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Mother’s Day Duathlon Race Report, 5/9/10 Prospect Park Brooklyn

May 18, 2010 Leave a comment

I’d been looking forward to this race since it would be the exact course I raced back in April.  Now I would be able to compare and chart improvement.

Unfortunately the forecast was for 20-30 mph winds and about 50 degrees.  But hey, I just competed in 45 degree rain and wind so I am a seasoned vet 🙂  Kidding of course, this is my 3rd duathlon competition ever.

Another reason I was excited about this race is it is in my own backyard, literally.  Only a 2 minute bike ride to the start.

Now, I’m not sure if I didn’t set my alarm or I unconciously turned it off when it rang at 6:30 AM.  I jolted awake at 7:33 AM as I was dreaming about missing my race…luckily this dream didn’t come true 🙂

I gathered all the gear I had laid out the previous day and headed out.  The race was scheduled to start at 8:30, so I still had some time to get there, check in, and warm up.  But I don’t like to feel rushed, although over my years in NY I have become accustomed to adjusting to unforeseen tardiness to races.  Some due to my own fault, but most due to inner-city transportation issues.

In one race back in ’07 I woke up late.  Very late.  But I decided to try to make it to the race.  I made it.  Barely.  I actually crossed the Start line as the last of the walkers were crossing.  I guess passing all the people got my adreniline pumping more than usual.  Not sure what place I actually crossed in, but my chip time clocked me at 31st out of 3000+.  Gotta love that chip timing 🙂

Back to the Duathlon….My main goal was to give a more intense effort all the way through.  In my first dualthon I was a bit tentative since I did not know what to expect, I felt I needed to conserve energy.  With 2 duathlons under my belt, I realized that running hard in the first run doesn’t really hurt the bike since they are different muscles and with the downhill on the bike loop there is some recovery time.  The toughest part of my first duathlon was the 2nd run and adjusting the legs back to running after the bike.  In the Bronx Duathlon the 2nd run was definitely smoother.

It was a smaller turnout than the last Prospect Park race and the weather wasn’t as nice.  The plus side is that there were a lot less people in the park, which means less obstacles to navigate around.

I got to the check in, received my ankle chip and set my bike up in transition, then got in a quick running warmup.  The run course was very well marked with signage, so the detailed verbal description of the 20 turns of the course was terribly unnecessary.

I got out good in the run.  The leaders quickly put distance on me and I settled into 5th/6th place.  Since there were only about 110 people in the race, large gaps opened up quickly and I was by myself through most of the run.  Very different from the 5000 person NYRR road races in Central park.

I finished up the 1st 5k in 20 minutes flat.  I was on a faster pace through 2 miles but the last big hill got to me.

I realized my transitions were noticably slower than the competitors I finished around in my first race, so I wanted to focus on ways to stream line my transition time.  One thing was to run in just bike shorts like I did in the Bronx race.  That would eliminate pulling on bike shorts over my run shorts.  Also I didn’t worry about zipping my gloves (I should get velcro gloves)  They are weightlifting gloves, but they work for now.  I also made an effort to flex and stretch my fingers before getting to T1.  It amazing how difficult it is for my fingers to provide dexterity after a hard run.

Made it out of T1 in 48 seconds

The bike leg was interesting.  In my 1st duathlon I got rocked on the bike and passed by about 20 people.  This time I felt like I held my own.  I was only passed by 1 guy on the first loop, then over the next 3 loops about 8 more people passed me.

It was super windy so I think it affected my speed.  I was at about 10 1/2 to 11 minutes per loop, which was discouraging since I had just rode a 9:30 in practice the week before.  I’m still learning how to push myself on the bike like I do so easily on the run.  Practice, practice, practice.

There was a nice turnout of Brooklyn Tri Club members who were cheering the team.  It was nice to have support out there.

I made sure to stretch out at the end of my bike leg so I would be a little more limber getting off the bike and into the 2nd run.

I got to T2 and had a pretty speedy transition.  Gloves, helmet and shoes off, slid running shoes on, and on my way.  42 seconds.

