Monday, October 22, 2012

Beach2Battleship Iron Distance Relay


All ready to go pre-race.
On October 20th I particpated in the Beach2Battleship Iron Distance Relay.  Obviously, I was recruited for the run leg.   My plan was to start easy and stay around 6:40-6:45 through 20. If I was feeling good after 20, pick it up.  I was hoping to feel good throughout and use this as a good training run for Philly/good assessment of my current fitness.  The course appears to be a bit short, but it's hard to tell since there were a lot of turns, which the garmin does not like.  It does not matter either way, as this was just a training run not a race.  I felt very good and only really worked hard the last few miles.  Surprisingly enough, my legs felt pretty good afterwards and I was able to walk around without issue.  On Sunday, Dee & I did a very easy 8 mile run to shake the legs out- something I'm not always able to do post marathon, so I'm cautiously optimistic about my fitness for Philly.

1 6:32.0
2 6:58.7
3 6:44.7
4 6:43.9
5 6:40.0
6 6:38.3
7 6:44.2
8 6:38.7
9 6:43.0
10 6:41.5
11 6:43.6
12 6:41.4
13 6:29.9 (good bit of downhill)
14 6:16.5 (big downhill & crowd at the turnaround)
15 6:41.1
16 6:38.5
17 6:32.2
18 6:33.9
19 6:32.1
20 6:37.9
21 6:24.8
22 6:22.7
23 6:26.9
24 6:19.0
25 6:06.1
26 5:59.3
27 :07.2 0.02  (5:27 pace)

Overall, our team crushed it.  Our total time was 8:14:30, which was well under our goal of sub 8:30.  Our swimmer cruised in 45:34, our biker dominated the field in 4:34:10, and I ran a race best 2:50:58 (3:49 of transition time).  It was a lot of fun to be a part of such a fast team and get to see an iron distance triathlon in person.  Kind of makes me want to do one myself...

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

3 Months in Arrears

It's been 3 months since our last update, despite it being prime racing season, which can only mean one thing- injury!  Right after the Triangle Triathlon, Chad injured his right calf.  He was out for a month and then slowly started back running.  Here's a quick recap of what we've been up to (good and bad) since the last update.

July 19th

Chad goes down with an injury to his right calf.

July 21st - Beat the Heat 5k

This is a very fast race up in Winston-Salem, NC.  Chad was not able to run.  I ran, but despite being in great shape, I bombed big time.  BIG TIME.  18:54.  I was hoping to take a run at sub 18, but instead I ran my slowest race of the year. 

August 4th- Stumpy Creek International Triathlon

Dee- 2:50:13; 5th AG, 20th OA

The calm before the storm- usually
the swim is my most treacherous leg!
Chad was still out injured.  I had a good swim and was rolling pretty well on the bike when disaster struck.  I was passing a line of people when the girl at the front whiped out right across my path.  My options were to crash into her, crash into oncoming traffic (a huge truck), or crash into the other bikes I was passing.  I ended up crashing into her, flipping over my bike and hitting my head on the pavement.  It felt awesome to say the least.  With a bike that was all sorts of messed up (seat was knocked all the way down, but was pointing upwards- felt great), a sore head, and a thumb that appeared to be broken, I continued riding to the finish simply because I did not see the SAG wagon.  I got off my bike, talked with TJ and Tiffany about my crash, then trotted off to find Chad so I could DNF.  To make a very long story short- I never found Chad.  He was busy biking the course backwards looking for me.  He heard I crashed, but missed seeing me come in because he was busy searching for a bike to borrow to come find me.  By the time I finished the first 5k loop, I decided to just finish the run, so I picked it up and ended up with the #2 run of the day; clocking in at 43:00 for 10k.

Much to several doctors' surprise, my thumb was not broken.  I had simply sprained all the ligament so it looked broken, but wasn't.  Success? 

August 25th- Lake Norman Sprint Triathlon

Chad- 1:18:46; 2 AG, 7 OA; #1 run split- 16:53

Mike Dannenburg proved to be a miracle worker once again and had Chad back running in time for this race.  We were very excited to both be back racing.  Until the Wednesday before the race, when I learned that my 94 year old Grandmother had passed away.  Off to Long Island I went on Thursday evening.  Chad was unable to come with me for reasons unrelated to this race, but it did provide him with a chance to race.

He had a good race and finished 2nd in his age group, while again clocking the #1 run.  Interestingly, Chad actually tied with third place in his age group. The person who finished third had a goggle issue, so he had to start 2 waves back.  So Chad did not see him until after the race was done.  Pretty impressive to have the same time after nearly an hour and twenty minutes of racing.

