The Patriot Half – Race Report

I have to say that the day ended a lot better than it started. My friend Mike stops at the house at 4:15 am to pick me up. We load up the car and I put my bike on the back. We are ready to roll. We start heading down 95 and Mike looks in the rear view and says “What is going on with the bikes?” I look bike and my bike is flying along behind the car!!! Mike slows down and pulls over. Bad news, race wheel tire is shredded.

The bike rack has rubber straps that hold the bike in place while driving. The problem is that when you have race wheels that have a large surface area the wind catches them and lifts the bike up. When the bike gets lifted up the rubber straps can then come undone as I have learned from personal experience and doing a little search on the net. Fortunately we had some bungy cords and were able to strap the bike back on and be on our way again without having to worry about the flying up.

We finally get down to the race venue at just about 6 am. First thing I have to do is change out my wheels. Luckily I had brought along my other wheels. My thought there was that someone was going to need them and I didn’t feel like changing tires and tubes so I was just going to give them the whole wheel. Turns out it was me that needed them!! It took all of about 10 minutes to get the other wheels on and adjust the brakes. One thing that I did forget about though was that the cassette that I had on these wheels is setup for a hilly course and not the flat course we were riding. There were a few times I missed those in between gears that my 11-25 cassette has, as opposed to the 11-28. So, the bike is finally all squared away and we are setup in transition. Hopefully that would be the end of the problems for the day.

The Swim

The swim is a counter clockwise swim that works out nice as the sun is never an issue. The water temperature was reported to be 68 degrees, not bad at all with the wetsuit on. There was a little bit of a wind blowing in at us though and that caused the first leg of the swim to be a litte tough with the choppy water. I quickly moved out in front of the other 93 people in my wave and caught up to the wave that went off before me. I think I even saw Julie and Janet during the swim. Jan, on other hand, was far too fast and I wouldn’t have seen her even if she started in my wave. The swim took me 32:24, my goal was 30 minutes flat.

SWIM NOTE: My friend Mike K. tied for 3rd overall in the swim and probably would have won it outright if he started in an early wave and didn’t have to swim through 8 waves of yahoos….

The Bike

The bike ride for me was pretty much the same as last year as far as time. According to my Garmin I was at 20.5 mph for both loops of the bike. The first loop I was 20.6 and the second 20.5, probably a little less since the average was 20.5. I had hoped to go at least 21 mph, but without the Zipp wheels I probably lost about .5 mph. I’m ok with the ride, it was a bit more windy than last year but I was able to ride just a little bit faster and certainly did not push nearly as hard as last year. My goal, which I know was a stretch was to bike the course in 2:33:25, and I did it in 2:44:47. So I was way off on that. Still a lot of work to do on the bike. While my overall biking fitness has improved a lot from last year I still need to get stronger on the bike. A lot stronger.

BIKE NOTE: Didn’t see it happen, but Coach Bri went down pretty hard on the bike with about 18 miles to go. This probably has something to do with Mike and his bike rack. I’m not sure of the connection but there must be one!! Coach Bri is a little sore, but doing ok and his bike is already ready for the next ride.

The Run

Part of not killing myself on the bike was wanting to be able to run this year. I increased my fitness enough on the bike over the last year that I was able to put in the same bike time but still had legs left to run this year. My goal for the race was 1:47:00 or 8:10 pace. This is the only goal that I managed to accomplish I did the run in 1:45:59 for an 8:05 pace. My total time was 5:07:53, a new personal record. I had hoped to break 5 hours, but I can see I still have some work to do to get there. I felt my nutrtion was pretty good and I didn’t have any cramping problems. Even though I didn’t cramp I still feel like I need to hydrate better.

The rest of the Sunday morning crew

The rest of training crew, with the exception of Coach Bri, had pretty good days as well.

Heidi M. doing her first ever half ironman distance event had what I thought was by far one of the most impressive times of the day at 5:14:22. Heidi pulled this off with barely any bike training and only a few open water swims. We expect her to quit her day job and turn pro soon!

Mike K. had a personal best of 5:24:46 and beat me in the bike leg. Now we know why my bike fell off the car!! All part of his master plan!