I caught a couple people right off the bat, then saw nobody ahead of me.  The field was small and the leaders were so far up, I ended up running solo for almost the whole 2nd 5k.  It was tough to keep pushing,  but I wanted to beat my previous time.  I ended up with a 21:20.

Finished 12th overall, 4th in my age.  One place out of the awards 😦

Eyes on the Prize(s)

It was an overall exciting day and always motivating to compete.

Just signed up for the NY Sprint Triathlon in Flushing Meadows on Aug. 1st.  Time to get back in the pool…

RESULTS

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Bronx Biathlon 4/25/10 Race Report

April 26, 2010 5 comments

Haven’t blogged in a while….but I will be adding more soon 🙂

Completed the Bronx Biathlon, the longest running Biathlon in the country apparently. 26th annual.  (and no, there was no skiing or target shooting:)  not sure why they call it biathlon vs duathlon)

REALLY tough race. Starting with waking up at 4:45 AM after going to bed at 1:15 AM after a late night at work…

Took my bike on the subway for the first time ever. Thankfully the subway wasn’t very crowded at 5AM, but surprisingly there were a good number of people on it. (where are they going!?)
The other tough part is it was 45 degrees and forecast to rain all day. Of all the times for the weather forecast to be correct, today was the day. It rained all morning and was cold. The race was in Pelham Bay, right near the water, great scenery, but colder than it was inland.  I seriously considered not going when my alarm went off after my 3hr “nap”, but I paid for the race already, I love to race, and I wanted to test my skills in rain.  Besides I thrive in races where conditions are less than ideal.

The subway ride was unusually easy.  Once I arrived at the stop, I needed to bike 3 miles to the race start.  I found it fairly easily which is also unusual for me, being that I am a bit directionally challenged 🙂  Needless to say I was soaked by the time I arrived from my short ride over.  I brought dry clothes in a garbage bag inside my backpack for after, but I was hoping my warmup pants would be wearable for after…no luck.

There were puddles around the bike corral 4 inches deep, so there was no point in even trying to stay dry, just splash around and enjoy it.

I decided to do the whole race in my NYC Marathon jacket to maintain some warmth.  I realized that it would probably be too warm during the run, but would really help me stay warm on the bike, plus it was water repellent.  Great move.

Arrival

I did a quick mile warmup jog out the the waterfront of Pelham Bay and then went back to my bike to make final preparations to my area.  I got my bike shoes, hat, gel, and gloves out and put them under a garbage bag and headed to the start line.

They made the announcement that 109 people had showed up.  Pretty impressive.  Some people actually registered that day.  Even more impressive.  We waited at the start line for about 10 minutes while the police secured the course.  I stepped up the the front of the group (because no one else was).  Finally the starter counted us down and we were off and running.  I actually led for about 400 meters, there was a lead vehicle (a guy on a bike) showing us where to go, so that was good, but I didn’t really want to lead solo, a couple guys joined me at about 800 meters and then passed me.  I felt pretty good running.  I felt I could push a little harder than my last duathlon since I knew the bike leg would not be any more difficult if I did run hard.  The run was a little short of a 5k, I think they measured it at 2.8 miles.  I ended up coming into the T1 in 4th place, close to the leaders.  I was pleased with that.  17:08 was the leader, 2nd 17:12, 3rd 17:14, and me at 17:21.

Start line

First Leg Run

My run to bike transition was faster than last time, although I didn’t practice it at all.  I did however buy some bungee laces for my running shoes and I ran in my bike shorts, so that saved some time.  Last race I had to tie my shoes and pull my bike shorts on over my running tights.  I pulled my bike gloves on over my running gloves, grabbed my gel, put my skull cap and helmet on and I was off for the 20 mile bike.  T1 time 1:00 flat.

Bungee laces!

side note:  the bike leg was 20 miles.  I rode 20 miles for the first time the Monday before my race just to make sure I could do it.

Knowing the forecast was for rain, I was a tad bit concerned about riding on wet pavement since I never have.  I mean, I’ve rode in rain before on my mountain bike, but the road bike is a very different animal, and I’m racing.  It turned out to be easier than I thought.  There was no slippage and the bike handled very well.  Another part of the race also had me worried…here is what the race director put in the race notes…

“CAUTION/SLOW DOWN! Hold handlebars with BOTH hands and use extreme caution when cycling across the draw bridge near the Orchard Beach exit. The metal grating becomes very slippery on wet or rainy days. You may elect to walk across the grating part of the bridge if weather conditions make the grating too slippery to ride. Under no circumstances may you pass another competitor on any part of the bridge!”

