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.