with a 21:42.  Matthew was the youngest in the whole field, and finished his first ever sprint triathlon!  And that was after running the Blessing on Friday!  Matthew said he passed 20 on the run, and nobody passed him (hmm, sounds familiar).

Another fun triathlon comes to an end

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Weekly Log 23-Jul-12 to 29-Jul-12

Monday:  0

4 miles.  Stonington Fun Runs.  Arrived too late for a warm-up.  Ran with Mike B (20:08, 6:27 pace), followed by a short cooldown along the water, and get-together on the docks.  Always a good time.

8 paltry miles.  My plans for a morning real bike ride followed by a medium run were dashed by a 4AM call from the on-call support person at work looking for help, that then consumed my next 3 hours.  Arggh!  I was irritable all day long.  Managed to sneak in a short ride late afternoon to try to reduce my irritability.
4 miles.  Westerly Fun Runs, Week 6.  This one was truly cathartic, and I forgot about life for a while (hey, isn't that a line from a song?  Billy Joel?).  18:10, 5:50 pace. This was my fastest run on this course ever.  A gaggle of teens blew by me as usual at the start, and after the dust settled, there were two:  a 19-year old from NY, and a 14-year old from western MA (probably a young Tom B).  The 19-year old was clearly much faster than me, but the 14-year old and I traded positions several times all the way to the end; I was impressed with his stamina.
Observations:  1) This was the second week in a row that newcomers remarked after the run that they felt the course was really hilly.  Hilly, really?  There is one short hill; you go down it, you go up it.  2) My average fun run time last year was 18:57, this year to date 18:24 (not that I'm a data geek or anything).  Making me wonder about the possibility of a sub-18 this summer or fall or even a run at my 17:51 PR.  We'll see ...

4 miles.  Work unexpectedly started at 2:30AM for me today.  I love my job, I love my job, I love my job.  Fortunately I had the problem diagnosed, resolved, and far enough long by 4:50AM to turn it over to others, get off the phone and computer, and get the running shoes on.  Tom Harvey / Shore loop.  Didn't go nearly as far as I wanted before I had to come back and catch the train to Beantown, but hopefully the short run and pyschedelic purple sunrise (or was that just sleep deprivation?) will help with the stress and irritability factor during the daily grind ahead of me today.

Slept from 9PM - 7:30AM, 10.5 hours!  Guess I needed it.  A new day, a new attitude.  Really excited about this weekend.  Running the Blessing tonight with Matthew.  Had thought about going for my 62:43 PR, but running with Matthew is the right thing to do and it will be a good father-son experience at one of my favorite races each year (my 10th consecutive tonight).  It's fun to listen to Matthew strategize - a fellow runner 1 year older from Curtis Corner MS that he met at track meets this year also ran Blessing last year, usually beats Matthew at meets by a hair, and he ran 1:30:xx, 9:05 pace.  But Matthew asked me to pace him for 8:00/mile tonight - we'll see what happens.
15 miles.  Avondale, Watch Hill, Misquamicut, Weekapaug.  Passed some guy in Watch Hill that then sped up to catch me.  Weird.  Hammered it on Ocean View Highway and also Atlantic, where I was able to keep it at 23mph.  The guy drafted me the whole way from Watch Hill to Weekapaug.  What gives, or is that standard biking etiquette?  [0:53, avg 18mph, max 29mph]
11 milesBlessing of the Fleet, NarragansettVery cool and proud Dad moment. 
Race finish:  tired, but successful
 Matthew killed it:  he was looking for 80, and ended up 77:21.  7:44 pace, 341 out of 2,642 total.  30 minute rain delay as we got soaked outside.  Mile 5 was slowest at 8:09, otherwise all miles were sub 8, as low as 7:32.  I was Matthew's pit crew as I would stop and go back for water and ice for him, then sprint ahead to bring it to him. 
He said he was getting tired on the back half of the course, but just kept plowing away.  At the 8-mile mark on a short downhill after the high school, Matthew barreled downhill passing scads of runners.  What's up with that?  "Dad, it's just easier for me to run fast downhill."  Yep, that's my boy.
The whole course we heard "Look at that kid go", "Go #102", or "Dude, how old are you?" (he's 12).  He was unfairly in age group 1-19, but when we put the results in Excel and filtered out 13 and under, yep, he came in first for 13 and under.  He was thrilled to see kids from southern RI that he met at track meets behind his time.