OK, ummmm, a little scary for a newbie to biking.  Anyway, they changed it on race day to “everyone MUST dismount their bike on the bridge”  this brought some grumbles from the veteran racers, but I was happy.  When I actually got the the bridge the first time and dismounted, it was actually difficult to even walk over with cycling shoes on.  It did end up being a good way to shake the legs out and warm up the feet a bit.  We had to go over the bridge 4 times.  Stopping and getting off the bike for a 30 meter jog didn’t help the Average MPH very much 🙂  I ended up with a 18.07 mph ave.  Max was 26.9 on a downhill after the bridge.

Bike Leg, cold and wet!

There were a lot of turn-around points on the bike, so I was able to see the leaders and count what place I was in.  I guess I lost count because I was getting passed by so many people, I thought I was in 40th or 50th.  But I actually finished the bike leg in 28th.  I passed no one.  I’m doing a cycling technique clinic this Sunday to learn some tips on how to get better.  Hope it helps.  I figure it can’t hurt.  Bike time was 1:06:24

Coming into T2 I stretched out on my bike to prepare for the run.  Stretched my calves, hamstrings and back as much as I could and tried to warm up my fingers to get them ready for grabbing shoes, etc.  I got off, got out of my shoes, slipped on my running shoes, pulled my bike gloves off, got my helmet off and pulled on a cap.  BOOM, 40 seconds flat.  Impressive for no practice.  Bungee laces were key.

My feet were like ice blocks!  My legs felt better than the last race’s 2nd run though.  The giant puddles actually felt good to splash in!  They were warming my feet up!  I caught 2 guys in the first 800 meters and that got me fired up.  I ended up catching 4 more and was closing in on a couple more but ran out of real estate.  I knew I was running decent, but wasn’t sure how fast my 2nd leg was since I didn’t press LAP on my watch.  So when the results were posted and I saw I ran a 17:44 for the 2nd leg I was shocked and pleased.  I didn’t feel that fast.  I posted the 5th fastest 2nd leg, with the top 4 finishing in the top 6 overall.  I finished in 22nd overall.  Gotta work on that bike leg 🙂

Finish

SEE THE RESULTS

Run 1–17:21

T1–1:00

Bike–1:06:24

T2–:40

Run 2–17:44

Final Time—1:43:11

22nd/103 finishers, 3rd in age group

I wasn’t looking forward to my trek home, but I made it.  I changed into a couple dry shirts before I left, but had to put the wet jacket back on.  My teeth were chattering uncontrollably by the time I reached home.  A hot shower never felt so good.  Later that day I went to the Brooklyn Tri Club Member meeting.  Fun.  Met some cool people, and even won a prize in the raffle.

Mother Day Duathlon is May 9th in Prospect Park.  We will see if I improved from the last one.

PS  I won my first age group award for a multi-sport, but alas, I didn’t actually receive it since you had to be present to get it.  3rd 35-39 Male.  Oh well, it was either award or hypothermia….

Duathlon Splits for Prospect Park Duathlon 3/20/10

March 22, 2010 Leave a comment

Here’s the Link…

SPLITS RESULTS

Got my splits, kind of.  several athletes didn’t get recorded during the first run, but that’s OK because I timed it on my watch.  Looking at the splits, a couple things jump out at me…

1.  I am currently very slow on the transitions AND could have moved up a couple places if I was faster.

2.  My 2nd run leg was good.  20th best 2nd run leg in the group, so I had energy left

Went for a run today, 4 miles.  Felt good.  Knee was pain free, but felt a little funny.

I am surprisingly not sore from the duathlon, except for a little inner thigh soreness from the bike.

Very rainy today.  Wanted to bike, but not on wet road, so the bike will have to wait.

Joined the Brooklyn Tri Club.  They offer swimming with a coach at 6am, near my house, so that will be helpful.

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