"For an occurrence to become an adventure, it is necessary and sufficient for one to recount it." ~ Jean-Paul Sartre

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Progress Report

Well the 2009 racing season is almost half over, and I'm pleased with how it is going. Competing in multi-sport races has been something I've really enjoyed. Running has been going well this year also, cross training really helps to get faster without killing my legs with a ton of miles. So much has gone on since the St Louis Marathon. I shouldn't wait so long between posts. Any way hear goes some highlights from each of the races I've competed in so far this year.
3/14: St Patrick's Day 5M:
I ran in the Zillapede with the Metro Tri Club. All of us were tethered together with green streamers like a centipede. We didn't run for time we ran for fun giving hundreds of high 5's along the way. We also circled around all of the cops, and cop cars. Several times we veered off the course following Keith Timmins as he led us up stairs, up parking garage ramps, and wherever he felt would be fun and interesting. This was a fun race, and a good way to kick off my racing season.
4/19: Go! St Louis Marathon:
I already commented on this race in a previous post so I won't go into much detail here. It was good to finally have the sub-4 hour monkey off my back. I have to thank Cheri Becker, and everyone at the Y for those great Saturday long runs that made it possible.
5/23: Run for Bonifest 5k:
Not too much to say about this race. I started out too fast and really faded at the end. Beth, and Michael said that it was the worst I had ever looked after a race, and since Beth has been to all of my races she would know. Steve Parks beat me by about a minute or so.
5/25 Highland Biathlon:
This was my first multi-sport race, a 5 mile run and 15 mile bike. I started the run like any other race focused on doing the best I could. Unsure how the bike leg would go my strategy was to run as fast as I could and let everything else work itself out. I did well in the run, but the transition was almost my undoing. Bending over to change my shoes I lost my breath and was unable to breath for what was probably only a few seconds, but seemed much longer. Recovering from my breathing episode I hopped on my bike and headed out of the transition area. The bike leg was tough since I had barely ridden at all at this point. I got through it and finished with a time I was happy with.
This was also the first time I ever had two races in the same weekend. It's a good thing it worked out well since I will be dong it a total of 4 times this year.
6/6 Sweat with the Vets 5k:
A few days prior to this race I injured my foot while running on some slippery pavement. I wasn't sure what effect it would have though. We also had teams from work competing against each other for the prize of leaving work 1 hour early. My team was counting on me for a fast time, so I was bummed that I might not be able to perform up to my ability. As it turned out my foot did not hurt when I ran, only when I walked. From the first few steps of the race I knew it was going to be a good one. For much of the race I was in 3rd place. Being that close to the front feels really good. In the end I finished 5th or 6th overall with a PR of 20:08. I love this race. The course is tough but for some reason I always run it well. Next year I want to finish in the top 3, I would actually like to win but the winner finished in 17 minutes and that is too fast for me. Of our team members I came in first, and we had two othersfinish in the top 15. We won the time off from work, and I was 3rd in my age group. 3 others on our team also took home some hardware.
6/7 Conquer CastleWood:
Megan and I teamed up again to compete in this race which had three legs canoe, mountain bike, and trail running. We were in the second wave so we had an opportunity to plan our strategy for the canoe. It worked great until we got going. We are not what you would call experienced paddlers. Everyone was passing us and we lost a lot of time so when we started the bike leg we were stuck behind many of the slower riders, and it was not easy to pick our way through them since there were limited opportunities to pass on the single track. The run was tough, I would have been better off wearing my road shoes since most of the trail was packed really hard. We finished respectably and learned some valuable lessons for next year.
6/20 Gooma:
This race was a last minute addition to my race calendar, and a race I have been wanting to do for the past 3 years. Robin Rongey sent out an email stating that one of her team members was injured and unable to compete, and she was wanting to know if anyone would be interested in taking his place. I jumped at the chance. The thing that put me off doing this race was always the navigation component, but I knew she and Chuck knew what they were doing so all I would have to do I race. The temperature was very high and everyone was suffering. We rode, ran, carried sand bags and buckets of water, and we paddled canoes around Silver lake. It was 7 hours well spent. Chuck was forced to drop out of the race because of the heat, Robin and I continued on and ended up passing 3 or 4 teams at the finish. I might put together a team for next year.
7/4 Hillsboro Biathlon:
4th of July, no fireworks but there was plenty of rain and wind. This race was fun until the turn around on the bike then it was work, work, work. Kelli Christakos and I battled up until the very end where she beat me by one second. I finished 3rd in my age group but as of the time of this posting the awards have not been mailed out.
7/11 Tour de Donut:
I ate 11 donuts and finished with an adjusted time of 1:30:26. I was interviewed for a newspaper article that can be found here. I have new strategy for next year that will involve the same amount of donuts, and a much faster actual time.
7/18 Summer Sizzler 10k:
This race took place at the Y and I pretty much knew everyone that was volunteering so I had a big cheering section. I have weird feelings about this race because I PR'ed by 2 minutes but my stomach was acting up and I was struggling. I know I could have run this race much faster had I not been in such intestinal distress. It was actually surprising that I ran it as fast as I did. I still finished 3rd in my age group though.

The rest of the year promises to be just as exciting as the 1st half. I have completed 6 of the required races to earn Godzilla of the Year honors, and I have the rest on my schedule. I also have some more familiar races on the schedule like the Lewis an Clark Marathon, and the Wild in the Woods series. There a couple of maybes in the works also like the Monumental Marathon in Indianapolis, and a mystery race that will not be revealed until I know for sure whether I am doing it or not.
Next year I am going to race less, have more fun training, and have more adventures.
I'll try to be better about posting more often so it is not so much to read.

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