Saturday, September 29, 2007


How much slower does sitting on one's ass for 11 days (punctuated by a triathlon in the middle) make a person?

A lot, apparently.

I could only manage 10km today, in what was supposed to be a long run day. With a walk break in the middle.

I felt like a lumbering elephant. A stiff and sore and cranky lumbering elephant.

At a pace (11:42 min/mile) that will only buy me a 5:07 marathon on race day even if I could keep it up for 26.2 miles, which I doubt.

It may be time to start revising my MCM pace plan downwards. 5:07 would still be a huge PR, but I really would like to break 5 hours. But it may be much too late for that.

Oh well. At least my 10km was about 10 minutes faster, with an average heart rate 14 bpm lower, than I was able to run last Sunday. (Then again, it was 15 degrees cooler today, and I hadn't had the fun of a 1500m swim and a 36-mile bike to warm up with).

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Disney Triathlon race report

This year's race was managed better than I expected. Of course, I didn't expect much, since the reports from last year made it sound like a regular Charlie-Foxtrot. And Disney events (in my experience) have a lot of flaws that often more than balance out the fun of having them at Walt Disney World.

I enjoyed the race. That said, I wouldn't advise anyone to do it who wasn't staying at the WDW Fort Wilderness Campground. Staying on site made the day much much easier - while staying off-site probably made pre-race set-up and getting to the site on race day a colossal pain. Riding the bike to rack it, and walking to the start the next morning in 5 minutes from our campsite (instead of dealing with endless shuttle buses) was a great way to start the day.

Lessons learned: Yes, it's three different activities. Plus transitions. Hang in there and keep racing until you cross the finish line. Work on those bike cornering skills. Stay cool.

Swim 1500m/1640 yards: 44:01 (2:41/100 yards)
6/10 Athenas over 40
15/21 Women 50-54

I felt pretty calm before the start. Some of the women racked around me in transition were going absolutely insane over the tight conditions. I just set up my stuff quietly and got away from them as soon as I possibly could and found a quiet place to sit before the start - which isn't easy when they have crazy loud announcing going on all morning since well before dawn.

I was happy to be in the first wave and get going first thing. I wore a noseclip for the first time in a triathlon swim since there was some possibility of toxic amoebas in the 84-degree water. It was also my first non-wetsuit swim in a triathlon.

I started off in the back on the right and it was a big wave - men 50 and over and women 45 and over. There was a very shallow, casually slow wade-out and it took a long time to start swimming.

Then the nose clip (and perhaps also the very warm water) started making me feel short of breath. I left the nose clip on and kept swimming, but I slowed down a bit to get my breathing regulated.

When I tried to move up again I was still in a mass of swimmers. Lots and lots of them, the most crowded swim that I've been in yet. Lots and lots of breaststrokers, too, who take up lots of room in the water. I caught a hard kick to the chest from one Clydesdale. After that I was a bit more cautious about other swimmers and probably spent too much time trying to avoid them rather than just swim faster.

I found it difficult to sight most of the way, too. The horizon was just a featureless treeline, and the lake was still fairly dark. The only time we had a really good object to sight off of was when we crossed the end of the swim course and swam straight for the tall Contemporary Resort.

I stayed in my comfortable zone for most of the swim, treating it as a warmup. There was no wind, no waves, and no current. Perhaps I was a bit too casual and lackadaisical about the swim, because I finished over 7 minutes slower than I had swum the same distance at Annapolis (although in a wetsuit) just two weeks earlier.

I was slightly disappointed to see a 43-something on the clock when I came out of the water, but I shrugged it off, since I really was just there to have fun. Forget it and trot through the very long, convoluted transition and try not to lose too much time.

Here's an approximate map of the swim course - I wish my Garmin were waterproof so that I could wear it and see where we really went, and what parts of the course really slowed me down.

T1: 6:25
6/10 Athenas over 40
16/21 Women 50-54

Again, I was fairly casual about T2, though I trotted through the whole transition zone and didn't have to deal with wetsuit removal. I took time to turn on my Garmin, strap it on, put on a bike jersey and bike gloves, and set out. Then despite my fantastic rack position right at the bike exit I learned to my dismay we still had a super-long run before we got to the mounting zone.

