Sunday, May 22, 2011

Triathlon Approaching

My first triathlon is coming up. I wanted to provide a description of how these things work.

You generally wear the same outfit the whole race, called a tri suit. It's pretty tight, to avoid drag as you swim and bike, but quick drying so that you aren't water logged after the swim. It has a padded chamois, like bike shorts, but much less padding, so it dries faster and so you don't feel like you are running with a diaper on. You are labeled, by marker, or temporary tattoo, with your number on your biceps and quads, and perhaps your age group on a calf.

Most triathlons have open water swims. The start is often staggered, so there aren't too many people swimming in a clump at once, though it still gets congested. You are required to wear a bright swim cap with your number. You want googles as well. If the water temp is below a certain temperature, you can wear a wet suit without being penalized (the buoyancy makes you faster), but no wet suits are allowed above 78ÂșC. When your wave starts, you run into the water, swim around the buoys as instructed, and come out where indicated. The swim distance in the races I will be doing this summer is a half mile.

You then run into the transition area. The next segment is the bike. You put on your shoes (and socks if desired), sunglasses (if needed), and helmet. You then run your bike out to the mount line until you can get on and start riding. The Running Fit races have a bike distance of 12 miles.

Once you reach the dismount line (usually the same as the mount line) you have to jump of your bike and run it back to your place in the transition area. You place your bike on the rack, take off your helmet, change your shoes, and grab your race tag. Then it's just the running segment, in this case a 5k (3.1 Miles).

You are timed on all segments of the race; swim, transition 1 (T1), bike, transition 2 (T2), and run. The total time determines the winners, so you need to be quick at all aspects to succeed. We'll be practicing more of the transitions and starts in the triathlon class I started this past week.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Dances with Dirt - Gnaw Bone

Time: 2:22:41 (10:54 pace)
Place: 35 of 105 total, 8 of 51 women
AG: 2 of 9

This was an amazing race. I would have never thought southern Indiana (near Bloomington) was so beautiful? The first couple miles had clay mud that came up to your ankles, but since the last 1/2 mile was in the creek, your shoes ended up pretty clean. In between were some gorgeous trails, though with frequent downed trees, many of which it was hard to decide whether it would be quicker to climb over or crawl under. Crossing a couple of times through Brown Country state park, where we camped, you found water and Gu stations.

I did well this race, and finished feeling that I could have gone faster or further. Instead of the usual mug AG award I got a "Run Wild" canvas chair. Definitely going back next year.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Fit 5k Summary

Cedric decided that he was not interested in running in the kids race, though he though it was very funny when I carried him and jogged it. I guess I'll wait until he asks before I sign him up for another race. Of course, he ran tons afterwards. He's stubborn like his mommy.

We helped at the water station. Greg held Cedric on his shoulders while he held out a cup for runners. Cedric thought it was awesome when somebody took a cup from Daddy. He had his own little cheer too, though we're not sure what it was. Afterward, he had a lot of fun running around picking up the dropped cups, stacking them, and throwing them in the trash boxes.

In summary, it was fun to volunteer at the race, but not really worth a 45 minute drive. We'll stick closer to home if we want to help out in the future.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Trail Marathon Results

Time: 5:06:04 (11:40 pace)
Place: 96 of 181 overall, 12 of 34 women
AG: 5 of 6

A fun race, though I wish I had only done the 1/2, or trained better for the full. Even though my time isn't what I would have liked, it is faster than my 5:20 finish there in 2005. This is the first marathon I've done twice. However, in 2005 the trail was covered in snow from a late April snow storm.

I added my gender place in the statistics above just to showcase how skewed the gender distribution is for long trail races. For road 1/2 marathons, and shorter, it's usually pretty even.

I fell just before mile 10, but I didn't want to take the time to stop and look at my knees, so I just kept running. Then a couple of spectators and the aid station volunteers were commenting on how bad it looked. I was starting to get concerned, but once I got finished I found out that my left knee is just a little skinned up. There wasn't even dripping blood. I had them clean it at the first aid tent, and they said it was nothing compared to some of the stuff they'd seen this morning. People who commented made me worry for no reason.


I'm cheating a little bit for the next race, a 5k on Wednesday. I made my goal "to participate" in all of the Running Fit races, not necessarily to run them. I'll do the kid's dash with Cedric, and then we'll give directions to runners on the coarse. I probably wont be up to racing so soon after a marathon, plus when you volunteer you get a $30 coupon for another race, which I could certainly use. It's a nice thing to do, and fun, unless you are helping with parking. People are very grumpy when you tell them the closest lot is full.