Tuesday, March 31, 2009

March In Okarche Du 2009

Well it has been a while since I updated this thing again, so time to catch up.

A couple weeks ago I did the March in Okarche Duathlon (5k run, 18mi bike, 5k run). It was supposed to be on Saturday but a rare snowstorm blew through and the race was moved to Sunday. What a difference in days. Saturday was in the 30's no sun and miserable. Sunday started out nice and by race time it was in the 60's. The only bad thing about the day was the wind that really started picking up as the race started.

The start gun went off at 1:30 with about 200 people racing. The first part of the 5k was nice because we had the wind at our backs for most of the time and the course is generally downhill. I was running a comfortable ~7:30 pace. Then we turned around at the halfway point and were faced by the 20 MPH winds. The 2nd half was a struggle to keep the pace and I was worried that I was going to blow up and ruin the rest of the race. I finally got into transition at 22:31, very respectable.

I grabbed my bike and headed out for the bike. You could really tell the winds were picking up (30mph by now) but it was mainly a cross wind. This was OK, but it was a struggle to keep control of the bike at time. My neck, shoulders and arms were getting very tired from the
constant steering corrections I was making.

We made one turn north and got the wind at our backs for about half a mile and I was doing close to 30MPH without even trying. The bad part was turning around and going back into it. Oh well. I made it to the end of the bike course in just over an hour, not too bad considering.

The second run I could tell I was getting fatigued. I failed to take any nutrition on the bike other than gatorade, so I was missing some calories. I wanted to walk a couple times but I could feel some people catching up to me and I didn't want that to happen. I pushed though and caught up with a couple people and passed them. By now the wind was really a factor on the 2nd half of the run again and I guess I had more in the tank that the guys behind me because I pulled away from them. I finished the 2nd run in 24:52 for a grand total time of 1hr 50 min 3 sec. That was 6 seconds slower than last year, but much worse biking conditions.

Last year I was 64th overall, this year I pulled out 34th with pretty much the same time so vs the field I have improved quite a bit. If I could have had a little better time on the bike I might have been able to place in my age group since I was only a couple minutes out. I have something to focus on now.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Spring is here

Ahh, spring is here. Great weather, green grass and racing season is about to start. My first real race of the season is this Saturday. I look at the weather and what do I see? A low of 30, high of 43 and snow. Huh?

Rain / Snow Showers / Wind

It is going to be a fun day.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Bring on Pikes Peak

Yesterday I was minding my business at work when all of a sudden I get am email from a friend saying along the lines of "Hey you want to run up Pikes Peak?". I must have had a weak moment and after a few minutes I decided, yeah, that would be a good idea. So this August I will be making my way to Colorado Springs to run 13.1 miles up the tallest mountain in Colorado.

From the website

The Pikes Peak Ascent® and Pikes Peak Marathon® will redefine what you call running. Sure, they start out like a lot of races on Any Street, USA. But your first left turn will have you turning in the direction of up! During the next 10 miles, as you gain almost 6,000 vertical feet, your legs, lungs, heart and mind will be worn to a ragged nothingness. But it won’t be until your last three miles, with still over 2,000' of vertical to go, that you will realize where the Marathon got its moniker—America’s Ultimate Challenge.

There’s a reason trees don’t bother growing above 12,000' on Pikes Peak. They can’t! Makes one wonder if trees are smarter than runners. Above treeline most runners take 30 minutes or more, some much more, just to cover a mile. What little air remains can’t satisfy the endless stream of zombies hoping only to survive their next step—a death march right out of a scene from Dawn of the Dead. Adding insult to injury, it might start to snow!

What was I thinking?