September 15th- Belews Sprint Triathlon

Chad- 1:09:25; 3AG, 9OA; #1 run split- 17:18
Dee- 1:20:14; 1AG, 5OA; #1 run split - 19:51

Holy cow!  We both raced!  No one crashed or died.  A miracle.  Remember how Chad tied in his last race?  Well... yup it happened again.  This race had a time trial start and Chad started ~2 minutes behind his friend and fellow age grouper, Chris.  Once the results are posted after the race we come to find out that Chad & Chris had the exact same time!  So, again, despite not seeing Chris the whole race, they ended up with the same time. 

I had a solid, if unremarkable race. My bike should have been better, but I'm still a bit skidish on the triathlon bike as a result of the crash.  It's amazing how something like that can scare you!  I refused to ride in the aero position until (literally) the start of the race.  I have no idea why, but I was absolutely petrified.    Hopefully I've gotten over it- but we'll see next time I take out the tri bike!

September 22nd- Wilmington Sprint Triathlon

Chad- 1:13:34; 3AG, 27OA

All smiles as the Giants win big.
As the IOS Series was very tight and Chad had a slow first race, he decided to head over to the Wilmington Sprint Triathlon to see if he could end the year on a high note with lots of points.  Chad's father was also in town to see the Giants-Panthers football game, so they made it a boys weekend trip and headed out Friday at lunch time for the beach.  This race is unique in that the swim is 1500m.  It's in the Intercoastal waterway which, allegedly, has a very helpful current.  I wasn't buying it, so I stayed home with Max.  For the first time all year, Chad had a bad swim.  Of course with a long swim, this was possibly the worst time to have a bad swim. 

Bad races happen and at the end of the day, Chad accomplished more this year than he had hoped for.  At the beginning of the year, Chad was just hoping to make the top 5 in his AG in the IOS series and he ended up finished 3rd.  That's pretty darn impressive and Chad was happy with the way his season turned out, even if every race was not perfect. 

September 29th- Salem Lake 30k Trail Run

Chad- 1:58:48 (6:23/mile pace) 1st AG, 6th OA

Oh hey, triathlon season is over, it's time for marathon training!  Chad is scheduled to run the Philadelphia Marathon on November 18th, so his calf injury in July came at a terrible time.  But, in true Chad fashion, he was up for the challenge and began increasing his mileage (with Mike's blessing) in early September.  To be safe, Chad did not run a single speed workout, and just focused on increasing his mileage and long runs.  12.5 miles on September 8th, 14.5 miles on September 16th, and 18 miles on September 23rd.  After the 18 miles, Chad decided to run the Salem Lake 30k Trail Race, figuring he'd try and run all 18.6 miles at sub 7 minute pace.  Needless to say, his first mile was 6:25 and he never looked back.  This was a fantastic training run for Chad and gave him a lot of confidence for an upcoming relay race...

October 14th- Kasey Kahne 5k

Chad- 16:57, 1st AG, 3rd OA
Dee- 18:53, 1st OA
Raising my hands up to
celebrate my victorious
champagne shower long
before I actually won
the race.

After taking a week off of racing to visit Thomas & Michelle in Raleigh (and Chad getting in a great 22 mile long run with Michelle), we were ready to take a stab at a 5k for the first time in several months. Chad had won a free entry and I decided at the last minute on race morning to stop being a baby and just register. I was very glad I did!  From the start my legs and breathing felt fantastic.  I loved the course and felt strong throughout the race.  Thomas & Michelle were at the halfway point with champagne, so I ran through a champagne shower; which was awesome.  My time was nearly a minute faster than I was expecting, so that was a pleasant surprise. 

Chad had a solid race as well.   He knew from the start that he would not win.  "Fam," a two time Olympian with a 5k PR of 13:11, showed up.  So, Fam ran a 14:22 and dusted the field.  Chad started too slow and ran out of room to close on 2nd, finishing 3rd in 16:57.  A good time on a rolling course.  We hung around afterwards eating bagels and apples and collecting some awesome prizes.

Next up:

Chad trying to determine how
many minutes up Fam is.  The
answer was a lot. 

October 20th- Beach2Battleship Ironman Relay

Yup, that's right.  Chad is racing the marathon leg of the Beach2Battleship Ironman Relay in Wilmington, NC this weekend.  His team is looking pretty darn good and they are hoping to set a new course record for the relay.  Chad is going to use the marathon as a long training run and is hoping to run somewhere south of 3 hours. 