By the way, the only officials that I saw during the race at any time were in the transition zone. If there were any out on the bike course or the run course, I sure didn't see them.

Bike 36 miles: 2:04:10
Garmin: 2:03:28 for 36.17 miles or 17.57 mph (PR pace for triathlons!)
Average heart rate 159 bpm
2/10 Athenas over 40
7/21 Women 50-54

Once I got on the bike I felt great! The first mile or two was a "no passing" zone. This didn't hinder every jerk who had an aero helmet from the 3 or 4 waves after me from heading out at top speed and zooming past anyone who might be a hair slower than them. There seemed to be no enforcement of the "no passing" zone other than the roadside signs. I took it fairly easy starting out and then picked up my pace once we were out on the open highway.

Most of the course was fairly flat roads with good pavement, but there were a few peculiarities.

Bike course elevation map from my Garmin (I have no idea why I lost all that elevation on the bike! I think the starting readings are a bit spurious).

At about 5 miles into the course we rode along the rightmost lane on a highway and then did a sharp reverse onto a ramp going the "wrong" way. Well, most people did. I managed to run my poor bike off the side of the road and into the sand and gravel and had to just ride it out until I could unclip and stop. Fortunately I was able to keep my balance and just pick up my bike and walk it over to the pavement and start again, but I felt more than a little foolish doing it. Then I recalled seeing Alberto Contador do a similar maneuver on his way to winning the 2007 Tour de France, and felt better.

I worked on keeping my heart rate steady in the 150-160 range and it ended up averaging 159, so I was putting forth a reasonably strong effort on the bike the whole way.

At one point a guy passing said to me "Fifty and over rocks!" which gave me a boost. I said, "That's right!"

Later about halfway in the course there was a sweeping left-hand downhill curve and I saw at least one speed demon had ridden it too fast and earned himself some painful road rash on his face and probably a trip in the ambulance.

For about ten miles of the ride I was leapfrogging with Mr. Macho Hair Shirt who had gold charms dangling from his neck and curly thick hair sprouting from his arms. Every time I passed him he would pick up his pace and pass me back, never saying a word, and then plant himself on the left side of the lane. At least twice cars that got stuck on the course amid the cyclists got blocked behind him, and then I got blocked behind the cars. He should have been awarded several blocking time penalties. I just used my annoyance to push faster and finally dropped him toward the end of the bike.

At the one water stop the volunteers handed out peculiar flip-top bottles of water that only held about 16 ounces and didn't fit in bottle cages. I filled my aerobottle with it and tossed it.

I worked on staying on top of my hydration (~70 ounces water), electrolytes, and energy (Clif Bloks) and did a pretty good job of it, I believe. I saw some people coming in to T2 carrying three full bottles of fluid on their bikes and knew they would regret it later.

T2: 3:20
3/10 Athenas over 40
12/21 Women 50-54

I was fairly casual about T2 also, taking the time to reset my Garmin for running.

Run: 82:00
Garmin: 1:22:03 for 6.29 miles or 13:02 min/mile
Average heart rate 171 bpm
2/10 Athenas over 40
17/21 Women 50-54

It was starting to get pretty warm on the run - the day's high was 86*F and the average humidity was 87%. Plus the run was held along paths in a wooded area which effectively blocked any wind from reaching us, and about 3/4 of it was in full sun.

It was a two-loop course with four out-and-back legs, which I thought would be horrible, but actually once I began it I liked the format. I was able to watch all the other runners on the out-and-back legs and see that they were jogging and walking with their mouths hanging open and with deadpan expressions on their face just as I undoubtably was. Yes, there was an armadillo roadkill along the course, which amused me in a sick kind of way.

I ran until my heart rate stayed at 175-176, and then walked until it dropped to 165. Then ran again. This process eventually resulted in more walking than running, but it kept me moving. It ended up averaging 171, so I kept the effort reasonably high.

I was also able to watch for other Athena-types who might be in my group. I didn't see too many on the first lap, but saw more on the second lap. I couldn't really be sure which lap they were on, though, but I kept my eye on them and I knew I'd be annoyed if I allowed any of them to pass me.

