Saturday, May 15, 2010

Mountain biking

I've stepped up the mountain biking in anticipation of Xterra Four Corners. I forgot how fun mountain biking is.

Last weekend, I went with a friend to Farmington to preview the bike course. It was a lot of fun. So fast.

Yesterday I went up into the foothills. Also fun, until I had a run in with a cactus:
The cactus won.

Tomorrow I head to White Mesa with Mr. T, an unbelievably strong mountain biker. I'm in trouble. Especially after a 50 miler this morning.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Jay Benson 2010

This is one of those races where I had high hopes, and nearly had them dashed right in the middle. I ended up with a 2 min PR, which I attribute to calmer winds and better training (oh yeah, and this bike:)

Paula and I showed up at the race around 6:20. We set up shop, hit the restrooms, and waited. We set our bikes up together and I thought I counted the racks properly for easy access in T1.

I started in the second wave and moved right up front. I kept the HR up with some light bouncing I picked up from my days wrestling in high school. We set off and I tried to take it easy. I remember blowing up pretty early on the run last year after trying to stay with the leaders. I kept a 6:20ish pace and tried to relax. I finished the 3 mile run in 19:14. (6:25min/mi pace).

Here's where I screwed up. We entered the transition area from the east. I counted nine racks, made a left, and looked for my bike. Crap. It wasn't there. I saw another Quintana Roo Seduza and thought, "Someone took mine thinking it was theirs." Nope, Paula's bike wasn't there either. I looked around, confused and lost. Then I remembered Paula telling me that our bikes were 3 or 4 racks from the front. So I looked to the front and realized I was in the back half of the transition area. Stupid, stupid, stupid. I HTFU'ed to my bike and changed as quick as I could. I was a little flustered and had to fix the straps on my shoes. Oh well. Out to the bike. T1: 1:33 (25 secs of which were the longest I've had in a race)

The bike felt great. It was my first race on the QR frame, but not on the wheelset. I easily hit 27 mph without too much effort, soon realizing I had a tailwind. I kept my cadence steady and slowly shifted to harder gears. I know I can go faster with proper interval/fartlek training, but I managed ok to start. At both turn arounds, I got behind someone who took their time. That slowed me a bit. Also, the rollers weren't terrible, but I didn't manage them as well as I should have.
12 mile bike: 31:40; 22.7mph

T2: another hiccup. I got my Garmin, socks, helmet, and shoes off quick. I grabbed my goggles and ran to the pool. Just before entering the door, I went to put my goggles on and they broke. Crap. What to do? Swim w/o them, or go get my spare pair. I went back and got my second pair. That probably cost me about 20 secs.
T2: 1:28

Swim: Pretty uneventful. I passed a couple folks and one dude passed me at the wall. On the last length, there was a dude around 10-15 yards ahead that I knew I would be stuck behind right at the ladder. So, I dropped the hammer and sprinted past him to the ladder. Fairly slow time overall, but a tad better than last year.
Swim 400 meters: 7:47; 1:46/100yds

Total race time: 1:01:41
I'm pretty pleased overall, especially because my T1 and T2 errors didn't cost me my goal of a sub hour race. I suppose I lost 40 or so secs overall, but it felt like an eternity out there.

Paula had a great race too! She shaved 6 minutes off her time from last year. Fun times all around.

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Tuesday Night Crit Virgin

My buddy dragged me out to the local Tuesday night crit. I've wanted to race it for sometime now, and he made it happen. Holy crap it was tough.

I raced the "C" race. There were about 30-40 racers. We lined up and rode around Balloon Fiesta Park. My friend told me to stay at the front, but I started at the back. I didn't want to wreck and bring everyone down. Once we got going, I tried to hang on to the wheel of the guy in front of me. Little did I know that he wasn't keeping up. I got dropped about 1.5 laps into it. My goal was then to keep from getting lapped. The ride turned into a personal TT. I started picking guys off here and there and was doing ok. Sure enough, though, the train of leaders came rolling around and lapped me with 1/2 a lap to go. Bummer. I didn't realize it at the time and kept racing while everyone was on a cool down lap. That's embarrassing.

In total, it was a lot of fun. I biked at maximum effort for 20+ minutes. My lungs were on fire. After it was all done, I suffered from "crit-cough." So did a lot of other people.

I'm planning on doing it again, but not for a few weeks. It was a little expensive so I have to ration it out. Next time, I'll try to stay with the pack for at least a couple laps.

Sunday, May 02, 2010

Run for the Zoo 2010

I had lofty aspirations for the Run for the Zoo. I wanted to see if I could run a 40 min 10k. Well, I didn't. I finished in 43:08, a new PR. I had some serious right foot pain about 2 miles in. I considered DNF'ing, but thought I'd cruise for a bit and see how it felt. I even walked a little bit. Eventually, it went numb. I hustled it up a bit more, and finished under 44min.

Here's what I learned from the race:
  • I need to focus on nutrition more.
  • I can push through pain.
  • I need some more speed work.
Overall, fairly good showing on my part. Its just that I was disappointed with the foot pain that slowed me. There's always next year.