The Philadelphia Marathon is quickly approaching and while Chad may not be in PR shape, due to the short build up thanks to his calf injury, he certainly appears to be in shape to run a fast enough time to secure a coveted spot in the first corral at Boston.  Only time will tell of course, but we're both cautiously optimistic.  I'm very excited to cheer him on at Beach2Battleship and see an Ironman in person. 

Monday, July 16, 2012

Triangle Triathlon- Recap to Follow

2nd AG; 18th Overall; 8472 points (highest so far this year)

Swim: 15:03
T1: 1:39
Bike: 47:15
T2: 0:56
Run: 17:42

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Tri the Midlands Race Report


Last year Chad & I decided at the last minute to head down to Columbia, SC for Tri the Midlands.  We had an absolute blast and decided to race again this year.  The location is fantastic, the post race spread is plentiful, and Team Schmitz always does this race, so it was pretty much a no brainer.   Of course, nothing is perfect and the run course is an absolute beast, but you have to take the good with the bad.  I decided to race open, Chad stuck with age group.

Going in, we both wanted to beat our times from 2011.  Chad set a goal time of 1:07:15 and I set a goal time of 1:15:15- both looking for about a 4 minute improvement.   The race is a 500m swim, 14.8 mile bike & 5k run.  We both had good races and hit our goals.

Chad                                         Dee
Swim:  8:58                               Swim: 11:10
T1: 0:45                                     T1: 1:02
Bike: 39:14                                Bike: 41:42
T2: 0:37                                     T2: 0:55
Run: 17:45                                 Run: 19:19
1:07:18                                      1:14:07

My new P2! 
I was the 3rd Open female and the 3rd overall female.  Going in, I thought I was locked in for fourth due to the fast ladies racing, but surprised myself by passing one last woman with 400m to go to sneak into 3rd.  My time was 4:59 faster than 2011.  I broke out my brand new favorite toy for this race- the P2!  Despite having her for one whole week, I couldn't resist the chance to give it a go.  She did not disappoint.  Fast is an understatement.  Once I get comfortable on the bike, I know much faster bike splits are in my future.  I also finally ran a really good 5k off the bike.  I know this is the kind of time I can and should be throwing down, so it was nice to finally hit it.

Chad was 1st AG, 6th overall.  He jumped up 9 spots from last year and improved his time by 4:05.  He beat several of the Open Masters, which is always impressive.  The run up to transition from the swim was rather lengthy (30-40 seconds), making Chad's swim time even more impressive.  He's been working very hard in the pool and it is definitely starting to show in his swim times.  The biking just keeps getting better as well.  This is a slower course than Latta, but the time improvement from 2011 was substantial, showing that lots of progress has been made. 

The awards were bottle openers
with the race logo- pretty sweet.
Again, we had a great time at Tri the Midlands and will be sure to put it on the schedule for 2013.  It is just such a fun race, despite the fact that the run contains one monster hill that makes you want to walk.  That just builds character, right?  We now have a couple weeks off from triathlons, so we can focus on training (and rest!)  Chad is off until July 14th when he races the Triangle Triathlon and I'm off until August 4th when I tackle my first international triathlon at Stumpy Creek.  Definitely nervous, but looking forward to trying something new!

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Latta: The [Charlotte] World Championships – A race, A results.

Chad’s Recap:

In addition to being a big race in the Charlotte scene, this would be the first time that we had raced a course that we had raced previously and an excellent opportunity to measure our progress.

Danielle’s goals:
(1) Improve all splits
(2) Sub 1:31
(3) Beat Chad’s 2011 Latta bike time
(4) Place in age group

Chad’s goals:
(1) Improve all splits, especially bike and swim
(2) Improve age group ranking
(3) Respectable bike
(4) Sub 1:21
(5) #1 run

Because I didn’t get to see a lot of Danielle’s race I will give you the numbers compared to 2011. In 2011 she finished 32nd overall and 5th in her age group. This year she did considerably better on ostensibly the same course. Swim: improved 1:40, T1 improved :11, Bike improved 2:08, T2 improved :22, Run improved 1:17. Her 2012 finish time was 1:29:09 shattering her goal #2 and a total one year, same course improvement of 5 minutes and 38 seconds. She improved every single split and went from 32nd overall to 11th. Her super secret goal was to beat Jackie Savage (1:31:54 in 2011) and win her age group, but Jackie bettered her 2011 result by 3:25 to hold of Danielle’s hard charging run. Still, second place in a very competitive age group is an excellent result and Danielle is very excited by her progress. For the record, she did hit all of her official goals, including beating my 2011 bike split (and she was on a road bike w/o aero bars).

