Monday, June 18, 2012

Boulder Sprint Triathlon Recap

Sunday was my first triathlon while being up at altitude, and I was a bit nervous to say the least. It is only a sprint triathlon, but I didn't know how my body would cope being expose to above threshold activity for the duration of the race. But I was also excited, as it was my 2nd race of the year. Boulder doesn't have a lack of competitiveness if you didn't know that already!

Up at 5am, coffee, standard oatmeal, nut butter, banana and fruit breakie and I was off to the Boulder Reservoir for the race. The nice thing about a race 3 miles from home, was I rode there, and didn't have to worry with traffic. Thanks to coach Grant Holicky, I was set up with a sweet rig for the race, and ready to go fast.
Ready to rock tomorrow!!! Thanks coach @grantholicky
Got to the race site by 6:10 or so, and got body marked, and transition set up. With the bike ride over there, I opted out of a bike warmup and proceeded to get some time in the legs with a quick run before heading back to transition to finalize everything. All locked and loaded and I was ready to rumble, grabbing my wetsuit and heading off to the swim start. Race started at 7:30 and I was in the 4th wave (29U) group. Had a bit of a swim warm-up while the first 3 waves were off.

RACE TIME! I was able to get into the water with the first line of guys, and readied myself for the thrashing that was about to begin. Announcments were made, and the gun went off. I started my 310XT and began to sprint off the line, just missing out on this picture, I am probably just a bit to the left. I believe "Washing machine" is the correct term, as you are being thrashed/kicked/punched/grabbed/violated in every way possible. I need to work on this, because I was soon behind the first few waves of guys.
Athletes in the 12-29 age group begin their 2012 Boulder 5430 Sprint Triathlon on Sunday at the Boulder Reservoir.  For more photos and a video of the triathlon, go to Cliff Grassmick / June 17, 2012
I was soon able to get into my own rhythm and settle in. But it wasn't long before we started mauling the wave ahead of us. Running over bodies left and right, before finally heading out of the 750m swim. BAD NEWS STRIKES!!! I went to touch the lap button on my Garmin 310XT and realized it was no longer on my wrist....OOPS. It now lies in a watery tomb at the bottom of the Boulder Reservoir.  I heard reviews of this happening quite a bit, and will acknowledge the fact that the strap isn't the best. Swim time of 10:53, 8th in my AG and 35th overall...Not too bad, but needs improvement.

Into T1, I grabbed my helmet, race belt, sunglasses, and was off on to the 16.5mile bike. The bike course is second nature, but also very deceptive as the first 4miles are on about a 2% gradient. I tried to settle into a nice constant pedal stroke and started picking off riders 1 by 1. By the time 5miles came around it was time to rip it. For the next 8-9miles, it is pretty much downhill by 2%, and I was able to get it up to speed and tear down the rode, again, just blowing by riders. Now, in doing this, it makes you seem like your going 55mph, but you really aren't. The last 2 miles are that gradual 1.5-2% uphill, but I was happy to pick off all but 3 of the guys in my group ahead of me. Ended up with a time of 41:22 and a 25.0mph avg. Ended up 3rd in my age group and 18th overall for the bike!!!!

Out of T2, it was time for the part false flat/descent 5k run. This area of the res is extremely open and exposed and the sun didn't let up, even at 8:30am in the morning. It was HOT to say the least, and I settled into an unknown rhythm without my Garmin on the wrist. I feel as though I went out a bit hot int he first mile, and lost 1 position to the top runner in the field (again, from my AG). At the turn around, I saw 2 other guys in my age group, and sure enough, both would catch me by the finish line. DOH! But I can't complain to much, I have only been running since January, and I am way ahead of where I ever thought I would be. Finished in a time of 20:53 (6:45min/mile avg). Faster than I have ever run a 5k before.