It was hot. Most people were doing a lot of walking. I saw one 30-ish guy down on the pavement with his eyes closed, being tended by 3 or 4 medics. At the water stops I was a bit annoyed to see the volunteers weren't handing out ice, but rather kept it behind the tables in a baby pool (keeping their own drinks cold?). I went around behind the tables and filled up cups of ice and dumped them down my shirt. I also kept drinking as much as I could and taking my electrolytes and Clif Bloks, which helped a lot.

Part of the course ran out along a grassy path that had been mown, but only to about 8 inches. It was quite uncomfortable to try to run on with tired legs. Simple attention to detail can make all the difference to the participant. Also that water stop was positioned at the end of the out-and-back leg, whereas if it had been at the start or middle of the leg we would have had two opportunities for water. The water stop volunteers seemed a little overwhelmed and understaffed.

At last I survived the run course and was able to turn left towards the finishing chute instead of back out on course for another deadly lap!

I was delighted to see Linae and Shawn cheering us along again as I approached the finish line! I looked around for them as soon as I crossed the line and collected my medal. I quickly found them as the skies opened up in a cloudburst. We headed under shelter and heard a few thunderclaps - I heard that the race was stopped but there were still much later finishers, so maybe that was a false report.

We hung out and chatted and caught up on things at the awards ceremony, where I was surprised and delighted to get a 3rd place award! That was great!! I was thinking there probably were only 3 or 4 finishers in my division as usual, but then when I saw the results later I was delighted to see it was out of 10 women in my division! Wow! That amazed me!!

All in all, a very fun day with a very surprising finish.

Overall: 4:19:55
3rd/10 Athenas over 40 (Hardware! Yeah!)
12th/21 Women 50-54 (A solid mid-pack finish for a nice change!)

Hmm, and 4th place was just 23 seconds behind me - good thing I stayed strong at the end! And 2nd place was only one minute ahead!! I can do better...!!!

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Still on the road

Yesterday at Jekyll Island, Georgia. Last night in North Carolina, back to Virginia or Maryland tonight.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Disney triathlon done!

Just finished the Disney Tri yesterday and it was a pretty decent quasi-Olympic event with a fun 36-mile bike leg - in contrast to the horror stories I heard from last year!

I'm happy to say that I earned hardware as 3rd Athena over 40 - out of TEN! It was hot (naturally - it's Florida) and the "run" was more like a hot death-march, but I pushed on as best I could past the armadillo roadkill without ending up flat on the pavement (like more than one guy did) and I'm glad I hung on because 4th place was just 23 seconds behind me! (I was 12th/21 in my age group - solid midpack finish there!)

Super-great to see Shawn and Linae there too, who found me just before the swim. Thanks for coming out, ladies!!!

Long report when I get home!

Saturday, September 22, 2007

At Fort Wilderness Campground at WDW

I don't have wifi at our RV site, but we do up at Pioneer Hall next to the transition area for tomorrow's Walt Disney World Triathlon. I'm sitting in the rented golf cart typing on my laptop (excuse typos!) as I watch the cast of the Hoop Dee Doo Review hang out on the porch opposite me and chat with passersby. They're in period Victorian/western costume with big skirts and hats and buckskin jackets and it looks horribly hot! Ah, their show just started and they headed inside, where presumably it's air-conditioned.

We're in a campsite just about right in the middle of the whole campground. My race number is #68 and my bike is about 2 racks from the bike exit, perfect spot so I have almost no run through transition with my bike. The swim looks fine, although I did take the free nose clip so I don't breathe in amoebas and die from meningitis. Maybe. I may tear it off when it drives me crazy and leave it at the bottom of Bay Lake, however.

I start in the first wave at 0730 and should(!) be done by 11:30 I hope - under 4 hours with a 35-mile bike leg. We'll see. I'm not likely to push it tomorrow if the course gets crowded or it gets too hot outside. Hope to see you sometime tomorrow, Linae and Shawn! Thanks for coming over!! And Kathy and Molly, if you're reading, it was great to see you and hang out even though it was much too short.

