Thoughts for the First Duathlon of the Year Tomorrow

>> Friday, April 30, 2010

The Cannon Falls Duathlon is TOMORROW!! (Saturday) It’s the first duathlon of the year for Matt, Pharmie, and I. We’re excited! Here’s a group of 5 of us before and after the race last year:





Below are my splits from last year. There was only a slight breeze out there, so it was a near-perfect racing day. BUT, this was the race where I had a rookie mistake: my brakes were rubbing on my bike for the first 6 miles, so that’s why my bike split is so slow.

- 2 mile run: 11:32 (5:46 pace)
- T1: 0:40
- 14 mile bike: 46:59 (17.8 mph official, 18.2 mph on my computer)
- T2: 0:39
- 3 mile run: 18:14 (6:05 pace)
- Overall: 1:18:03 (12th place out of 131 total)

I would have placed in my age group had I been able to take 2:00 off my finishing time. I’m shooting to take 3:00 off my time this year. (I know that doesn’t guarantee an award, but that’s the time I’d like to see. I expect the race to be bigger this year too, so that means a better chance of NOT placing in my age group.)

My runs might be a little faster, but I am NOT going to take 3:00 off of my runs alone. If I did the bike 3:00 faster, that’d put me at 19.0, and I think that’s TOTALLY doable. (I should be able to go faster than that if it’s not super windy.) Honestly, I’d love to take some time off in EACH discipline tomorrow.

BUT, I’m not in as good of “multi-sport” shape as I was last year. Early April last year, I raced the New Orleans 70.3 (Half Ironman). Then, a few weeks later, I raced the Winter BeGone Duathlon, which was 1 week before the Cannon Falls Duathlon. So this duathlon last year was my 3rd multi-sport event in a month. This year, it’s my first of the year! I hope I haven’t forgot how to “du” this!! (Bad pun - sorry.)

So we’ll just have to wait and see what happens!! I’ll TRY to place in my age group, but that will be tough. Pharmie placed in her age group last year, and it’d be GREAT if she could again this year! And they added a “Clydesdale” division (over 200 lbs), so Matt IS going to place!! (There’s no “if” about it!! Go Matt!!) I’ll let you know how we do as soon as I can! Wish us luck!

Oh, and here are my race goals:
- Hit the first run hard.
- HAMMER like crazy on the bike. HARD! Keep Matt from catching me until mile 9.
- Hold on for the final run. Can I do 6s?

p.s. I’ll keep this video and song in my head for motivation during the race:


Direct link: http://www.collegehumor.com/video:1799995

Power up. Reach out for the max. Fresh it up. Don't stop now. Mega fit. You're on fire. The future of fitness. Pump it good. Touch yourself.

(I think I need a shirt that says “100% Alive.”)

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Friday Funny 90: Speedo “Oops”

Oops...



I suppose it’s not quite as big of a deal as this:



Oh yeah, and what about that poor, female, British bobsledder who bent over for one final push when this happened:



Well that's enough of that for one day. Happy Friday!

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Duathlon Workout With Matt(s)

>> Thursday, April 29, 2010

(...and Mindy)

Sunday night, I put out the call to friends: Tues - 6:30 pm - St. Thomas track - duathlon workout - who's in??

My brother-in-law (Matt L) wanted to try a version of that workout. And Matt M said he's show up to run some intervals. And Mindy said she'd maybe show up for a run too.

Matt and I got our bikes set up, and we snapped a photo of everyone:


Oops. Cut off Matt M and the flash was on.

Then we tried to snap a better one:



Then we gave up on trying to make a perfect photo, and just decided to do the damn workout.

Here's the link to the workout that we had looked at (it's on the second page of the article). It's the same workout Marie and I did about a month ago. Only Matt and I were going to scale it back a little. We both wanted to be fresh for the Cannon Falls Duathlon which is this Saturday! And we both had tired legs from recent runs (he did a solid run the night before, and my legs were still a little sore from the half marathon).

The workout calls for a "warm-up interval" of bike / run and then 3 more intervals of bike / run. Matt and I decided to just do the warm up and 2 intervals. I was going to do them all back-to-back like the workout called for, but Matt was going to break them up into "mini-sprint bricks" by doing bike, run, 2:00 break, repeat.

Here we go!!

Spinning (warm-up): 10:00. We spun. We talked about the upcoming race. We "noticed" college girls stretching on the in-field.

Transition: 0:16.

1 Mile Run (warm-up at 90%): 2:51 / 2:55 = 5:46. I ran this a little harder than the prescribed "90%" knowing that I was only doing 2 more intervals after this. I lapped Matt and said "Hey-hey" as I ran past. His enthusiastic response was "F*ck you." That's my brother-in-law. ;)

Transition: 0:24.