Post-race:  Awesome finish, great experience

Huge kudos to Justin for going sub-60!

4 miles.  Watch Hill Rd, Mastuxet, Tom Harvey.  Thighs raw and chafed from running 10-miles in rain-drenched shorts last night.  Hopefully will clear up before Crabman tomorrow morning.

0.25 miles.  Crabman Sprint Triathlon, South Kingstown.  Separate write-up shortly.  Preliminary results showed Mark got 2nd in his age group, and I took a 4th, but then they canceled the awards ceremony because they said a number of the results were wrong.  Kept checking back online, but results still not posted a day later - frustrating!
11 miles.
3.1 miles.
Weekly totals:
Run:  31 miles
Bike:  34 miles
Swim:  0.25 miles

Week in review:  Clearly the highlight for me was running the Blessing with Matthew on Friday, and vicariously soaking in his feat.  Really cool, he said he wanted to run it with me again next year but was also conscious that he wanted an opportunity for me to try for a PR.  Long time away, we'll see. 
Week upcoming:  Another great race weekend is on tap, this time a triple-header:  1) Saturday morning 50th Annual Ocean Beach/John Kelley 11.6 mile road race in New London (manning WTAC water stop only for me), 2) Saturday afternoon Block Island Triathlon, 3) Sunday morning Run 4 Kerri 4-miler in South Kingstown.
BI Tri sold out months ago, but if any interested in helping out at the Kelley race or running as part of a WTAC team at Kerri, come join us!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Weekly Log 16-Jul-12 to 22-Jul-12

0 miles.  First day not running in 14 days.  My legs thanked me.

2 miles.
Bottone Track Mile.  Results here and here.  5:11, one second off my PR!
Westerly Sun article and photo here.
Withering in the heat
Final strides to finish

Normally I finish a race and if a less than expected performance, I let it go, but this one I was really disappointed with.  Maybe it was because I thought a sub-5:10 [PR] in the bag, or maybe it was because I just missed it by a second.
Splits:  74, 80, 81, 75
What didn't go well:
  • Heat (86 degrees at 6PM):  parched going into the 2nd lap; not much I can do
  • Headwind:  some reduction factor going into each lap; again out of my control
  • 2nd & 3rd laps:  the plan and natural tendency was to run these slighter slower than 1st lap, but not by that much!  What happened?  I'm guessing if I didn't have Mike G pushing me at each lap, my 3rd would have been even slower.
  • Pace awareness:  I didn't realize my splits (other than 1st that announcer called out) until after the race.  I hit the "lap" button on my watch each 400; should I have taken the extra fraction of a second to view the split each 400?
  • Solo run:  Elise told me afterward how hard it is to run solo (the next guy was quite a ways behind me), and asked why I didn't run Elite instead of Masters.  Would it have helped if I had someone ahead of me (presumably Justin looking at stats)?  At the same time, I was asked if I could put on a Masters heat, and want to be responsive to others.
What went well (short list here):
  • Form - more than 1 told me after the race that my form looked good throughout.  (Feel free to comment otherwise).
  • Organizationally, this was another good event put on by the WTAC.  Although the turnout is small, I'm happy to keep help putting this on.  It's a good group of people.
Mike G hammered it with an impressive 4:29 finish.  Spectators remarked how they were enjoying watching him run.  Muddy may have missed his 5-flat target by a second, but still had a huge PR.  Both my boys ran solid runs, but were bummed out how far off they were from their PRs.