My race: triathlons are still very new to me and I have a love/hate relationship with the anxiety that I feel before the swim start, it still seems like such a foreign and absurd way to start a race. In any event, I placed myself near my One2Tri Racing teammates, Ross TJ and Story, all of whom are stronger swimmers than I. I thought I got out well and this was confirmed when I noticed Story’s speedo’ed backside alongside me about 100m into the swim. Knowing he is a good swimmer I just stuck we him and relaxed and let him lead me to the first turn. I lost him somewhere between the first and second turns and made the turn home alone. The second half of the swim was much worse as the sun made sighting very difficult and I had to swim through slowing people from my own wave and the slow swimmers from the preceding wave. It is a great feeling to be back on land knowing you didn’t make any major mistakes. I heard people cheering for me as I made my way up toward transition. What a boost it gives you to hear people cheering for you by name (especially coming out so early in the morning!). I notice Dalena in particular and did my best to smile as she snapped a picture, thanks DMC!

I had an efficient T1 and made my way onto the bike where I had my first little snafu. As I went to tighten my shoes I had a massive cramp in my abdomen, it made getting the shoes just about impossible, but they eventually went on and I didn’t hurt in the aero position so off I went down Sample Road. I made it all the way off of Sample before Chris came flying by me per usual. I tried to keep him in sight for as long as possible but it wasn’t long before he was gone and I settled into a rhythm on the bike. I can’t overemphasize how great it was knowing the course. It is well known that I am not a very strong biker so knowing where the tricky or difficult portions of the course were, how long they would last and where I was relative to the finish of the bike course were HUGE helps for me mentally. Also, riding a little faster and being in the second age group wave meant that there were more people around me to focus on and pass or try to catch. There were two other guys in tri suits that were near me much of the first half; they were a good gauge and remainder not to let up, eventually I pulled away from then in the second half (a new experience for me!).

In the second half the Referee on the back of a motorcycle went by me and I watched him sit in and watch another competitor up ahead. I didn’t get a great look at the riders but he was definitely giving out a drafting penalty and pulled alongside after watching for about a minute, wrote down the number and then drove away. As I caught the rider in question, and saw that it was Adam who exclaimed, “I just got a drafting penalty” and I responded, “yeah ya did!” I tried to pull away from Adam, but I just couldn’t shake him (must have been drafting…jk.) He passed me back on the downhill before the turn back onto Beatties Ford Rd and I thought I dropped him for good on the incline after the turn onto Beatties Ford Road. I finished up back onto Sample Rd. and pushed toward the park feeling good about my ride, but then snafu #2. As I reached for my shoes I got a horrible abdominal cramp once again that nearly knocked me off my bike. I went from cruising 20+ MPH to alternating between trying to ride doubled over and standing up to workout whatever the heck was going on. A quarter mile from the finish Adam cruised back by me, and gave me a look that confirmed how ridiculous I must look. I struggled to the dismount line, got my bike in without further incident, grabbed my shoes and number efficiently and took off on the run.

Although I am getting more comfortable in the water and on the bike, it is such a relief to come out of t2 and start cranking. Everyone seems to hate the Latta run course, but there are some things I like about it. (1) the two turn points allowed me so see where I stood with the competition and my progress toward them; (2) early hills play to my run strength, (3) the things everyone else hates about it slows them down more than it slows me down.

Heading into the trail portion of the run I saw James coming home strong with another win in hand. I tried to settle in and set to a good hard pace. I had no idea where I stood in the age group but I knew if I had a good race I could be competitive, although I knew Story, Chris and Patrick Armeen were all in my age group and out in front of me. I had an easy/taper week going into Latta and my legs were repaying me, I felt strong and was moving by people. I noticed Story and Ross coming back from the first turnaround nearly together, both looking very strong and well out of reach for me as expected. They finished 6th and 7th respectively and each made HUGE improvements from the previous year. I didn’t notice Patrick before the first turnaround, but I did see Chris and he said something about me coming after him. I hope I replied, but at that point I was very focused on getting to the turnaround so I could get an estimate of how far back I was. Once I finally got there it seemed I was quite a ways back, but it is hard to tell exactly.

Coming into this race I thought I might have an outside shot at an age group award but with Story, Patrick and Chris all racing in my age group I figured I was racing for fourth. That is until I was approaching the second turnaround, this time I looked for Patrick and saw him, with Chris not too far behind. I had closed the gap considerable and while I wasn’t sure how much race was left I knew it was at least possible to catch someone. Coming out of the trails I caught and passed Chris with maybe a quarter mile to go. Passing him was a weird feeling; he has helped me so much in my transition to the sport of triathlon. I remain a neophyte on the bike but he has helped my biking immensely saving me from having to learn a lot of lessons the hard way. Thanks to his help I am probably a year ahead of where I would be otherwise (and thus in a position to pass him). But such is the way with competition, I expect that it will fuel him and I fully expect him to come back and try and stomp me at Stumpy.

