Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Rochesterfest Triathlon: Race Report

I can't say that I came into this race very prepared. I hadn't swam as much, I hadn't run as much, and I'd spent the past week hiking over 40 miles of wilderness, some of those miles with a heavy pack, on Isle Royale. I had, however, borrowed a wetsuit from a friend (the water was very cold), bought a new bike, installed clipless pedals, and biked quite a bit more. Maybe those upgrades would make up for my lack of training.

After having the start delayed due to possible thunderstorms, we got underway about 45 minutes late. Laura was also doing the race, and she too had borrowed a wetsuit.

Let's just say the swim portion went very poorly for me. I could never get into a rhythm--I started too far back and had to do a lot of weaving in and out of swimmers. I was constantly bumping into other swimmers, and I think I spent as much time with my head out of the water looking for a clear path to swim as I did with my head in the water. When I finally got a stretch at the end of the swim where I could put my head down and swim the crawl, I swam way off the course and had to turn almost 90 degrees to get back on track.

The bike went much better. I was definitely faster with the clipless pedals, bike shoes, and new bike. Unfortunately, it was very windy. At the beginning of the bike I was averaging over 20 MPH, but once I turned around into the wind I was going much slower.

The run went about the same as last year. I had a little too much gas in the tank at the end, but still managed to run the 5k in 17:35. That at least lets me know that I'm getting in much better running shape as that's the same time I ran in the Autism 5k. It is, however, a little slower than I ran the 5k of the Rochesterfest Triathlon last year when I ran 17:26.

Overall I ran a 1:05:30 compared to a 1:04:13 last year. Last year my swim, run, and all my transitions were better. Though I biked faster I couldn't make up for the horrible swim and slower transitions (which I expected having to change out of a wetsuit and bike shoes).

I don't know if I'll do another triathlon. I don't really like swimming and I'm not very good at it. It takes up time when I could be running (which I actually enjoy). Still, there's something cool about the triathlon, and I might be disappointed if I stopped after two races. I may try a duathlon and see if that satisfies my multi-sport ambitions.

Happy Running!

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Med City Marathon: Pace Report

This one was much better than last year in terms of weather. Last year, the temperature was pushing 80, it was sunny, and humid. This year, it was cool cloudy, and breezy. It did rain at the end and there was a headwind for a good portion of the race, but for the most part it was a nice day to run a marathon.

Laura was running the half, so we both got up early to get to downtown Rochester to take a shuttle to the start. After we searched Laura's parents' house for safety pins for a bit, we decided there would be pins and the start, and we headed to the shuttle.

After taking the shuttle to Byron High School, I met up with some of the pacers inside the school. It was a little chilly outside, so it was nice to wait indoors for a while and use an indoor bathroom. At the start of the race I wished some other pacers good luck and lined up with a decent-sized group hoping to run 3:35 (or a 1:47ish half). I would say I started out with around 15 people, but when the half marathoners split off at mile 12 my group was cut in half.

The first part of the race was hilly and into a headwind, but the temperature kept it pleasant. When my legs started feeling a little sore at mile 8, I got a little nervous since I hadn't run more than 14 miles since November and now I was supposed to pace this marathon for all 26.2 miles.

It was nice once the race reached the city limits. The course looped around Rochester and we got a tailwind every now and then. There also wasn't much for hills, making things a little easier. Around mile 17 my group went down to three runners--a 58-year-old gentleman who wanted to qualify for Boston along with two women also wanting to qualify for Boston. It was also at the point when it started to rain and would continue to rain for the duration of the marathon.

Though my legs were sore and it was a little tough, I did manage to finish at 3:35 with my group still intact--everyone who was with me at 17 made there time, and one guy caught up with my group and ran with us for a couple miles before finishing strong ahead of us.

Laura, my mother-in-law, and my niece watched me finish from the skyway, out of the rain. My mother-in-law and niece had watched Laura finish, before it started raining, and they all watched the rest of the race in indoor comfort.

My final time was 3:34:42. I was pretty happy that I made it, and still in one piece at that. Laura also finished the half with no problem--she used it as a training run as she is getting ready to run The Twin Cities Marathon in October.

Happy Running!