10+ miles.  Slow (8+ pace) pensive run on Misquamicut Beach loop, including 3 miles beach.  Reflected on last night's race, then I have to move on as likely won't be running a track mile again for another year.  Time to look forward to the rest of the summer races, and thinking about fall plans (marathon?, half Iron?).
3+ miles.  Westerly Fun Runs, week 5.  18:39.  Four teenagers bolted out at the start.  Three of them were done 1/4 mile in; I was impressed with the remaining teen, Nick, who led the run for 3/4 mile and ran a smart run this time to PR in 19:11.  Pushed reasonably hard, but the legs were feeling sluggish and not up to it, presumably after previous day's Bottone in the heat wave.  Thinking of taking a zero tomorrow, and a double Friday.  Was glad we were able to get this off with the thunderstorm threats.  Thanks to Tom B for stepping up and filling in as starter and timer for Coach McCoy away this week.

0 miles. 

6 miles.  Parked my car at the entrance to Wahaneeta Preserve, Westerly Land Trust's newest property.  Did some exploring in here, mostly double-track, and then ran through parts of Woody Hill Management until I ran out of time before morning meetings.  I'll be back...
6 miles.  Groton Fun Runs.  64o, light rain.  Bluff Point State Park.  Cool weather was a nice contrast to recent heat.  Amazing how many more people will show up at fun runs in oppressive high 80s than a cool low 60s with just a drizzle.  Ran warm-up with Matthew, and cool-down with Glen C.  Ended up pretty muddy on this trail run!

12 miles solo.  Had planned out a grandiose long run the night before, from home through Woody Hill and then beach all the way to Watch Hill.  Slept in, lost the time window and interest, threw the plans out the window.  Meandered around Champlin trails before back roads towards Dunn's Corners and finally down to Weekapaug before hitting the beach.  Tough going on the beach as it was just about high tide.
Picked up our Blessing packet; still not sure if I'm running solo or with Matthew, but leaning towards the latter.
Spent the afternoon with the family at Beavertail State Park picnicing, walking/running/jumping the rocks, and Matthew and I found an area cleared out of enough rocks to go in swimming and float the waves back in to shore.  Cheap family outing that's a lot of fun.

9 miles with Matthew, 7AM.  A new distance PR for him.  Ran local backroads of Avondale and Watch Hill.   On the way back on Ocean View Highway, ran into the WTAC Sunday late morning running gang just heading out, with John a/k/a Pard and Paul leading the way, along with Les, CarolAnn, Buddy, and crew.  Good to see local runners.
12 miles with the family.  South County Bike Path from Kingston train station to Wakefield and back.  Matthew still getting used to his first ever road bike, before the three of us face Crabman next Sunday.
Beach with Mark.  Short solo swimming.  Ran into Steve and Polly, tried to talk them into joining us and other WTAC'ers (Mike B, Elise, etc) at the Crabman.

Weekly totals:
Run:  48 miles
Bike:  12 miles
Swim:  not much

Week wrap-up.  Decent mileage week, especially given I took 2 days off and only ran 2 miles Tuesday.  Bottone Mile was disappointing to me, but I'm moving on from that.  I've got a busy and fun schedule coming up, with back-to-back 2-race weekends.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Ocean Beach Triathlon

Amica Ocean Beach logo
New London, CT.  Sunday, July 15, 2012.

Results here.  1:34:07.  75th out of 321.  PR by more than 5 minutes over last year's time.

7AM start, typical early start for tris.  My support crew (Jana) was good enough to get up with me and be out the door by 5:30AM for the morning's activities.

Swim:  21:22.  220th out of 321.  0.5 mile triangular course.  3 minutes faster than last year.
Pre-race jitters just before swim start

Swim course looked daunting to me
Return swim to shore:  I'm somewhere in here getting trampled
Yes!  I survived the swim, and
didn't drown.  On to the bike.