I wasn’t able to get Patrick, but from Jetton to Latta I closed the gap from a minute to 20 seconds. I may not always get there on the run, but they know I am coming…

The numbers:
1:19:48 Finish time, 12th overall, 3rd age group.
Swim: 13:39 (1:49/100m) 35th
T1: 1:46
Bike: 45:43 (22.3mph) 61st
T2: 1:32
Run: 17:10 (5:32/mile) 1st

*distances are approximate as is the norm with triathlons
From 2011 I improved by 4:46, went from 41st overall to

I improved all my splits (except T2), my bike improvement was by far the largest which it needed to be. I am still looking for more from the swim, but sub 1:50 pace with the run up is not bad. I would say my bike is much more respectable now, although 61st is nothing to get excited about. I crushed my sub 1:21 projection and I had the number 1 run, I will take it and call that a very successful day. The best part is finishing up and heading back to cheer Danielle in. I was so excited to see what a great race she had as well, her ceiling in this sport is very high!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Jailbreak 5k


After a few good workouts with Michelle, I started kicking around the idea of running a fast 5k as a rust buster to see if my goal of breaking 18 later this year was tenable. Despite some good searching, I could not find anything local that fit the bill. Either the course was known to be difficult or the dates did not work. I mentioned this to Chad and he came through with the perfect race- the Jailbreak 5k in Lexington, SC. Normally this race wouldn’t have hit his radar, but our good friends, Team Schmitz, live down in Lexington and we were almost positive they’d be running the race and would be game to host us and Max for the night. Kristin & William promised me the course was fairly flat with 2 long but not terribly steep hills. The course sounded like a much flatter option than anything else in the area, so after a flurry of emails the plans were made for a 5k race followed by a 30 mile bike ride.

We zipped down to Lexington right after work on Friday and arrived to some cold drinks and a delicious dinner. Saturday dawned hot and humid- without a cloud in the sky! Oh well, races are run in all sorts of conditions, so this would be good preparation for Beat the Heat and Greekfest 5ks, both of which normally have some pretty rough weather. After our three mile warm-up it was time to hit the starting line and scope out the competition. I knew Kenzie had just run a new 5k PR of 18:27, so she was clearly someone I needed to watch for. There was also a very fit looking girl at the line in just a sports bra and briefs- not the usual outfit of a hobby jogger. My plan was to go out in 5:50 and see how long I could hold the pace. But the best laid plans often fall victim to a nice flat and slightly downhill first mile!

Kenzie and I ran together from the gun with Shawanna (fit looking girl I mentioned above) about 10m up on us. We hit the mile faster than I planned and Shawanna picked up the pace. I had no response. If she was planning on running 5:40 the whole race, the win was hers for the taking. At the halfway point Kenzie and I were still together and we were making up ground on Shawanna. By the 2 mile marker we were only 5m back. I noticed Shawanna was slowing on the hills, so when we turned the corner at 2.3 miles and saw a long uphill, I decided to throw down a bit and see who followed. No one followed. Of course, I didn’t know this until the last 200m of the race when Chad let me know that I had the win locked up. Apparently the look on my face was one of fear- understandable because I knew there was no fifth gear today.

William picked up the Clydesdale win, Kristin picked up
1st 30-34 and Chad also got the 30-34 win. 
The awards were handcuffs!

I finished in 18:19.61, which is my fastest 5k since my PR at Greekfest in 2010. 5:41, 5:56, 6:01, 0:40 (0.12- good tangent running!) I’m only 10 seconds off my PR and 20 seconds off the ultimate goal of sub 18. While that sounds like a lot of time, I trained through this race and the conditions were less than ideal. Both the Beat the Heat and Greekfest courses are flatter and faster, plus I have until July 21st to continue training hard and making improvements.

Chad flirted with a PR, but came up a bit short in 16:34.41, good for 5th overall. The mens race was blazing fast, with the winner clocking a 14:47 and 2nd coming in at 15:48.  Chad has now run within 2 seconds of his PR twice, so he is itching to knock some serious time off and get down into the 16:20’s. Judging by how strong he has looked in workouts, I’d say he’s got a great chance of making that happen this year. Now we are full steam ahead for the Latta Sprint Triathlon on June 9th. Here’s to two good weeks of training!