Spinning: 9:33. (10x 0:30 on / 0:30 off, skipping the last "off.") The idea is to get on the bike and GO HARD right away. This wasn't too bad. Although my legs DID feel a little heavy. I think I was still feeling the half marathon from a few days before.

Transition: 0:12. That was a fast transition! Good!

1 Mile Run: 3:11 / 3:06 = 6:17. Yeah, my legs were TIRED from the race. But this workout is meant to have you get off the bike and HURT for the first part of that run. That first 200 meters seemed to take for-e-ver.

Transition: 0:19. Not bad.

Spinning: 9:40. (10x 0:30 on / 0:30 off, skipping the last "off.") This was my last interval, and my legs were feeling it! Oh, I also decided to try my new tri shorts for the first time. By the end of this workout, I'd decided NOT to wear them for the race this weekend. My "butt callous" isn't where it needs to be yet...

Transition: 0:14. Good.

1 Mile Run: 3:10 / 2:58 = 6:08. This wasn't QUITE "all out" because I didn't want to hurt anything or beat-myself up too much just 4 days before a race. I ran it HARD, but didn't kill myself. My legs were done.

48:55 total time

I snapped a photo as soon as I wrapped up:



And then I snapped a photo of Matt working on the bike, getting ready to hop off and run for the last time:



(Note the white clock leaning on my bag in the lower-left of that image. That's a clock with a second hand to make it easier to clock our "30 on / 30 off.")

So now it's a couple of easy days, and then the Cannon Falls Duathlon on Saturday!! (2 mile run, 14 mile bike, 3 mile run.) Pharmie, Matt, and I are all heading to the race. And Matt M is doing the duathlon as a team with his girlfriend, so there's a lot of St. Paul heading to Cannon Falls to represent!

Back with a Friday Funny tomorrow, and then my thoughts for the race tomorrow night...

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The Pine Line Half Marathon, Part 2

>> Tuesday, April 27, 2010

My last post was my official race report, so scroll down or click here to check that out. This post is about the fun we had with our blogger / triathlon buddies before and after the race. Enjoy!

Pharmie and I were welcomed into Wisconsin on our drive out there on Friday afternoon:




That's WI for ya. ;)

We pulled up to Rural Girl’s house, and Robby B and Stu were already there. So all of us sat down to a GREAT meal made by Rural Girl:



Rural girl tried a new recipe for dessert, and she had some trouble getting it out of the pan:









Finally, Robby helped out with a more powerful tool that's what she said:



And Michelle enjoyed her dessert crumbs on her fancy Barbie plate (that only comes out with the important guest are over):



Rural Girl had picked up our packets, so Robby and I tried on our hoodies:



Things just went downhill from there. I just HAD to bust out my shorty-shorts known as "bowl full of sunshine" because Rural Girl either loves them or hates them. (I really can't tell.) Stu and I ran into the basement, and somehow I ended up on a dog-grooming table, ready to be groomed. I just had to pixelate this before putting it up:



Stu took a lot of photos of me on that grooming table. That's the only one I can show you, and I only can show you this pixelated version. The rest are much, much, much, much, much worse. If you ever see me in person, ask to see them. But only if you're good at bleaching your soul. Because you'll need to be cleansed after looking at them...

Then I hopped on Rural Girl's bike and did laps around the basement:


To see the video of this, click here

And then for no good reason, Stu told me to "lounge" in Rural Girl's bike crate:



OK, enough of that. We all hung out and just had a fun, low-key evening.


Pharmie and Robby (and Priscilla)


We're more fun than we all look in this photo


Robby and Stu ready for some sleep

Pharmie and I slept in the room next to the guys, and we slept pretty good. Saturday morning came, and here's Pharmie waking up:



We had our breakfast and got ready to go:


Robby, Stu, and Rural Girl


Me, Pharmie, Stu, Robby, and Rural Girl

* * * * * * * * * * *

This is where we headed to the race. I posted about this yesterday. Click here to read my race report and see photos of us all running. I won't repeat that story here.

* * * * * * * * * * *

There are a few more things from the race that I'd like to mention:

- Pharmie joked with me just before the start. She told me "Just make sure to beat Justin Bieber, OK?..." There was this 13 year old kid (with shaggy hair like Ms. Bieber) who was lining up for the race. That kid actually finished 11th overall with a time of 1:38!!! Holy crap! Nice work kid!