Today we had a fairly quiet day - did triathlon check-in, then we rented a pontoon boat and took the girls on a tour of Bay Lake and the Seven Seas Lagoon. Then we took the resort launch over to the Magic Kingdom but didn't go in - we just took the monorail around to the Polynesian Resort and had an early dinner in the snack bar there. Then back via monorail and boat launch to the campground and that was enough of an excursion for today! Maybe some swimming pool time this evening. It's hot and muggy and overcast but only occasionally sprinkling.

The bike is racked, I just have to do final prep of my clothes and then up at 5AM tomorrow to make the first swim wave!! I'll be glad to be finished in the so-called 'cool of the day' (for Florida).

Thursday, September 20, 2007

On the road

At a campground now in the middle of South Carolina. Drove over the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel yesterday and past lots of cotton fields and tobacco fields yesterday. Today heading through Georgia and hoping to be in Tallahasee by dinnertime. Start cookin', Kathy!!

Monday, September 17, 2007

We doubted her!

Last Friday Catherine's backpack mysteriously contained 3 little Matchbox-type cars. I figured she just "accidentally" took them from school. So - I sent back the 3 little cars today in her backpack with a note to the teacher.

They were returned with a note - they are HERS and they're what she selected from the Prize Cart and bought with her "Saints Dollars" that she earned for good behavior in class!!

Awww, and we thought we had a budding thief on our hands!!! I'm sorry I ever doubted her!!! (Then again, she didn't explain exactly how they got into her backpack very coherently, so I'm not sure she quite understands the whole monetary transaction concept. She thinks money is little plastic cards.)

I'm sure that my husband will be proud that she selected CARS for her first ever purchase!

(I haven't seen any toys in Elisabeth's backpack.... I guess she didn't earn enough Saints Dollars to buy anything??? She probably OWES them Saints Dollars.... heh.)

Update: No, no, no, it's not a religious program!! Remember, we live in the town of Saint Michaels, so we've got the head archangel in charge of things around town!! All the school teams are the Saints. So you think I should file an ACLU lawsuit? ;-)

The kayaks are here! (again)

Two new ones arrived today, and they took back the two old damaged ones! These look great. One is muted orangey and the other is garish red and yellow - the better to be seen with by the Big Boats!

Elisabeth is ready for some water - but that will have to wait until we return from our trip. She's sitting on the special removable child's seat in the forward part that you can see in the rear view.

Sunday, September 16, 2007


Getting ready to leave town for 9 days for a whirlwind trip (2200+ miles round trip) down to Orlando for the Walt Disney World Triathlon next Sunday. It's an Olympic distance plus - with about 11 extra miles in the bike leg. Fine with me! I just hope the race management has improved over the bad reports it's gotten previously. Frankly, I'm not expecting much except a family camping trip in the RV!

Yes, we're still renting one, although we really would like to buy one within the next year. I'm sure we would use it a lot. It's really quite expensive to rent them and I'm sure we'd get our money's worth out of owning one. Renting has allowed us the opportunity to try a few different models and figure out what we want in a purchase a little better, though. This time around it's a Winnebago View, a 24-foot diesel model much smaller than those we rented before. (The last one we rented was 31 feet long, which we decided was just too big and cumbersome to drive and maneuver.)

Right now I'm consumed with packing lists (I wised up and stored it on Google documents this time so my husband and I can both access and add to it), and making big stacks of things to go with us in our utility room. There's an incredible amount of stuff to take - fortunately the RV is very forgiving about overpacking! When you load it in your driveway you don't have to worry too much about having too much extra stuff as long as it all fits in the cabinets. I've always been a chronic overpacker, anyway.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

At the Y

I'm standing today in the "adults only" locker room at the YMCA -- you know, the one with big "18 and over only" signs on all the entrances. That's located a whole 50 feet away from the small "family" locker room and perhaps 100 feet from the all-ages women's locker room.

I hear outside the door some little kid's voice and a mom saying, "If they kick us out, they kick us out."

And mom drags her very embarrassed 7- or 8-year-old daughter into the adults-only locker room.

I just glared. I thought of several appropriate remarks to make, none of which were very kind or helpful, so I kept my mouth shut. And left.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Annapolis photos

Here they are! The wetsuit photo was just too horrible to consider posting, like the Old Woman from the Black Lagoon.