Monday, May 14, 2012

Jetton Park Sprint Tri


As I ran out of the pool towards my bike during the Huntersville Sprint Tri, I suddenly realized I had not attached my bike shoes to the pedals, as I normally do during a race.  For whatever reason, I gave no thought to my transitions prior to the moment I was doing them.  That clearly showed in my slow T1 and T2 times.  I decided to prepare for Latta, I needed to actually think about all elements of the race and practice my transitions.  

Several friends had recommended the Jetton Park Sprint Tri and I was lucky enough to win a free entry, so bright and early Saturday morning, Danielle and I made the quick trip up to Jetton Park.  The race is a 750m open water swim, a 20k bike, and a 5k run.  The bike is in large part on the Lungstrong 15k run course, so I have some great memories of the area.  I spent Friday after work practicing my transitions and running off the bike.  While this was great for my transitions, it was not the best plan for my legs, which were feeling pretty beat up.  No matter- the race was simply meant to be a chance to practice and break out the new P2.  I hadn't raced on her yet and was anxious to have a chance prior to Latta. I was also a bit concerned since the swim was wetsuit legal and I would not be racing in a wetsuit (don't have one), but the water temperature turned out to be fine. 

The weather was perfect, lots of my One2Tri Racing teammates were assembled, and Danielle was on hand to take pictures and keep tabs on the 30-34 guys.


13:37 swim;1:49/100m (20th overall)           
0:32 T1
35:43 bike; 20.83 mph (49th overall)
0:28 T2
17:21; 5:36/mile (1st overall)

1:07:39; 6th overall and 2nd AG

I was 3:30 behind the AG leader and 2:00 out of 3rd heading out onto the run.  I managed to run my way into 2nd and was only 1 minute behind the AG winner.  Not too bad.

Overall, I am pretty pleased.  I know my swim fitness is not where it needs to be, but my time was still good.  My legs were shot on the bike before the race started and I still had one of my fastest bikes ever.  I know my times will continue to improve as I get used to the P2, work hard, and perhaps even taper a bit.  Or at the very least not trash my legs a mere 14 hours before the race.  My transitions were spot on and my run was what I expected.  I'm definitely getting excited for Latta.  I think I can post a pretty solid bike split and really surprise some people. 

Monday, April 30, 2012

Updates Galore!

Now that we're back "in season" I hope to be better about blogging!  We've done plenty of training and racing since the Tobacco Road Marathon, but no blogging.  Brief photo recap of our recent races!

March 10th, Corporate Cup Half-Marathon

Running so fast his feet don't even
touch the ground.
5th Overall
New PR!

April 1st, Cherry Blossom 10 Mile Run

Chad ran a 57:47 which is a new PR!
Sadly, no pictures, but judging by the time I'm sure he looked fast.

April 28th, Get Up, Get Out 5k

All smiles after winning
money for the wife to spend

5:03 first mile to win the $100 preem

April 29th, Huntersville Sprint Triathlon

Almost done with the bike

1st Age Group, 9th overall female
Fastest run split

Kicking it in to the finish

5th Age Group, 20th overall
Fastest run split

And now we're up to date!  Next up is Tri Latta on June 9th.  This sprint triathlon doubles as the Charlotte World Championships, so we're going to be very tri-focused these next 6 weeks.  Might jump in the Jetton Park Sprint Triathlon on May 12th as another tune-up, but that is still undecided.  Really looking forward to posting some improved bike and swim splits!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

TRM- The Recap

I approached the Tobacco Road Marathon start line fit, but nervous. My training block had gone well. I increased my mileage a bit and increased the number of long runs I tackled. My taper had gone well. I cut way back on junk food and alcohol, and bumped by bedtime up to ensure 8+ hours each night for the final week. There was nothing to make me think that attaining my goals would be out of the question- except the weather. The weather had been warm and humid all week and race day dawned 60 degrees with 90% humidity. I was just grateful it was overcast. I am very much a cold weather runner, so I was thinking more along the lines of high 30s to low 40s, but the weather gods had other plans. No matter. I adjusted my fueling strategy, but decided against adjusting my pacing strategy. The plan was to run 6:45s the whole way.