Bike:  50:10.  102nd out of 321.  16.1 mile loop through New London and Waterford.  2 minutes faster than last year, although most of this is due to I dropped the chain last year and lost a minute fixing it.  Hilly course.  Cool passing other bikers going downhill at 34mph, but hairy passing a couple of cars.  As I came into transition, a spectator told me I was 109th overall (not including swim wave start differential).  Let's see what we can make up on the run.
Bike dismount at end of course before entering transition area

Run:  19:14.  8th out of 321.  3.1 mile loop, mostly along the water.  Hot!  20 seconds faster than last year.  Just for the fun of it, I counted runners I passed to help the time pass:  I ended up passing 41 runners, and got passed by 1.  (Yes, passing so many runners is only because I start so far back after my slow swim and bike, but let me have my fun!)
Despite trying tips from veterans to ease the transition and Gumby-like feeling in the legs (such as spinning in low gear before getting off the bike), I still had trouble getting going on the run.  First mile was a disappointing 6:26, fortunately followed by 6:02 and then 5:52 for the final mile.

Start of the run:  finally I'm in my element
Running through a water fountain to cool off
Time to chase down

End of the tri:  I gave it my all
(take 2 minutes off clock for swim wave start adjustment)

High points:  Swim was 3 minutes faster!  Yes, there's still much room for improvement, but I think sighting the next buoy every 5 strokes helped keep me on a straighter path.
Low points:  T1 was too slow at 2:08.  Also need to get going on the run a little quicker, or at least get into my groove sooner.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Weekly Log 9-Jul-12 to 15-Jul-12

5 miles.  Chariho Fun Run.
Track portion of the run at CHS
Went up with Matthew to my alma mater to run the 1 mile and 3 mile runs, both mostly on grass, with a little track mixed in.  Put on by John Ward and Earl Thomas, both fellow Chariho grads and marathoners.  John is unfortunately ending his 22-year Blessing streak this year due to injuries.
Ran the 1-mile pretty much all out in 5:23, which leads me to question how I'll do any better next week at Bottone.  Was neat to run through the higher powered sprinklers around the perimeter of the field.
Ran the 3-mile comfortably hard, but not all out.  18:13.
Following the "Four Horsemen" at start of the 3-mile
(Funny, the 4th one in yellow shorts wasn't what I expected!)
After the runs, caught up with Mike Marsella, Chariho all-American running star.  I was amazed how down to earth and easy going he was.  After a while, he actually started to ask me about my running, marathon experience, and Chariho days.  He seemed astounded to hear that his coach (Haberek) was my teacher back in the late '70s and when I ran laps on the track for CHS soccer training, back then it was a dirt track.  Of course back then I also rode in a horse and buggy to school. J

5 miles.  Fun Run week continues with the Stonington Fun Runs.  Ran a warm-up loop with Matthew.  Got stuck back in the pack at the beginning, and took me a while to get free with the record crowds.  Had to hoof it to catch up with Mike B.  It took me over a mile to catch him, as it turns out he was blasting out a 6:24 overall pace.
The whole family is running
Huge running field this week
1/2 mile in: 
heading down Water St

Jeff & Mike finishing up
Yes, that's a Lamborghini in lower left
No, it's not Mike's
WTAC'ers Matthew and CarolAnn finishing up
Note the appropriately named park (white sign on right) and
street name (green sign in back)
The long wait to the bar
is almost over for Mike and Jeff

Mike's yacht is somewhere
out here; can't tell which one

8 miles. Misquamicut Beach loop solo run. 5 miles road, 3 sand. Tried to run easy today, especially as I've run hard the past few days, broke my Monday rest day rule, and will likely run hard tonight.

3 miles.  Westerly Fun Runs.  18:18, top 3 results here, click through to individual results. 
Great turnout again tonight!  Too many WTAC'ers to list.  Tied my record on this twisty course.  On a bright note, Mark is on his way to mending as he jogged his way through his first 5K since a nasty ankle injury a few weeks back.
WTAC'ers at registration table:
background:  Steve, John
foreground:  Mary, "Coach" Tommy, Jeff
WTAC event banner

Tom (orange) on his way to a 17:00 finish
Matthew (lt blue) en route to his fastest 5K ever (20:44)
Great turnout tonight.  WTAC'ers John (white hat & WTAC singlet, red shorts)
and Way (orange singlet, lower right)