I think I had just stuffed a couple Clif Bloks in my mouth here and quickly got down in the aerobars again just for the photographer. So I'm cracking myself up:

This is what hypoxia looks like:

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

The Champion

That's me! The one and only (finisher in the division, that is). It didn't exactly photograph well, but it's about 10 inches tall.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Race Report: Inaugural Annapolis Triathlon

SUMMARY: Extremely well-managed inaugural event in a fantastic venue which should become a popular destination Olympic-distance triathlon. Highly recommended. I'll be back next year!

Official results:
Swim 1500m/1690 yd: 36:51 291st/377
T1: 4:47 310th/377
Bike 37 km/23.0 miles (race site says 38 km): 1:30:26 15.7? or 15.2 mph 325th/377
T2: 2:52 258th/377
Run 10 km/6.2 miles: 1:17:00 12:24 min/mile 337th/377
Total: 3:31:54.00
Overall gender place: 337th/370 female finishers (would have been 12/15 W50-54 AG)
Overall place: 1151/1223 finishers


They couldn't have found a better small-town venue for a triathlon: Annapolis, Maryland, known as the sailing capital of the world: See local photos at the race website:


The logistics for this event were a bit daunting. T1 was at the City Docks in downtown Annapolis, adjacent to the US Naval Academy. As an old colonial town with narrow streets, a condition of the race permit was that participants would not park in town. Bike dropoff had to be done on Saturday via a ~1-mile bike ride into town. I heard there were return shuttles, but I walked back to the parking and T2 area at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial stadium.

Race morning came very early - I had a 3AM alarm at my house about an hour drive away from the stadium.I was glad to arrive early by 5AM since there was a traffic backup for entering and parking. (There was also a $5 daily fee for parking at the stadium, which slowed down entry, but unavoidable since the lots are operated by a commercial concern). I remembered to bring a flashlight, but my setup was delayed by the one management glitch of the day - organizers had not finished labeling the racks and I had to wait about 15 minutes for them to finish to set up my run gear. I boarded the shuttles on time before 6AM and we arrived just before dawn at the Town Dock.

I finished double-checking my bike and setting up my T1 gear. I got into my wetsuit - there was some question up until the last minute whether it would be wetsuit-legal, but water temperatures were finally reported at 77*F and all wetsuits were permitted. I also slathered exposed skin with Sea Safe anti-sea nettle lotion, just in case of running into nasty jellyfish tentacles in the water.

I was in the second-to-last swim wave and had a long time to hang out at the dock area, but it was so crowded with spectators that I had difficulty getting a good view of the course and the swim entrance and exit. Eventually it was our turn to start - the 40-45-year-old women and Athenas.


We walked over the timing mats and down onto a floating dock at water level and I jumped off into the water. There was zero wind and the water was completely calm. Surprisingly to me, no sea nettles were to be seen either. It felt warm but not overly warm - I was immediately comfortable and my pre-race anxiety melted away. The other women in the water were cheerful and excited and the race director joked that we were talking so much we wouldn't hear the start! But soon we set off. I had a few bumps with other swimmers but mostly stayed on the outside of the course. I felt very comfortable during the entire swim and used it as a relaxing warm up for the day. I enjoyed seeing all the yachts anchored nearby during the swim, and didn't have any difficulty with boat exhausts nor with jellyfish as I had feared. I swam smoothly and felt too warm a couple of times in my sleeveless wetsuit, but just stopped kicking and soon cooled off.

The sun was up high enough I didn't have difficulty sighting for most of the swim, except for the final leg where I had trouble seeing the swim exit against the clutter of buildings and masts in the background. Finally I realized I could see a mass of yellow volunteer tshirts and headed for that. There was a submerged stairway and expert volunteers helped us out of the water and I was on my way. Checked my watch - 36:xx was a couple of minutes slower than I had hoped but in the results it was actually my fastest leg of the day compared to the other competitors - now THAT is a brand new occurence for me, having a midpack swim finish, and my best leg! Plus despite some considerable pre-race anxiety it was probably my best swim ever in terms of confidence and control once I got in the water.