My legs felt great on our short warm-up. I was ready. The gun went off and we spent the first mile settling in. The full and the half stay together for 2.5 miles, so it was really crowded and we had to work to stay together and relaxed. Chad had signed up for pacing duties because he is crazy and a glutton for punishment. And he loves me. So Chad took to the helm with me, Michelle, and Mo tucked in behind him. Right after the turn onto the American Tobacco Trial we picked up Kaylyn, who was looking to go sub 3, Allen, who was also looking to go sub 3, and one other mystery runner who didn’t mention his name- conserving energy no doubt. Our group of 7 rolled along the lovely hard packed dirt to the turn around point at 8.5 miles. We really struggled to settle into the pace and were jumping around a bit. Some of the mile markers were off (one was nearly 45 seconds after where it should have been), so that made it difficult to determine if we were going the right pace. Somewhere after mile 9 we lost Mo and Kaylyn. We hit the half in 1:28:37; 6:46 pace. Perfect.

The course is a big T, with the start of the second half of the T starting right after mile 14. Thomas was waiting for us and jumped in to help Chad with pacing duties. I was very happy to see Thomas because I had been running alongside Chad and was looking forward to being able to tuck in and stop thinking. The run out was uneventful. I felt bad, then great, then bad, then great. We hit the turn around just past the 19 mile marker and tried to grab some water at the aid station, but they were completely unprepared for us. We ended up having to actually stop to grab water and Gatorade. Normally I would have just skipped the aid station, but the weather meant this would have been a bad idea. We had gotten fairly lucky and the weather was holding at 60 degrees, overcast, and humid, as opposed to heading north to 72 as was forecast, but that still meant we needed to be vigilant about hydration.

Mile 20 was 15 seconds too slow, but we rebounded with a fantastic mile 21, 5 seconds under our goal pace. I was feeling great during mile 21 and then the wheels came off. Mile 22 was a monumental struggle, as Michelle and I both started to fade. Mile 23 was even worse despite having Dalena, Carolyn, and Anna cheering us on. Mile 24 was an improvement over 23, but still nothing to write home about. At the 24 mile marker, Michelle decided she was ready to be done and picked up the pace. I tried my best to follow and picked up the pace too, but not enough to stay with her. Miles 25 and 26 were back down to sub 7, as I struggled to maintain my composure and get home. The last 0.2 was uphill and slow. At that point I knew a PR was in the bag and sub 2:59 was in the bag, so I was content to run hard and enjoy the moment instead of trying to sprint it in. Not that I had anything left to sprint with. Second half: 1:30:07; 6:52 pace. Finishing time: 2:58:44; 6:49 pace, a 59 second PR.

Michelle finished in 2:58:06; just shy of a 4 minute PR. She looked so strong out there. I knew she was set to have a great race after another stellar training cycle. Mo zipped across the line a few minutes later in 3:02. Kaylyn had some awful blister problems that led to both feet being covered in blood, but managed a 3:12. Our new friend Allen hit his goal of a sub 3 with a 2:59.
The Van Crew- all smiles pre-race.

There were so many friends out there, it was incredible. Anna, Dalena, Emily, and Carolyn all finished the half marathon and ran back to cheer us on.  John & Caitlin were at the finish taking pictures.  Aaron not only drove us to the race and took care of all of the logistics; he also was waiting at 24 and ran in with me and Michelle. Later I learned that he ran that 2.2 mile stretch no less than 4 times to cheer people on and help runners to the finish. Despite being sidelined with injury and having no long runs and one workout under his belt, Thomas jumped in at 14 and ran the rest of the way with us. He helped keep me on task, focused, and relaxed.

Chad was the perfect pacer, as usual. He kept the pace right on, until mile 22 when he realized that I was going as fast as I possibly could at that point. From then on he played a game where he would coax me to stay on his shoulder and run just a little bit faster, trying to get as much out of me as humanly possible. It worked. I am incredibly grateful to him for being so amazing; although I’m not remotely surprised.

All in all, it was a good day at the office. Hopefully there are faster marathons in my future- perhaps Boston 2013!  Splits by garmin: 6:46, 6:42, 6:40, 6:45, 6:39, 6:50, 6:41, 6:47, 6:40, 6:43, 6:43, 6:43, 6:47, 6:49, 6:46, 6:40, 6:50, 6:47, 6:42, 7:00, 6:40, 7:01, 7:10, 7:01, 6:52, 6:53, 1:59 (7:01 pace for 0.28; great job running the tangents).

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Tobacco Road Marathon

59 second PR
4th Female
1:28:37/1:30:07 half splits
60 and humid
Recap to follow

All smiles with Michelle, who finished 3rd in 2:58:06

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Cupid's Revenge


After nearly four months off of racing, I finally returned to the land of flats, singlets, and fast times. I hadn’t been planning on running the Cupid’s Cup 5k, but I did want to do the so-called “Cupid’s Revenge” workout and it seemed like a waste of time to only do half the workout. So, I was in for the race, despite having done only marathon workouts and training the past 4 months.

