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NYRR Team Championships 2010 Race Report

August 9, 2010 Leave a comment

Thank goodness for muscle memory!  That’s what I had to use for this race, because it sure wasn’t my training log.  I’ve been averaging 10-20 for the last 3 months, mostly in the low to mid teens.  I have been supplementing with 20-30 miles of cycling, but I am by no means “fit”.  Not an excuse, just a fact.  I had no notions of grandeur for this race.  I was excited to be healthy enough to compete and would do my best and be happy with it.

I’ve been nursing a sore right achilles that just won’t heal.  Strained it in my very short jaunt in my Vibram’s.  So I’ve been taking it realitively easy lately.  Running about 4 times per week but nothing longer than 4-5 miles.

Club Championships are always 5 miles in Central Park and it is guys at 8am, women at 9am, which is nice.  It makes the race less congested and for the women, lets the winner actually win.  The race is also restricted to club memers, i.e. not open to the general public.

I arrived at Central Park 103rd St about 45 min before the 8am start.  Got my number and checked my bag in.  A saw a few teammates by the corral and said Hi, then started off on my warmup.  I like to warm up alone, gather my thoughts, and not have to feel pressured to go a certain speed or distance with the group.  I ended up going about 10 minutes easy and then did a couple quicker strides, then some stretching and it was time to head over to the start.

The corrals are seeded by speed.  The speed is determined by each runner’s fastest race in the previous year.  Mine was the Wall Street 5k where I averaged 5:44 pace.  Usually that puts me in the 1st corral, but they spaced it out a little more in this race and the cut off was 5:27  pace for the first corral.  Something to shoot for next year, although this year I’ve only done 4 NYRR races and by best pace so far is 6:15…

I wasn’t able to find the rest of my fellow Brooklyn Road Runners at the start, but once the race started I saw them working their way to the front in the first 800 meters.

My goal in this race was to 1. Finish 🙂  2. Take it easy in the first half of the race  3. Have fun.  I wasn’t sure what kind of shape I was in.  I ran a 21 minute 5k last weekend at the end of a triathlon, so I was hoping for 6:30 pace at best.

The weather was a huge improvement from what it had been recently.  Weather at race time was 70* with 53% humidity.

My first mile was 6:36, right on the money, the first mile is always pretty quick from the adrenaline of the start.  I settled in, took inventory of my body.  Achilles was a little tight, but loosening up, and my knee was feeling more sore than usual.  At least the problems were on opposite legs, so my hobble was evened out.  I’m kidding of course.  If your soreness/injury causes you to change or alter your stride then you shouldn’t be running.  Rest until you can run with out any limp or hitch in your stride.

2nd mile was a bit quicker, 6:26, felt good but didn’t want to get carried away.  I hadn’t done any long runs for a few weeks and 5 miles would be my longest.  I wanted to save some energy for the the last couple so I could actually hold my pace at the end.

3rd mile, I was starting to feel the fatigue creeping in.  Ran a 6:45.

4th mile, big hill, 6:59 mile.  Ouch.  Time to push the last mile

5th and final mile I cranked out a 6:28

Overall place was 352nd, time 33:17  (6:39 ave.)

I finished, I took it easy in the first 1/2 to allow a nice last mile, and I did have fun.  Goals accomplished.  Now I need to go to work on increasing my mileage, lose a little more “vacation” weight, and incorporate some tempo and speed into my training.  I want to run a trail 1/2 marathon in October.  That will require getting weekly mileage up to at least 30/wk and some long runs of 90-110 minutes.

Our Brooklyn Road Runner team was 17th out of 42 teams.  But the highlight was our 40+ and 50+ teams that were 6th and 5th respectively.  Nice job guys.  Here are the official BRRC results

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NYRR Sprint Triathlon 2010 Race Report

August 1, 2010 2 comments

My first official outdoor tri.  Well, semi-outdoor, the swim was in a pool, but this is the first time I would be swimming and then getting on an actual bike and not a stationary bike (a la Jack Rabbit Indoor Tri Series).  The 2nd Annual NYRR Sprint Triathlon 400m swim, 13mi bike, 5k run (although not exactly a sprint, a true sprint has 750m swim or often 500m, 400m was enough for me).  Types of Triathlons Link

But let me start from the beginning.  The VERY EARLY beginning.  My alarm went off at 3:30 AM, and after only 4.5 hours of sleep I felt surprisingly fresh.  I did get good sleep all week and have been getting up at 6 AM most days ever since I returned from Poland.  I have a love-hate relationship with waking up early.

The reason for me waking up before the Manhattan Nightclubs closed is that I needed to make it the Mets Stadium in Flushing Queens by 5:30/6ish to check in.  AND this destination required 2 trains and about 40 subway stops.  The 4 train was more crowded than I had anticipated.  A mix of late-night party goers on their drunken train ride home and others apparently on their way to work at some job I wouldn’t want.  Strange train events of note…a guy gave a random couple of girls a nutrition bar after they said they were hungry (not homeless, just hammered), she tried a nibble, but didn’t like it, so a different random guy asked for it and ate it.  Then a crazy girl from the other end of the train came down and started ranting and raving about why Brooklyn is the best and she is real and represent Brooklyn.  She tried to pick a fight with the original nutrition bar recipient girls, and then got off at the next stop.  Just your regular NYC madness at 4AM 🙂

Once I arrived at Grand Central and the 7 train platform, the triathletes had started to accumulate, which made for a crowded train ride.

Arrived at the race start with plenty of time to spare.  On the walk over actually met a girl from Gross Point who also went to U of M (I was wearing my UM Cross Country shirt)  small world.  She was also doing her first Tri.

The check in was fairly straightforward.  Everyone got their race number written on both shoulders and their age written on their calf  with some sort of black grease pen.  Then I found my bike rack and got my transition area ready.  Looking around a quickly realized I forget to bring flip flops to walk around in.  Not a big deal, I just kept my running shoe on until we need to go to the pool.   Got a 10 minute jog in at about 6 AM, then just stretched and quadruple checked and rearranged my gear.  Side note:  Even though the “MC” kept announce the proper way to rack your bike only about 25% of the people actually did it correctly.  The spot next to me was vacant, so I didn’t care.

The start finally rolled around and 600 of the triathletes and tri-relay competitors made their way to the pool.  It was a 400 meter swim and everyone had to start 1 by 1 at 10 second intervals, the fastest seeds going first.  This is really the only way to do it since the swim “course” was an 8 length zig-zag of the 50 meter pool.  This would be my 1st time swimming in a 50 meter pool.

Note to self:  If you plan on doing more triathlons, it would be a good idea to actually practice swimming…I mean to go to the pool and swim laps, but I always end up going for a run or bike.  Swimming is what I’m least good at, so I neglect it.

I seeded myself in the 8 minute group.  In my last training swim (the only one in the last 4 months 😦   ) I had been averaging about 45 seconds for 40 meters, my YMCA pool is 20 meters.  So I figured even slow, I could do 50 meters in 1 minute.  So my liberal goal was to do the 400 meters in 8:40.  If I was only so fortunate.  The seeding groups went from 6 minutes to 13+ in 1 minute increments. As I approached the front of the line, I tried to breathe deep and relax.  I really wanted to take the swim easy since it’s my weakest leg and the shortest percentage of the race.  I don’t know what happened.  Maybe it was the 50 meter pool, maybe the fact that I felt pressure to go fast since there were people right behind me, maybe because I don’t spend enough time in the pool.  Probably all 3.  By about 150 meters I was so short of breath.  Like, really short of breath.  I started to panic and I think I was actually hyperventilating a bit.  I just couldn’t catch my breath.  I felt like I needed to breath every stroke.  I tried to do the breast stroke for a little and keep my head out of water.  It was awful.  Not fun.  I wouldn’t wish it on anyone.  At 200 meters I actually just stopped at the wall and waited until my breathing was back to near normal, then started again.  It took nearly 2 minutes, but felt like an hour as swimmers streamed by me.  Finally my breathing became closer to normal, I started swimming again, much better, relaxed, easy strokes.  The thought of quitting entered my mind during this panic, but only briefly.  I really wanted to tell the story of my first tri, and I wouldn’t be able to if I quit.  Besides, I don’t quit things.  I can do these last 4×50 meters, I thought to myself, just take them 50 meters at a time.  I’ll just have to rest a little at each end.  OK, finished them, barely.  Almost 13 minutes, not the plan, but I’m still in the race.  I’m sure the lifeguards were breathing a little easier when I left the pool too 🙂

Took my time at T1 after being suffocated in the water.  Ate a couple Clif Shot Bloks and some water, pulled on my Brooklyn Tri Club shirt for its debut, pulled on my bike shorts (swam in swim shorts and pulled bike shorts over, might have cost a few seconds, but I’d never swam in my bike shorts and decided its probably not a great idea to try it for the first time in a race).  Got my shoes on, helmet, glasses, (no gloves, only 13 miles) and started to run  my bike to the mounting area, about 60-70 meters away.  I felt good, the swim was over, forget about it.  Make up some time on the bike, was my mindset.

The bike course was 2 loops of 6.5 miles.  Very flat but pretty technical.  A few 90 degree turns and a couple 180 degree turns.  The road was in good condition in most places but there were some spots that were very bumpy from potholes which demanded full constant attention, since it was my first time on course.  I used my aerobars sporadically, I didn’t really feel comfortable being in them too long because I’m not used to them yet and the technical nature of the course.  I could definitely tell the increased speed in the aero-position, about 1.5 mph, but it was a slightly different muscle group, and it was hard to hold for extended period of time.

I enjoyed the bike loop.  It was longer, more spacious and much less crowded than the Prospect Park loop where I train.  When I came around for the 2nd loop I focused on picking up the pace a little more.  My average speed was 18.0 mph for the 13 mile course.

Off the bike and into T2, bike shorts off, running shoes on, hat, race number belt…and I jet out.  I am used to the semi-sluggish feeling of running after being on the bike, but I know now that it passes quickly.  I immediately start passing people which pumps me up with much needed energy.  I come through 1 mile at 7:07.  Not bad.  I’d like to be a little faster, so I pick it up, feeling less sluggish now and finding a bit of a groove.  I am enjoying seeing people’s age on their calf as I pass them, and especially when I pass the younger guys.  Even though nobody has any idea how they are doing in the race placing since it is staggered, it’s still fun to pass people.

Mile 2 split is 6:41.  NICE.  That’s more like it.  Got a couple cups of water to dump on my head, which felt great.  I say “Good Job” to everyone I pass, as I continue to steadily go by chunks of racers.

3rd mile split:  6:35.  Feeling tired, but happy to have vindicated my poor swim with a solid run.  Come around to the finishing line I’m glad I didn’t quit during the swim.  I will be doing more triathlons next year, hopefully an Olympic distance, and some swim coaching for sure.

Final time (unofficial) 1:20:09

It was a very well run race and I will do it again next year.

Official Results

Total Entrants: Men – 371    Women – 264    Total – 635 (I think some of these are relay people, there were 19 relay teams) 434 Finishers in the individual race

Swim  12:47 (316th)

T1    2:45 (160th)

Bike  42:11 (94th)

T2   1:25 (90th)

Run   21:03 (21st)

Final  1:20:09 (71st/435)

17th/57 in 35-39 Age Group

Well, those stats make me feel better about the blow-up in the pool…live and learn.

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