A fairly long jog through the entire transition area in my wetsuit, and I had many items on my "to do list". Finish removing wetsuit vest. Turn on Garmin. Sit down. Pull off wetsuit legs. Wipe off feet. Put on socks. Put on bike shoes. Stand up. Strap on Garmin. Put on bike jersey, bike gloves, sunglasses and helmet. Bag up wetsuit and all supplies and deposit labeled bag in box at end of rack for transport by volunteers to T2. Unrack bike, walk over timing mats, hit watch and Garmin buttons, mount up, and go! Surprisingly, all that only took 4:47, though it seemed much longer.


The first mile out of transition was a twisty route through the narrow streets of Annapolis. I felt great heading out and started out fairly fast for me. I had to yell out at a couple pedestrians wandering into the roadway (as did the volunteers). I had been concerned about the cobblestone streets, but actually they're flat interlocked brick which was no problem at all.

The course headed out of town on a broad highway for a couple of miles, past a big shopping mall, and then headed out on a rural highway for several miles to a loop and then back. (The bike course was not nearly as scenic as the swim and run.) Most of the way cyclists had a full lane coned off to ride in, or a wide shoulder, and the course was very well-staffed with volunteers, so despite the roads getting crowded with cars approaching 9AM they were kept well clear of the bikes on course.

The route seemed relentlessly hilly to me and I never seemed to get into a good rhythm. Most of the hills were short climbs and short descents so gaining speed on the downhill never seemed to help me much on the next uphill. My pace was up and down all over the place - my maximum speed was over 40 mph but that was balanced with many grueling turtle-like climbs. About halfway there was one particularly brutal incline with a short false flat followed quickly by another difficult uphill. My lack of hill training really showed and I burned up my quads on that sequence, plus I was having some unusual right knee pain (possibly from replacing my cleats recently).

I was happy to be heading back! It seemed strange to cycle into a different location for T2, and there was one nasty little uphill right at the end for a final send-off. I got my money's worth on that cycling workout!


Into a new transition area next to the stadium and a long long jog all the way through to the last rack on uneven grass was difficult! I was uncertain that I would be able to find my spot quickly since I had never seen it in daylight, but I scanned the ground for my hot pink towel and found it fast. There was plenty of space to rack my bike, and then I quickly swapped my bike shoes for running shoes, grabbed my visor and waistpack (containing my Clif Bloks and electrolyte capsules) and headed out.


They had changed the run course which fortunately eliminated two of the worst hill climbs, but it still was fairly demanding in full sun and high humidity with no evaporation to help cool us. The new course looped several times around the stadium and would have been great for spectators. At first heading out on the uneven grass I stumbled and nearly fell but caught myself and carried on. Tried to stay on top of my fluids and energy and electrolytes early on and just keep up a steady jogging pace. I hadn't properly re-started my Garmin, and unfortunately there were no mile markers on the course, so I wasn't able to check my pace very well other than keeping an eye on my heart rate. There were numerous opportunities to see other runners along the looping course, and it would have made it more fun if I had known more people doing the race this year! I just tried to keep moving steadily until I had to walk on a couple of the steep uphills on the bridge and the approach. Coming into the stadium, approaching the Blue Angel plane, I was nipped at about 500 yards to go by a woman with a "41" on her calf, but then I saw a racewalker approaching the chute with a "40" on her calf and so I sprinted past her to maintain my position with a strong finish on the Navy 50-yard-line inside the stadium.


They had great big shiny gold medals for finishers - very nice! has a picture as well as the satellite image plots of the bike and run courses.

Watch time ended up at 3:32:00, so I missed the sub-3:30 finish that I had aimed for, but it was still a big 12 1/2-minute PR for me on an Olympic course. (Later I figured out that the bike leg was about 4 km shorter than the Columbia course, so that accounts for something like 10 minutes of that PR).

My average heart rate on the bike course was 157, and on the run course it was 165. I probably shouldn't bike harder than that in an Olympic-distance, but I can probably run a little harder in cooler temperatures.

I found my T1 gear bag easily, especially since I had marked it with colored tape.