Jan D. also had a personal best of 5:35:11 and improved her time by half an hour. Improving both her bike and run times significantly.

Julie V. while about a minute slower overall at 5:40:17 improved her run this year by over 10 minutes. Now if we could just get her to swim a little more and stop hanging out in transition…..

Janet B. took first place in her age group while setting a personal record of 5:42:11 at the half ironman distance.

Brian B. needs to keep the rubber side down!!!!

Cycling Swimming

Great weather for mid October

Sunday turned out to be a beauty of a day. Started out a little chilly on the bike in the morning, but by 8:30 it was noticeably warmer. The group took our usually ride up to Newburyport and this time we came back 1A. I don’t think I have done that ride in over a year and it was a nice change of scenery. Leaf peeping isn’t quite at it’s peak here yet, but it was still a great day for a ride. I managed to get 50 miles in and felt pretty good considering I haven’t been on the bike since the Century ride a few weeks back.

Ride Data

This morning a group of us headed down to the pond for the official “Closing Day”, although we will probably keep going since the water isn’t that cold yet and the weather is holding up. Mike K. and I did a double, water temp was 64 degrees. We think that Glacier George’s thermometer is broken as it has been reading 64 degrees for a week now!! Hopefully we will be back again on Wednesday for at least a full crossing.



CRW Fall Century

This past weekend I did the Charles River Wheelmen Fall Century ride. This is the second year in a row that I have done it. My friend Julie joined me this year for the ride. We have perfect weather, although it was a little bit chilly to start the day.

This is one tough century ride, with about 5000 feet of climbing. The hard part is that the climbs are pretty steep unlike say Lake Placid where they tend to just be very long. Which, by the way, if I ever train for again I will be making sure to get some training rides in on these hills. There are three stops along the course for the riders with plenty of food, water and gatorade. If you haven’t done it, give it a try, plenty of support. Hey, even U.S. Senator John Kerry was out enjoying the day!!

The rest of last week was mostly a swim week for me. The weather has quickly changed and it is now in the low 40s in the mornings and I just don’t have any desire to get out and ride in the cold and dark. Cold I can do, dark I can do, I just don’t like cold and dark together. I think I swam four times last week and was already in again this morning. The water temp was 68 and the air temp was 41. Makes it a little uncomfortable when getting out. The swimming part was actually pretty enjoyable with the wetsuit on. George and Fred were of course TF and by the time we got out George was pretty chilled.


The week in review

This week has been a pretty tame week for training. Monday I headed to the gym and did some lifting. Mostly legs, as I want to increase my leg strength for biking. After lifting I went out for a short slow jog and it was definitely short and slow.

Tuesday and Thursday I was out on the bike. Tuseday morning I did my time trial route through Boxford and managed to hold onto 20.6 mph average. Not bad, but I had it up over 21 mph for the first 10 miles. Thursday morning I went out and rode with Jan. She took me on short steep hills through Topfield. Pretty easy ride, will have to pick up the effort on Thursday mornings.

Wednesday and Friday were swim and run days. Pretty much all swimming right now consists of a single crossing at Stiles and that likely won’t change until we head back indoors. I ran on Wednesday with Melinda and we did 7 miles at about 8:30 pace. I think she will need to pick that pace up if she is going to qualify for Boston. This morning I did another 5 miles at 7:30 pace. Wasn’t able to finish off the last mile with a negative split, so was a little disappointed in that. The first four miles were good though.

This weekend it looks like Hurricane Irene is going to ruin any plans I have of a bike ride. Maybe I will get out in the rain and run.

Ironman Lake Placid

5 Days and the taper continues

Did a 2 hour ride on saturday and a 1 hour run on sunday.

We were back in NY visiting family again this weekend so that means I was back up to the Ashokan Reservoir to ride again. It’s really nice riding along 28A up there, not many cars and the views of the mountains and water are great. The course is mostly rolling hills, I think only 2 where you would switch to the small chainring though. Kind of like riding around MA.

The run on sunday was  a pretty flat run along the Dam. Easy pace with negative splits.