8 miles.  Fun Run frenzy continued at Mystic Fun Runs.  Small group of less than 20.  There were only 8 of us that ran the 10-K, which after 1/4 mile in downtown Mystic is mostly on the Tarzan Brown course along the river.  The others ran the shorter options of 3 or 4 miles.  Ran mostly with Matthew and a guy named Skip; it turns out he's doing the BI Tri next month and is a Chariho grad also.  Small world!  I was surprised to see a staffed water stop on the course, especially given the small numbers and being a fun run! [47:50,7:43 pace]
About to start Fun Run

Beautiful river views along
run looking back into

After being held up
at drawbridge, just
turned final corner in
Mystic with runners

Finishing up

6 miles.  Track workout at Stonington High School with Tom and Mike B.  Ran a 2-mile warm-up through neat parts of the campus I had never seen.  There were cross country trails through here begging us to come back another time.
Here's the workout and stats:
- 1x800 [2:31]
- 2x600 [1:52, 1:50]
- 2x400 [73, 72]
- 4x200 [38, 35, 35, 33]
For the 200s, Mike and I alternated leading and the other riding right on the leader's shoulder to simulate potential race day.  Good workout to wrap it up before Bottone Mile; hopefully this will help me break my PR of 5:10.  The real bummer was that Tom had some sort of pop in his hips and had to drop out on the last 400.  Hopefully with 3 1/2 days, he'll be fully recooperated.
6 miles, all trails.  Final fun run of the week.  Groton Fun Runs, Bluff Point State Park.  Saw Way 5 out of the past 6 days (Sailfest 5K, plus 4 out of the 5 fun runs I ran); he said he sees me more than he sees his wife!  I ran the "long" course of 3.5 miles; felt like the pace was easy and was running consistently with a couple of guys at the pack lead, yet I ended up with a 6:21 pace overall and way ahead of the others.
Ran a 2-mile cooldown with Matthew that I thought was going to be easy, until he took me off the main trail onto a steep singletrack long incline over rocks.  The legs felt it, especially after the workout this morning!
Start of Groton Fun Run

View from the run on the way out

Finishing up the trail run

Cool down with Matthew

Post run get-together

25 miles.  5:20AM ride out to Jonny's.  11 miles out via 91 and Burdickville.  Bike -> Run -> Bike.  14 miles return via Kings Factory and Route 1.  On the way back, was feeling hungry and stopped at Dave's Coffee for a drink and bite to eat, or so I thought:  had a $5 bill, and for that I could get either an iced coffee OR a muffin, but not both!  Got the iced coffee, sat outside, put my head back in the chair and just about fell asleep!
10 miles.  2 miles roads, balance trails on a early morning Burlingame run with Jonny and Muddy.  Started down Burdickville Road and then ran North-South trail in a southerly direction, eventually crossing Buckeye Brook Road, kind of the reverse of the trail Tom and I ran a month or so ago before getting lost.  At one point early in the run I looked back and saw at least 50 deerflies trailing Muddy's head!  Wearing my Clamdigger hat today greatly reduced the annoyance factor.  Split off from the gang after 7+ miles because I had had enough of them!  No, actually, it was a great run with great company and running talk as usual, but I felt that was enough running for me with my first triathlon of the season tomorrow morning.

0.5 miles.  Ocean Beach Triathlon.  See separate write-up.
16 miles.  Ocean Beach Tri.
4 miles.  Ocean Beach Tri.
Weekly mileage:
Run:  55 miles
Bike:  41 miles
Swim:  0.5 miles

Week in review:  This was a really big running mileage week for me.  Enjoyed all the different fun runs, and the weekend came at me fast and hard with the Friday track session, Saturday trail run, and Sunday tri. 
I've been running for 13 days straight now; that's probably a PR running streak for me but I'll be looking forward to ending it Monday with a zero.  My legs are sore and tight and need a break.  I can really feel it walking up stairs at home Sunday night.
Upcoming:  Bottone on Tuesday, then a rare race-free summer weekend, before two back-to-back double-header race weekends (Blessing & Crabman, followed by Block Island & Kerri).  Lovin' the summer fun runs and races.  Definitely my favorite time of year.