I had to leave quickly to go home to relieve my husband of child-care duties, so I wasn't able to stay for the awards. I also found out later that I was the ONLY Athena 40+ finisher out of 1223 people who finished the full triathlon, so I took FIRST PLACE and I have some hardware waiting for me! Yahoo! Of course, I would have come in about 13/15 in my 50-54 age group, or 12/13 in the under-40 Athenas... But in 5 more years I would have been SECOND in the next (55-59) age group!! I just have to stick with it! You have to enter, show up, and finish the course to win!!

Note to self: 7 Clif Bloks on the bike and 4 on the run isn't enough, even for an Olympic distance. Plan and follow a better schedule for intake!

Note 2 to self: Swimming in the jogbra is fine (no chafing!), but buy a new one piece trisuit next year!

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Inaugural Annapolis Triathlon

Just back from the Annapolis Triathlon, which was GREAT!

Too tired to write much of a race report right now. I'll update this post as I have energy to fill in the details.

Watch times:
Swim 1500m/1690 yd: 36:54 (2:15/100 yd)
T1: 4:56 (seemed longer! but the bike run-out was very short)
Bike 37 km/23.0 miles: 1:30:17 (15.28 mph)
T2: 2:50 (huge run with the bike to the very last rack).
Run 10km/6.2 miles: 1:17:01 (12:25 min/mile)
Total: 3:32:00

Official results of 377 female starters:

337 NANCY TOBY 50 SAINT MICHAELS MD 3:31:54.00 291 36:51 310 4:47 325 1:30:26 15.7 316 2:12:03 258 2:52 337 1:17:00 12:24

And FIRST PLACE ATHENA 40+!!! (and only Athena finisher over 40 - but hey, you have to enter, show up, and finish, to WIN!). Wow, guess I should have stuck around for the awards ceremony!

That's a PR for me for Olympic courses by 12:23! But the only other Olympic course I've done is Columbia, and the 4 km longer bike course there accounts for about 10 minutes of the difference. But I'd say the bike courses are comparable in how relentlessly hilly they both are!

My bike satellite view (I have no idea why click-to-enlarge isn't working right. Hey, we're talking Blogger here):

Bike course elevations from my Garmin:

My heart rate and pace on the combined bike and run courses:

The satellite view of my run:

A close-up of the convoluted run course around the Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium (obviously the satellite photos were taken on a different day, or you would be able to see the bike-run transition area!).

Race day weather: No wind at all for the swim, hurrah! Wind picked up on the bike course so that we had a headwind on the return leg. Then nearly full sun and negligible evaporation on the run equals a hot slog.

Beautiful gold medals!

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Preparing for the Annapolis Triathlon

Went over and checked in today at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium for the Annapolis Triathlon tomorrow. T2 and the finish line will be at the stadium.

I'll be wanting some jet engines tomorrow. . . .

One of the nicer approaches (below) to the finish line of a triathlon! You can see the fences getting set up for the finish line at the 50-yard line. (Um, aren't victorious touchdowns at the end line? Why the 50-yard line?) I'm not sure I will like being on the Jumbotron (hey, I'm Jumbo enough as it is!), but if I fly in there under 3:30 I'm going to airplane it in all the way to the finish. Unless it's too close on the clock to mess around playing airplane.

T1 will be downtown, directly behind the biggest boat in the center of the photo below, along Ego Alley.

I'm not sure exactly where we will be entering and exiting the water, but it will be somewhere along these docks (below).

Buttercup in her place and all ready to fly tomorrow!

Annapolis is a charming city - a beautiful race venue - and it was a lovely day for a stroll around town. Both the tourists and the plebes were taking advantage of the fine weather. I won't be noticing much of the scenery tomorrow!

Update: It's 8:33 PM, both my girls are sick (one threw up today, the other has a fever) and I have a stomach ache. WTF!? I sure hope it's gone when I have to drag myself out of bed tomorrow morning at 3AM.

Friday, September 07, 2007

Ready or not

I have the inaugural Annapolis Triathlon on Sunday. It has all the potential for being a fantastic race venue, but I'm still a bit concerned.

Swimming - I did a short swim today including one 500-yard set in 10:38 with a pull buoy, which I think may be a pull buoy PB. Cool! I'm very concerned about the sea nettles since it may not be a wetsuit race, though. They're thick this time of year. I have the anti-sea-nettle lotion ready. I'm also considering wearing running tights and some kind of long-sleeved top (or even pantyhose on my arms) during the swim if wetsuits aren't allowed. They may slow me down a bit, but not having to be distracted by sea nettle stings will balance that out.