Fellow Charlotte Running Club member, Aaron Linz, coaches several of the girls I train with and one of the girls I am running the Tobacco Road Marathon with. He created this workout last year and it worked so well, he decided to put it on the schedule again. It involves running the Cupid’s Cup 5k all out, then taking a short break for fuel and shoe changes, then jogging 0.75 miles to the start of a rolling 7.35 mile course. The goal was a marathon pace temp (6:45 for me). Chad wasn’t ready to do a 5k, but he nicely offered to pace the tempo portion; an offer which I readily took him up on. Interestingly, this would be my longest run to date at marathon pace. I knew I could handle the pace in general; it was just the pace after a race that concerned me.

With almost no speed work to speak of and a tough tempo afterwards, I decided to just run comfortably hard and not fret about my time. Anything under 20 minutes would have been fine by me.

Race morning dawned nice and cool but with none of the terrible wind that would descend later in the day. After a short warm up, I was on the starting line then off. The pace felt a bit quick at first, but the race starts uphill. Once I hit the flat the pace felt much easier and I was pleased to see my garmin said I was running right at 6 minute pace. Finished the first mile right at 6:00. The second mile starts with a long uphill, flattens out, and has one more uphill, before flattening out again to the 2 mile marker. I cruised through the 2nd mile in 6:12, still feeling good. The third mile is entirely downhill and I knew it would be possible to run my final mile around 6:00 minute pace again. I was very surprised when I hit the 3 mile in 5:43. Mo was charging hard behind me, so that helped me to pick up the pace the last half mile, but I did not expect a 5:43, even downhill. The course is known to be short and measured short again this year (3.07), but that was fine by me. I crossed the finish line in 18:21. That converts to 18:34 for 5k. Even adding in some additional time to account for the terrible tangent running I normally do, this time was unquestionably faster than anytime I ran in the past 18 months. I was happy and surprised.

Before I knew it, we were all resetting our garmins and starting the tempo portion down Providence Road. Our destination was the Arboretum shopping center where Aaron, Billy, and Rich would be waiting to kindly drive us back to the race site. Chad immediately took to the front and worked to bring us down to the proper pace without exerting too much effort too soon. The first two miles were a touch slow, but then we picked it up and put in a solid effort for the next 5.35 miles. Right after the 3 mile marker, the group split off, with the faster runners settling into their marathon pace for the remainder of the run. I was left with Chad and Mo, which was perfect. We stayed right under our goal pace and crushed the remainder of our run.

6:50, 6:49, 6:31, 6:42, 6:42, 6:40, 6:39, 2:21 (6:30 pace).

I was really happy with this run, even moreso in the context of the entire workout. Next week starts my three highest weeks of mileage. I’ll be looking to hit 70 each week, before tapering. I had one other week at 70, right before Thunder Road in 2010, but I have never done a sustained block of mileage in this range. Hopefully the result will be a PR in the marathon at Tobacco Road!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

2011 Trials of Miles

Chad & Dee:

Well, 2011 is in the books.  It was quite the roller coaster of a year.  For Chad, it was a year filled with hard work, good training, and PRs in every distance except the 5k.  Unfortunately, the year ended with him back on the DL nursing some type of hamstring injury thanks to a spin class.  Proof that cross-training is bad.  For Danielle, it was a year filled with injuries and set backs and nothing close to a PR.  However, not every year can be good, and sometimes we need to take a step back before we can take a step forward.  Hopefully 2012 is a step forward!

2012 will see us change our focus from running to triathlons.  There will be plenty of running and racing, to be sure, but this year we are foregoing the Run For Your Life Grand Prix Series, and looking to do a triathlon Grand Prix Series instead.  We are very excited to represent One2Tri Racing again! 

Just for fun, here is our mileage breakdown for 2011.  Let's see if we can't do better in 2012.

Dee-                                                         Chad-
Run:    2,264 miles                                     Run:    2,423.2 miles
Bike:   2,232.5 miles                                   Bike:   2,967.6 miles
Swim: 156,590 meters (97 miles)                 Swim: 389,280 meters (241 miles)

Chad's totals are a bit off since he tends to stop tracking as vigilently when he is out injured.

Here are the stats from 2010- the year we started swimming and bought bikes.

Dee-                                                         Chad-
Run:    2,558.7 miles                                  Run:   2,067.9 miles
Bike:   291.7 miles                                     Bike:  747.1 miles
Swim: 55,824 meters (34 miles)                  Swim: 315,371 meters (195 miles)
Solid improvements on the biking and swimming, but still plenty of work to do.  Here's to some great training in 2012!