- When running in a race that your not familiar with, usually 1 of 2 things happen. 1: You don't know where the finish line is, and you feel like it's MILES away, so you slow up and feel depressed. Or 2: You don't know where the finish line is, and you feel like it's not that far up the road, so you keep pushing it hard. This race felt like #2. (No potty jokes, please.) The trail kept gently curving, so I could never see THAT far up the road, so I never thought "oh crap - the next turn is a LONG ways away!" The course helped keep me going strong from mile 7 on.

- That "slow mile" (or "long mile") at mile 11 REALLY came at the right time. At that point, I only had 2 miles left. So seeing my slowest mile appear at mile 11 really helped me push it even harder for those last 2 miles.

- There was an unpleasant "first" that happened at this race: my butt crack was rubbed a little raw. That hasn't happened to me before. It didn't happen on the outside of the cheeks where my shorts rub them. But it didn't happen real "deep" either. It's somewhere right in the middle. It was due to some "cheek-on-cheek" action. Apparently, my non-existant ass can really jiggle! It still hurts to wipe.

- And finally, I want to thank Kevin (the winner) once more. I could NOT have turned in such a great PR if he weren't out there "pulling" me. If he weren't there, I would have been a few minutes slower. Had there been 20 of him there, I would have let them all go, thinking "oh, they're all just better than me." But because there was that 1 faster guy at the race, I always wanted to keep him in my sights. THANKS KEVIN!!

Here are our results from the race:


(Kevin's winning time is 1:21:44)

Pharmie was super happy to place 6th out of 15 in her AG, and 17th out of 45 females! Nice job, Hunnie! And Stu's real name is Stacy, so they had him down as the lead female for a while. He gets that a lot...

As I was walking back to the race after getting my clothes out of the van, I came across some more Wisconsin humor:



When Pharmie finished, Rural Girl was surprised to hear that she ran the last few miles in just her sports bra. She had to see what kind of bra Pharmie was wearing:



I enjoyed some post-race chocolate milk:


Notice the wet hoodie - it had really started raining

We all walked back to the car to head to Rural Girl's place (to have a warm group shower), and you can see how cold Pharmie and Rural Girl are:



On the ride back to the house, Stu told me that my finishing time "gave him a little wood." So on the drive back to MN, I actually took a photo of an exit sign on the freeway for Stu:


"Woodville. Population: Stu."
That's a real exit off I94. Wisconsonites - who knew? ;)

Back at the house, Pharmie and I compared blisters. Pharmie got her first blister since Ironman a few years ago!!


Pharmie's blister and hot-spot


My sorest foot


My not-as-sore foot

Robby called his wife to let her know how the race went:



We showered, packed our things, and we all headed out. Jack, Rural Girl, Josie, and Jordi, thanks for letting us all take over your home for a night!! Pharmie and I headed back to the race site to pick up my AG award. (Remember, there was a full marathon going on as well, so the awards started over 2.5 hours after I finished my half marathon.)


People standing around trying to stay dry / warm


Walking back with my medal


With my AG medal before heading out of WI

We stopped for a bite to eat at a McDonalds, and I realized that I never got a shot of me in a porta-potty at the race!! Being it was such a small race and we just showed up 20 minutes before the start, I actually never had to go in a porta-potty. So instead, I got a shot of me peeing in McDonalds:


Yes, I'm peeing as I took this photo

I drove back as Pharmie napped. I enjoyed the WI landscape:



About 45 minutes from home, I asked Pharmie to drive so I could rest. I put my feet up and relaxed:



My butt crack is still a little sore today. My legs were REALLY sore on Sunday, but I stretched them out (and foam rolled) yesterday, so they're feeling pretty good today. I have an intense track workout planned for tonight (Kevin O'Connor's duathlon workout that I did a few weeks back), and then they'll be some easy workouts the rest of the week as we lead up to the first duathlon of the season on Saturday! Pharmie, her brother (and the other half of "Team Happy Pants") Matt, and I are all racing the Cannon Falls Duathlon just south of the Cities. Should be fun!!

Stu, Robby B, and Rural Girl: it was great hanging out with you this weekend! Thanks for a fun race! And thanks for reading everyone!

p.s. I ripped on WI pretty good in this post. I have nothing against WI. I actually quite love that state. But being from MN, it's my job to make fun of WI and Iowa whenever possible. Now it's Iowa's turn: Q: What do you call a bunch of tractors parked in front of a McDonald’s on Friday night in Iowa? A: Prom.

