Sunday, March 10, 2013

Glendale Downtown Dash 5K

I really liked this race. Mostly because it was literally 5 blocks from home. I woke up, got dressed, and walked to the starting line. Very cool.

I was wearing a Disney Tri Team jersey, and some guy before the race wearing a Vineman T-shirt came up and asked me "are you still doing Tris?" I thought this was odd- did I look like a former triathlete? Did he think I was retired or something? Whatever. He did ask me if I had any races on the calendar, so I was glad I was able to say I was doing Ironman Cozumel.

The course itself was very flat, and was essentially 3 different out-and-back loops. This meant we were never more than 1/2 mile from the start and made the whole race seem very short and fast. We ran through the Americana shopping plaza, which is a pretty nice area but they didn't have the dancing fountains going. That would have been cool.

The mile markers were large fabric flags hanging from metal gates (like ski gates, not fence gates.) When I saw Mile 1, it seemed perfectly natural to run through the gate brushing under the flag. Except as it turns out, the markers weren't fabric. They were some form of really hard posterboard which I smashed my head against. I felt like an idiot and had a headache for the next 2.1 miles.

The online course map left out an important quarter-mile spurt PAST the finish line and then back again, so I thought I was having an amazingly fast pace as I started sprinting towards what I thought was the final couple hundred yards. I should have known better, and so I was a bit burned out for the last half-mile.

Still, overall it was a really good race. Radio Disney was there playing music and generating lots of family-friendly energy the way only Disney can do, and the whole thing just had a nice vibe to it. Will do it again.

Wednesday, March 06, 2013

Challenge Accepted

My first Ironman was Coeur d'Alene. Didn't really know what I was doing, but things seemed to work out OK.

Next was Wisconsin. I was a little smarter with my training that time: I knew it was a hilly race, so I spent a lot of time focusing the bike (much to the delight of Jon, who thinks triathlons are swim-bike-bike-bike-bike-run). The training paid off - I knocked 20 minutes off my bike time, on a more difficult course.

Then was Kona. I was never happy with my marathons, so I decided to focus on my running. It worked, and I beat my Wisconsin marathon time by 30 minutes. (Bike was 15 minutes slower, but with the Kona winds and some race strategy on my part, I'm not complaining.)

Now I have to do Cozumel. I feel like it's time I did some extra swim training. I know, I know... it's the least important leg to worry about. But I really never was a great swimmer, and I think I should try to improve my swim time (all 3 Ironman swims are within 5 minutes of each other.)

To this end, I made the goal to do 100 swim workouts before Ironman Cozumel in December. I mentioned this to Wisconsin Steve (former tri team swim coach) who didn't think it was very realistic for me. In fact, I have a $10 bet with him that I'll be able to do it. To track my progress, I have a 100ml graduated cylinder:

Here are the rules (made up by me, not necessarily agreed upon):
• For every swim workout I do, I'll add 1 ml of water.
• I can replace workouts lost due to evaporation.
• A workout must be at least 30 minutes of laps. Splashing around in the pool doesn't count.
• One hour or more of laps still only counts as one workout.
• Our 1/2 mile Malibu ocean swims count as a full workout regardless of time. (They're cold and choppy and I want full credit.)

I made the bet with Steve 2 weeks ago, and you may notice the cylinder is still empty. Yes, that's a bit of a problem but I think I'll be getting into the pool again at some point this month.