Friday, February 8, 2013

2013 New Season / New Goals

I was called out by my ONE Elite Teammate, Elliot Kawaoka, recently that it was September 2012 since my last blog post.  Where did the fall go?  How did the Holiday's fly by without a year end summary, recap and singing of "Auld Lang Syne"?

There was plenty to talk about!  My Triathlon season closed with a successful finish at the Red Rock Co.  Soma Half Iron Triathlon on October 21st.  This would be my 6th 70.3 race of the year.  (There is an asterisk on my Boise 70.3 since most of the bike leg was cancelled) But still 6 races none the less!  Soma seems to attract out of towner age groupers, especially from Southern California so you never really know who your competition will be!  This would be my final USAT age group Triathlon in the 45-49 age group.  (Good riddance!)  So I wanted to finish Strong! 

Everything went as planned, even on a tired body full of races.  The swim was a combination of 45-49 and 50-54 age group men. WE waited in line to enter Tempe Town Lake trash talking the youngsters in front of us telling them that we would catch them soon!  It was a wetsuit legal swim so after my traditional rendition of the National Anthem, we were all off!  I have to confess, that I don't remember anything particular about the swim since it was way back in October, and that's a good thing.
Swim: 35:37 15th in AG, 80th Male, 110 Overall

The bike is full of local turns and familiar Tempe locations.  No Beeline on this course but it's flat and fast.  The two loop course is a good test of nutrition and strategy to hold a position and save the legs for the half marathon.  I felt good picking up faster swimmers and taking in my nutrition that included First Endurance EFS Electrolyte Mix and Carbo Pro.  I took a shot every half hour of the EFS gel as well.

Bike: 2:29:35  2nd in AG, 22nd Male, 28th Overall

The run is my place to shine.  I especially have been grateful this year to Extreme Endurance  for the use of their product this year.  The benefits of reducing lactic acid and speeding recovery at my age is vitally important!  I hit the run fast and I felt I knew the course well enough to know where and when to push it and when to settle in and coast.  My goal was to try for another sub 1:30 time.  Everything went well, utilizing the hydration on the course, enjoying the calf muscle compression benefits of my CEP Compression Sleeves  and my Spira Stinger XLT racing flats. and my fitsok socks . I really enjoyed catching the younger runners out there on the 2 loop course.  Heat wasn't a major issue, then again, after Vegas 70.3 World Championships in September, nothing seems hot anymore! It was a tough last 5 miles and my pace did suffer a little. I was going to be over the sub 90 minute goal but I held on passing more runners as I worked the end of the last lap. I latched onto a 40-44 age grouper for the last two miles coming onto the Rural Bridge and we hammered it home.  I was hoping to podium not knowing if there was an unknown racer in my age group who may have been in front the whole race.

Run: 1:32:43 3rd AG, 19th Male, 23rd Overall

1st in AG 45-49!

The best part of this race was the year end party and awards given out by Red Rock.  I finished 6th overall in the individual race series and our club One Multisport  took the Big Club Championships again for the second year in a row! 

Besides a sprint Triathlon on Thanksgiving Day, my focus then moved to my annual running of the PF Chang's Rock and Roll Marathon.  I have run the full marathon every year since it came to the Valley of the Sun in 2004.  Competitor Group was honoring all 10 year runners with a special bib and I was asked to sing the National Anthem for the day.  I did two sub 3 hour finishes in 2008 and 2009.  I set a goal with my Carmichael Training Systems coach, Nick White  to do a sub 3 again.  My training included a lot of interval weekday work and long runs with a purpose. I felt strong and tested the waters on December 9th with my first attempt at a 15k coming in just under an hour.  59:50.  There is no other was to put it...Sub 3 hour marathons hurt.  Holding a 6:51 average pace for 26.2 miles is very tough.  The course changes last year when and I realized the end is harder and I need to "bank” about 1:30 or so by the half marathon to finish in time.  Last year I was at 1:29 at the 13.1 mark and finished in 3:02.  This year, the only takers to hit sub 3 hours where the Folts Twins.  Brian and Adam are on fire and learning to go long big time!  They also talk a lot so it's pretty entertaining to run 3 hours with them.  My time at the half marathon was 1:28:11 so I felt I was on pace and tried to take in 6:45 mile pace for any flat, fast distance that presented itself.  Brian pulled off about mile 18 for a potty break, but he was fast and back in front of me before mile 19.  Adam was good until a potty break at mile 22 left him taking more time than he wanted along with some muscle fatigue.  I didn't see him again as we entered the war zone aka Van Buren.  This hilly portion comes at the worst place and time and my pace suffered into a 7:00-7:30 pace.  This is where the bank comes in.  As Van Buren becomes Mill Ave. you join the Half Marathoners over the Mill Ave Bridges.  I saw Steve Rink at mile 25 fresh and loose from his smoking 1:20 half mary finish and he slapped me on the butt and said I had 8 minutes to finish.  This is doable I thought.  I actually was very relaxed.  I was going to do it. I saw a lot of people I knew at the final stretch and didn't realize my Garmin 910xt had just turned over to 2:59:00.  I saw the finish shoot and it seemed to click off fast.  I sprinted to the chip scanner and the clock turned to 3 hours.  Did I do it?  I immediately went to my morning clothes bag to get to my phone.  I saw Facebook and Ryan Petry posted, Dude! 2:59:59!  LOL!  Yup, by the skin of my teeth, I made it under the wire! 

2:59:59  5th AG, 48 Male, 50 something Overall

This season is going to be exciting!  I'm taking quarter by quarter.  First up is the Life Time Fitness Triathlon Leadman 125 in Tempe. Then my focus is to go to St. George UT for the new 70.3 race to try to qualify for Vegas Worlds again, this time as a 50 year old! 

More to come on all of this!  Here's to a great 2013 everyone!  Let's do this!

50-54 USAT AG!!!!