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The Pine Line Half Marathon, Part 1

>> Monday, April 26, 2010

This post will be about our race at the Pine Line Half Marathon in Medford, WI. I’ll be back tomorrow with more fun photos and stories from before and after the race. Pharmie, Simply Stu, Robby B, and I stayed at Rural Girl’s place Friday night, and then we all ran the race on Saturday. Here’s how the race went down:

Saturday morning, we all got up, had our breakfast, and got ready to run. It was a tricky race to plan for because it was under 50 degrees and windy. AND the sky was about to open up at any moment, but we didn’t know for sure if it would rain. Here’s the 5 of us ready to leave Rural Girl’s place:


Me, Pharmie, Stu, Robby, and Rural Girl

Stu’s just like a little boy - we got to the race site, and he was running in front of us:



I went to warm-up with Rural Girl and Robby:



On the warm-up, I told Rural Girl “You know, if I do REALLY well at this race, Jen’s going to give me all kinds of hell and tell me it’s because I warmed up.” (Jen is Rural Girl’s coach, and she gives me crap all the time because I don’t warm-up or cool-down properly.)

This race was an “out-and-back” on the Pine Line Trail. The first part of the trail was crushed limestone. After a few miles, it turned to gravel. Here’s what the trail looked like near the start:



My plan was to go out around 6:30 pace, hold that pace for a few miles, and then go from there - I knew I might have to slow up a little for the middle few miles. 1:28:05 was my PR, and I really thought I could beat that (being all 3 of my other half marathons have been in the dead of a MN winter). I was pretty sure I could end around 1:26. I REALLY wanted to break 1:25, but that’d be on a PERFECT day.

I kissed Pharmie and all 5 of us hopped in line at the start.

“5, 4, 3, 2, 1... GO!!”

I was out in the lead right away. In a race that has a half-marathon, a full marathon, and a full marathon relay which IN TOTAL has 120 runners (that all start at the same time), I knew I could be near the front. I started chatting with a guy next to me right away. His name was Kevin, and he’s a HS cross-country coach. We chatted pretty much the whole time for the first mile. We shared our race goals, and I learned he was hoping for 6:15s. Right then, I decided to try to keep up with him for as long as I could. I figured he’d be a good “rabbit” for me to go after, and I wanted to go out at a solid pace.

Mile 1: 5:44. Kevin and I turned to each other: “Oops... a bit too fast!”

We kept talking over the next mile too. He asked me how old I was. I said 29. He said, “Great! I’m 42!” Different age groups - we could be friends. Ha!

Around mile 1.5, there was the first water stop. I quick grabbed a small cup of water, and when I looked back up, Kevin had slowed up and was looking over his shoulder! He was waiting for me! Class act! Nice guy! We were still running as first and second.

Mile 2: 6:11. “Good. Better!”

I was still feeling pretty good, but we had the wind at our back, and I had gone out pretty hard. So I didn’t know how the end of the race would treat me.

Mile 3: 6:43. “Oooh, a little slow.”

At about mile 3.5, I knew I couldn’t keep up with Kevin anymore. I wasn’t hurting, but I knew if I didn’t slow up soon, I’d be dead before mile 10. Kevin seemed reluctant to take off. “Go get it, Kevin... I’ll keep you in my sights,” I told him. He said something like “Oh, this wind might break me before I finish...” and then he slowly pulled away.

Mile 4: 6:43. “Dang. Two slow miles in a row. Turn this around now.”

The trail got rougher. It went from the packed, crushed limestone in the last photo to loose gravel. I do NOT like running on gravel. I grew up training for cross-country on gravel roads, and I just don’t like it. Do. Not. Care. For. It. And I feel like I “spin-out” on loose gravel, so I feel slower running on it. It’s just not natural. ;)

Mile 5: 6:31. “Not bad.”
Mile 6: 6:27. “Good.”

Coming up to the turn-around, I picked up the pace. Kevin rounded the barrel and came running back toward me. We exchanged well-wishes. The lady at the turn-around asked if I was doing the half or the full. I said “Oh, I’m turning around! I can’t keep this up for 26 miles!” She laughed and wished me luck.

Turn around: 41:44. “IF, if, if, if, if, if I can hold this, I’ll have a major PR!”

I was 1:01 behind Kevin, and really, the big concern wasn’t trying to win the race. It was to try to hold on to this unholy pace and take home a PR. And I didn’t know if the wind had helped “push” me to that 41:44 at the turn-around, and if I’d be really pushing against it on the way back. SO MANY QUESTIONS! But I felt good about how hard I was pushing. I popped a Rocane Gu and had a sip of water at an aid station.

Mile 7: 6:01. “GOOD. I upped the pace, so that HAD to be faster.”