So overall, I finished 7th in my age group, but 24th overall/700 competitors with a finish time of 1:16:17. A very good position, and just shows the depth of my age group in the race (20-24). 7 of us were in the top 24. The winner of the whole race was Drew Scott (22years old), son of the infamous Dave Scott (7x Ironman World Champ). A couple CU Boulder National Champion members also finished ahead of me. There is no regret to my placing, I did everything I could, and know with more run training, that time will keep coming down! I can't wait for the Olympic Distance in a few weeks, and will hopefully crush some souls with a longer swim, and longer bike heading over the dreaded Old Stage Climb! Coach says I am very consistent over all three right now, which is better for long distance stuff (as what happened in KC). Going to be a fun race for sure! Check out the video of last years racers heading up Old Stage.

Here are a link to the results if you're interested. I'll re-post pictures if there are any once posted on the website.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Race Week Again

Time to get ready for another race this upcoming weekend, #2 of the season, in the form of the Boulder 5430 Sprint Triathlon this weekend at the Boulder Reservoir. Looking forward to this, as I'll be able to wake up in my own bed, fix my own breakfast and head to the Res which is about 10min away on my bike, no car to prevent the need to park a car. The race is a 550yd swim, 17mile bike, and 3.1mile run, all on roads/areas that I know like the back of my hand. Looking for another top 3, and if possible, going for the Big W this weekend. The training is there, now I just have to use it.

Training has picked up again the past couple weeks from the KC 5150, and my legs are really starting to feel it. Haven't had the greatest swim, bike, or run workouts in the past week, but also nothing that would really cause an alarm. The one thing as a triathlete you have to cope with, is that for the most part, you will always have some residual fatigue in the legs.

Last week was 20.5hours
     Swim = 12.53miles
     Run = 28.15
     Bike = 162

Work has been great as of late, many of my athletes are hitting some great form and have produced some good results and quite a few W's! Always makes you feel good to see that! Actually even have an athlete from the Iowa City area who took the W in his category at the Barry Carter ICCC TT on Sunday. So cool that I can help him with routes/races/ back in the "homeland"

Summer has started early here in Boulder, with all of last week near the 90's and even above 100 on Saturday. With this, I have learned fires can start just like that. You may have heard about the High Park fire that has recently started West of Ft. Collins. It is 0% contained, and is spreading faster than a flash flood. Horrible news for the residents, wildlife and scenery. We really need some rain to help out that brave men and women fighting to save all they can. It's good to see all the Sheriff's out on the weekend making sure that "fire bans" are respected.

Hoping for a good race this weekend! Race report to come after

Friday, June 1, 2012

Back to Work

Not much has been going on since Kansas City a couple weekends ago. Took a few days to recover. Never thought at 2 hour triathlon could hurt so bad, but I guess threshold of each sport will take that out of you! Took a few days to feel alright doing any sort of high intensity work, but with good coaches, they know that, and take it easy. So I was out of track practice the following Tuesday in order to recover.

This weekend the hours start to come back, as I build back up towards the Boulder Sprint in mid-June. Weather has been amazing out here, in the 70-80's everyday with a minimal amount of wind. Good ol sunshine and a perfect tan...Well almost perfect. I have 3 distinct tan lines on my legs if anyone cares. Drag suit, run shorts, and bike shorts. So my legs have a good 4 different shades of skin. Beats the pasty whiteness most of you know me to have outside of normal cycling tan while back home in Iowa.

Anyway....moving on. It was a great last weekend for FasCat coaching on Sunday as one of our athletes (Timmy Duggan) rode his way with pure heart and some amazing power-weight ratio to win the United States Professional Cycling Championships in Greenville, SC!  Timmy has overcome some amazing obstacles in his career including a terrible crash at the Tour of Georgia where he suffered broken bones and a serious head injury. He has massive determination and obviously from his performance, true heart and passion for this sport. He has been in a couple times this week to download power files, chat, and already did some more high intensity intervals on the O2 gas. No rest for the weary! Best of luck as he heads back to Europe in his new national champions jersey and hopefully he get's a spot on a grand tour team this summer!!!

Timmy Duggan (Liquigas-Cannondale) wins the USA national championship road race

Here are a couple pictures and articles from our analysis of his performance. Pretty amazing to average over 6.0watts/kg. If you are aspiring to be a professional cyclist, you better be able to hit this mark.    <----- Power File Analysis!!!! Check this out!

Until next time, train hard and remember "impossible" is NOT a word.