Setup - it's a 2-transition race and they're not allowing cars down by the docks, so we have to ride our bikes there to set up in T1 from the football stadium (T2) tomorrow. Normally I'd never consider riding my bike through downtown Annapolis since it's so crowded and congested and the streets are narrow. This sounds like an adventure unto itself.

Hills - I've run the hills in Annapolis many times before and it's always been ugly.

The Bike - the shop is inspecting my bike today and they called to say that the chain ring was installed incorrectly. WTF!?? I didn't like the service that I got at that other bike shop when it was there, and now I found out months and months later that they did something ELSE wrong? Bah! I'll pick it up tomorrow and hope it gets through the race okay. . . .

Weather - it's looking pretty good! ~72*F in the morning, high humidity as always, chance of showers and high of 85*F in the after noon. It may be a hot run, but that's to be expected.

Now to think about packing up all my stuff. . . .

Update: Woot! I just took a second look at the course maps and they've re-drawn the run course! They have taken out the wicked hills over the Severn River bridge and up and down the riverbank on the north side. That's good news for me - those are nasty inclines that always reduce me to a trudging demoralized wreck! I may actually have a good chance of RUNNING the run on this new course! (Of course everyone else will too - I guess I have to count on my familiarity with jellyfish as my only advantage tomorrow!)

Monday, September 03, 2007

Running the numbers

These are just my notes to myself about my long run today, just so I can keep track of what seems to be working. Everything went reasonably well today - it was long, I took breaks at the car every 2.4 miles (not counted in the pace), but mainly because the temperatures stayed below 80*F I didn't quit early and I got the job done that I needed to do. NO digestive problems for a very nice change! I'm 8 weeks out now from Marine Corps Marathon - I'll do 3 to 5 more long runs of this distance on up to about 20-22 miles. I hope I can do at least a couple of them faster than this one!

Total distance: 17.28 miles
Moving pace: 12:05 min/mile
Total time including stops: ~4:15
2 Imodium plus 2 ibuprofen 1 hour pre-start
2 Excedrin @ mile 11
12 Endurolytes (1.2 g sodium) (1 per 1.4 miles/1 per 11 ounces water)
17 Clif Bloks (1 per mile)
140 ounces water (8 oz/mile)
Body weight down 1.2 pounds (very mild dehydration, not bad at all)

Swan Villas loop: 1) 30:00, 2) 31:06
Chance Hope loop: 1) 30:05, 2) 28:43, 3) 28:41
Golf course loop: 1) 29:16, 2) 28:52

PS: Yes, I'm aware that I shouldn't take ibuprofen or Excedrin for long runs. No lectures about it unless you're at least 50 years old, have arthritic knees, and have had at least two surgeries on your feet, okay!?
PPS: How 'bout them negative splits!??
PPPS: If I could do this pace for the full 26.2 miles (without breaks!) that would give me a 5:17 marathon. Which would be a huge PR. BUT - I still think I might be able to go faster than that, if the weather is good and I keep my focus in that difficult final 10K. We'll see. . . .

Saturday, September 01, 2007

A perfect outing

Today we all got in the plane and went down to Tangier Island for the afternoon. We've visited there before, but it was the first time we took the girls there.

Over some gorgeous countryside on the way including the convoluted marshes in Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge.

This was just before we turned to touch down on the island. Later in the afternoon we went for a short swim at the sandy beach in the middle foreground.

Here's our path walking around the island, departing from the top left from the airstrip which is visible in the satellite image:

We had a marvelous family-style lunch at Mrs. Crockett's, one of the local places (complete with crab cakes and clam fritters), and then continued our walk around the island. It was a little too far for the girls to have done it on foot themselves, yet.

The girls LOVED the waves at the isolated, sandy beach. They charged in as far as we would let them go within a minute of our arrival, and happily played in the surf for as long as we would let them stay. Unfortunately we were attacked by a swarm of biting flies when we emerged from the water! Time to hurry back to the plane and head for home.

But truth be told, this is how Elisabeth and Catherine really prefer to fly: