Spring and mid summer update part 1

Wholly moly its been too long since an update, I’ll break a catch up into two (or more) parts so as to not overload you. Then I will get a couple more current posts up as well that I’ve been working on…

The good news is that I’m running again and the knee seems 100% recovered from the  sprain earlier this year!  I did end up playing soccer again this spring, though I wore my knee brace to help me mentally.  I really didn’t want to hang up my soccer cleats, but not being able to run at all, or worse, is not an option I could actively take.  I’m planning on playing soccer this fall again, though it may be a while before I clear the ball with the outside of my foot, while at full sprint.

I decided that the best course was to skip the Atomic Man Duathlon in entirety as my knee was still a bit sore.  I was only going to be able to run lightly and not race; I can do that on my own and save money, no sense in paying money to enter a race and not fully race.

My next race was the Barking Dog Duathlon, in Denver.  It is a part of the Mile Hi Duathlon Series.  I did quite well and placed 4th in my division.

full race Division place: 4,  Gender place: 100,  Place overall: 133,  overall time: 1:53:45
Run 1–  rank: 263,  time: 25:23,  pace: 8:28
T1–  1:45 – ugh!
Bikerank: 64, time: 59:43, mph avg: 20.7
t2 – 0:57
run 2rank:222, time: 25:59, pace: 8:40

The course was completely different from  the years past.  It was on the other side of Cherry Creek State Park and entirely contained within the park, instead of going up on the Dam road.  As per my SOP, I either get to races quite early with plenty of time to get everything in order, or I get there barely in time.  I managed the latter this time- got my transition setup and number pinned on right as transition closed, then off to the bathroom line and finally out with 5min to warm up before my wave went off…
The run was semi-brutal with a hill right out from the start that really wasn’t that bad as far as incline, but it seemed like all of us really wanted to walk it.  I had problems getting into my “conquer the mountain” frame of mind and was more in “a look for the end and wish it closer” frame of mind. The nice part of the run was it went on some of the dirt trails that I had run/biked on earlier in the year when Sonja was out training for her 100mi Ultra race.  That gave a lot of inspiration to me as I could channel her drive a bit and get myself to pick up the pace and forget what my legs and lungs were telling me.
The first transition was a comedy at best, never got a chance to orient myself to the entrances and exits from where my spot was so I had no idea where my stuff was.  When I got there it had been knocked about a bit.  I couldn’t find some stuff, completely took stuff off and put other stuff on in the wrong order and then barely remembered to stick my quads out (found out from going to TriMassage that some of my leg tightness issues with running and cycling has been due to tight quads).  All this ended up with a nearly 2 minute transition rather than my more normal 30sec or so transition.

The bike ride was a semi clover leaf,  setup with a single lap for the sprint distance crew and two laps for the rest of us.  It started out quite nice on a fairly straight road with nice tall trees on both sides.  As we neared the first real turn in the road the trees opened up a bit and the wind hit – first from the side, and then became a bit of a headwind as we went on.  With the way the trees were, there was never really a full headwind, which meant there was never really a tailwind either.  Luckily, I had been spending a lot of time in my aero bars during my training rides and had gotten a bike fit, so I was able to do almost the entire ride with good power and economy.   Per my usual, I passed quite a few people, and was not passed myself at all.
T2 (second transition) was a comedy once again.  as I hadn’t scoped out the course in a pre-ride of any sorts, I had no idea the final part of the ride was a ~150yrd ride up a 3ft wide sidewalk.  As Murphy would have it, there were three much slower sprint course people in front of me on the side walk and no where to pass; to top it off, since it was uphill, narrow, etc – it was a whole lot harder to undo my shoes and pull out of them for a fast transition.  In the end I was able to make a decent transition, but it was in no way a quick one.
Run number two followed most of the same course as the first one, only with more uphill to start as we left transition from a different point.  This time however, I was in a bit better mental spot for the run.  The only problem came in at about the halfway mark as I started to cramp up a bit due to pushing it a bit too hard on the bike.  About the time I was having a really hard time focusing on getting my form and pace back – I saw Brenda and got a nice hi-5 and cheer from her; that’s what I needed to pick myself out of the slump and get cranking again.

Biggest  “to improve on” from this race – get to the race on time!

Unfortunately, I don’t have photo’s to add as we forgot the camera in the rush out the door.  There were a few good shots from the event photographer, but this is so delinquent, they are no longer available…

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