Followed up the weekend with a nice easy crossing at Stiles this morning.

Part of me wants to push harder because I feel pretty good but in the back of my mind I keep telling myself to save it for Sunday. I also keep thinking to myself to take easy, don’t get hurt in the last week!

Ironman Lake Placid

9 Days to go

Easy ride today from the pond with Jan, Julie, Mike and Karen. We left Stiles pretty much in the dark. I think I will need to get a light for my bike if we are going to keep these thursday morning rides going. The roads were wet but it had stopped raining and the sun was trying to break through some of the clouds on the horizon. I actually spent almost two hours out riding today, that is what the long ride on the weekend is supposed to be!! Just relaxed on the bike and stayed areo, the weather was really perfect today.

Weight: 162

Ironman Lake Placid

Lots of lasts before Ironman

Today was the last of the Tuesday Time trial rides. From here on out the rides will be easy. Well, maybe not easy, but they will be at a more reasonable pace. I’m sure I will push harder once and a while during the last few rides but it won’t be for very long. Now it’s all about staying loose and getting to Ironman with no injuries.

Weight: 162


Ironman Lake Placid

Last 4 hour ride!

Today was the last of the really long rides. If you consider 4 hours a really long ride. I actually haven’t minded the 4 hour rides. It was when it started to get into the 5 and 6 hour time zone that it felt like work. Today was a great day to be out there, maybe a little warm toward the end of the ride but it was very comfortable for most of it.

I think my nutrition plan is coming together. Today I used Ironman Perform with two Salt tabs in each bottle. During the ride I drank all 4 bottles and had 3 Honey Stinger Waffles. I practiced pulling them out of my back pocket and eating them rather than waiting until we stopped. Hopefully during the Ironman I will be able to do that and not have to stop. I also had 3 shots of EFS Gel during the ride, alternating the Waffle and the Gel every half hour. That should give me plenty of calories during the bike and a few extra for the start of the run. If the weather is bad on race day I may have to stop and get my stuff to eat, but I guess you deal with the conditions you get.

The Ride:

Saturday Run:

Ironman Lake Placid

Last Really Long Ride

Today was the last of the 6 hour rides. Now the taper begins, not that next week will be a short ride, still 4 hours. It was good to get another century ride in today. This ride was a solo ride because I’m visiting my family in NY. That was probably a good thing because there is no drafting on race day and you are pretty much on your own for pacing and riding how you feel. I mapped out a out and back course that would take me out 18 miles for 36 mile round trips. That way I could stop at my car for additional fluids because you just can’t carry enough with you for that long of a ride.

The ride itself went pretty well I thought. Bad news was that one of the roads I wanted to use was closed and under construction, the good news was it was the one with the big hill :).  As you can imagine I was pretty upset about not being able to climb hills. The course still had 4400 feet of elevation, while no serious climbs it is more like ride uphill for 3 miles, then down for 3 miles. The great thing about riding on 28A is there is not much traffic so it was a nice quiet day and I actually got to see plenty of deer right by the side of the road. They are so close it actually makes you a little nervous because you don’t if they will bolt and accidentally just come right at you. Also saw the Eagle today that nests up there. Overall a good ride, Lake Placid will not be at that pace, but it was a good workout.

Ironman Lake Placid

Brick Workout

Haven’t done many brick workouts. Well, I haven’t done many bike to run brick workouts. I’ve been doing mostly swim to run bricks, which are much easier. The ride was on the easier side today, usually my thursday rides are a bit slower as I try to give my legs a break from the harder effort on the bike on Tuesday. I rode with Julie and Heidi this morning and Heidi is just getting on the bike for the first time in a while. She did ok, once we explained a few things to her about what gears to be in and when. When I got home after the ride I threw on the sneakers and headed out. As usual the legs didn’t really like it, but within a half mile they relaxed a bit and I was able to hold a nice steady pace. I wanted to try to keep it under 8 minute miles for the entire 6 miles. I have to remember to tell myself to breath more, at mile 4 I felt like I was holding my breath! I kept telling myself to just relax and run, took another half mile or so to settle back down and get my pace back.

The Ride

The Run

Weight: 160.8