After the turn-around, ALL of the other runners wer saying “good luck” or “nice job!” It was a super friendly race! It wasn’t too long before I saw Stu! He looked good!! Rural Girl wasn’t far behind him, and she was the first woman at that point! (But only by 10 seconds or so.) We tried to exchange a high-5, but we missed. Robby was next, and soon came Pharmie. Everyone looked good!

Mile 8: 6:31. “Nice! Keep holding that!”
Mile 9: 6:22. “Good!”
Mile 10: 6:16. “Better!”

I could still see Kevin in the distance, but he was way up there. He had the biggest lead around mile 9 of probably around 2:00. Now, I was s.l.o.w.l.y gaining on him. There was no one behind me.

Around mile 10 was the most depressing part of the race. I was really hurting, but I was trying to go harder. The trail curved a little, and we were more head-on into the wind. It started raining a little, and that was just a little de-moralizing. I had a 5K left, and I was hashed.

BUT, I was watching my pace, and I knew that I could run a 21:00 5K and still be under my “super ‘A’ goal” of 1:25!! And even if that didn’t happen, I would really have to “hit the wall” hard to not PR. It was going to be a good (albeit painful) day!

Mile 11: 6:54. “NOT a good sign! Mile 11 should NOT be my slowest!”

I had hoped that it was just a “long” mile. (I’m relying on the mile markers; I don’t have a Garmin.) Now I REALLY upped the pace.

Coming through that last aid station, I saw someone with a camera. I smiled and waved. When he dropped the camera from in front of his face, I realized it was Jack, Rural Girl’s hubby! “Second place! Way to go Steve!” he said as I ran by. I said thanks and booked it across the intersection:



Mile 12: 6:00. “SWEET!! Screw sub-1:25! Go for sub-1:24!!”

I was in a ton of pain, but I was really making my legs go! The last 3/4 of a mile is on some winding city streets, so I REALLY went hard thinking that the next leap might be the leap home that the next curve would be the one just before the finish line. I saw Kevin a few blocks in front of me. I had picked up some ground, but there was NO CHANCE of beating him. He was a total friend on that course: if I hadn’t gone with him over those opening miles, I wouldn’t have turned in that fast of a time.

Mile 13 and last 0.1: 6:22. “5:47 pace? Yeah, that f*cking hurts.”

Official stats:
1:22:51.9 overall
6:19 / mile pace
2nd out of 78 overall
1st out of 5 in the 20-29 age group


That’s a PR by over 5 minutes!! And after the race, everyone with a Garmin (including Stu, Rural Girl, and Robby) said it was 0.1 - 0.15 long. Sweet! It’s official!! PR!!!!

Kevin was waiting for me at the line. He had finished 1:07 in front of me. We both had a good race! I told him I couldn’t have done it without him. It was great to have him out there!! (I wasn’t being pushed from behind because the next finisher was 4:40 behind me!)

I ran back to Rural Girl’s van to grab my stuff to stay warm. It was drizzling now, and I tend to get chilly pretty quick after racing. I got to the van and grabbed a nasty shot of myself still breathing a little hard:


Bad hair on top, and dried salt (from sweat) to the right

Stu came running in a few minutes later! He was 8th overall and had a GREAT run!



Rural Girl wasn’t far behind him. Here she comes as the second overall female (by less than 20 seconds!):



Here she is headed to the line. She’s running to her hubby in front of her in all black:



She had a great PR of sub-1:39!! I grabbed my stuff and started working backward down the course. I wanted to see if I could get to the start of the trail before I spotted Pharmie. On the way, I found Robby FLYING over the last 0.5 mile to the finish:



I got to the trail. Here’s what the start of the trail looked like:





After just a minute, I spotted Pharmie coming in! Even though it was raining, she had stripped most of her clothes. She’s a “hot” runner. Her long sleeve top was tied around her waist, and her short sleeve top was tucked under her bra strap:




Hitting the end of the trail

She threw the long sleeve top to me, and she put the other shirt on while running. Here she is with about a half mile left:



And here’s Pharmie running to the rainy finish, with Stu (and his outstretched arms) there to greet her as she crossed the line:



Pharmie finished strong with no PR but no PW either. And she was pretty happy to find out that she finished 6th out of 15 in her AG! It was a solid race for everyone!

I grabbed my AG medal before we hit the road back to MN:



I got the best compliment from Pharmie later that day. She said something like “You know, when I hear of people finishing in 1:18 or 1:19, I think ‘holy crap.’ But now my Hunnie is practically one of THOSE people!” Ha! Thanks Pharmie!

I’ll be back with more of our fun weekend in WI tomorrow! (Including more on that video from yesterday’s post...) Thanks for reading!!

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