Saturday, December 21, 2019

Scottsdale Half Marathon

I try not take this race too seriously - or at least, I regret when I do. The one year I trained hard, I went out fast and got injured, and had to walk the last 3 miles. I'm better off treating this like an end-of-year running party, in this final (10th) year for the NWLB team

For more casual treatment, in 2016, I drove to and from Yuma the day before for a friend's funeral, and this year, I was in NYC visiting Sarah, Matt, and Mayer (now 8 weeks old!) and flew home the afternoon before. But it all worked out fine. We had perfect weather and I got to run with a lot of good friends. I finished in 2:07:30 (19/38 division, 323/513 men, 611/1138 overall, 9:44 pace, so right around the median for the older guys), and this year's time was a good 3+ minutes faster than last year. I did a 2:05 in 2016, and maybe that's in reach for next year - but next year, I age up to the next division, where instead of 19th, this year I would have been 7th. Full results, and some pictures, here. NWLB won the 5K team event, and placed third for the half marathon (not that my time had anything to do with that accomplishment).

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Life Time (2 words!) Tempe Triathlon 2019

Not the fastest race for me, and a surprisingly fast group of older guys in my bracket, but a very good day racing, even if it wasn't the best performance from Life Time. Of course it was hot, and there was a lot of construction on the bike course, but things were good and well-organized until the run, where the course markings didn't match the map. For the International race, it's 2 loops of the course, but toward the end of each loop, at the northwest corner of the map, instead of sending us directly to Mill Avenue, the course markings sent us up to Washington Street, then down Mill Avenue on the west (old) bridge.

That shouldn't have mattered too much, at least not if the scale of the map is correct, but everybody showed a much longer run course. Instead of 6.2 miles (10K), the run was 7.03 miles (on my watch; some showed longer, but pretty much everybody I talked to had over 7 miles). That meant when I was psyching myself up before the bridge that there was only 1.5 miles left , there really was almost another mile (or, worse, 1.14 K!) more. Pretty dispiriting to have your watch telling you that you were finished, but in real life, you were a mile away from the end.

There were 17 registered in my age group, but only 11 showed up and finished. It was a fast group, too, especially in the heat. I finished just ahead of a TriScottsdale friend who always beats me, especially on the run, so I must have been doing OK. My time isn't great, but the swim took 3 minutes more than in May (which was wetsuit-legal, while the water Sunday was too warm for wetsuits), and the run with the extra distance took 9 minutes more, so it was about the same rate but more heat. I also had slower transitions, but a faster bike time - but the bike course was shorter. Whatever, I was happy with how hard I worked in the heat, and it was fun.

Time and splits:
Swim 31:10
T1 4:24
Bike 1:19:35
T2 3:48
Run 1:17:32 (7.03 mi)
Total 3:16:277, 7/11 age group, 146/231 men, 196/372 overall

Results here, photos here. Life Time still hasn't explained the over-long run course, and probably never will.

Saturday, August 03, 2019

Santa Rosa 70.3

At the beginning of the year, I wasn't planning on doing a major race this summer, but when the group which did Victoria 70.3 last summer (Camp Aliesha!) announced they were doing the Santa Rosa 70.3 in July, I signed up. We again had a great group doing the race, sharing a house and cooking duties. It's a great TriScottsdale group, and I was delighted to join them again this year.

As for the race, I foolishly flew to a nonprofit board meeting in Weehawken, NJ the week before, sitting next on the flight to Newark to someone who sniffled the whole way. I started feeling a bit off the Monday before the race, and it just didn't get better. I made a game-day decision to do the race, and I'm glad I did, but while whatever I caught may have held off for Saturday, it gave me the full force treatment afterwards. So I dodged that bullet, at least for the race, even if the next week was pretty draggy.

As for the race itself, despite a sort-of sore throat and mild fever, I had a good swim (same time as last year; the temperature was warm but the swim stayed wetsuit-legal) and a very good bike (20 minutes faster than last year). I went out pretty fast (for me, anyway) on the run, but started running out of gas halfway through, and slowed considerably for the last half, which was uphill, too. Still, I finished 20 minutes better than Victoria, and almost made my third-level goal of finishing under 6:30 - had to settle for 6:32. A very satisfactory day.

Swim 37:18
T1 11:50 (long 400m uphill climb to transition, so this isn't bad)
Bike 3:11:10
T2 7:35
Run 2:24:57

Overall 6:32:48 (20/42 ag, 860/1316 men, 1171/1974 overall). I was 29/32 in my age group in Victoria, so 20/42 is a nice improvement. Results here, and photos here.

The Santa Rosa 70.3 has replaced the old Vineman 70.3, which I recall had a beautiful bike course. This course went over much of the same territory, but I can't really say anything about the scenery. In 2011, I used a road bike and was riding upright and could see the scenery, but this year I used my tri bike and mostly saw pavement about 30 feet in front of me instead of the vineyards and hills. I'm told it was very pretty. And while this time I didn't get to stay in the partners house at Calluna Vineyards, David and Marla had the entire group over for a tasting on Sunday.

Monday, May 20, 2019

Early Birthday Bike-Swim Weekend

I'll be out of town (at Louis's law school graduation) on my birthday, so I swapped out the usual year X 100s swim and bagels at the Village for a bike-swim weekend. Saturday, Tri Scottsdale and the Village (great cookies, Abby!) organized a ride up Mount Lemmon in Tucson, then Sunday was Arizona Open Water 4000m at Bartlett Lake. I was a tad slower in the swim than 2 years ago, but nobody who finished ahead of me had ridden their bicycle up and down Mt. Lemmon the day before. A very nice weekend. Saturday, about 3.5 hours up, 1.5 hours down, 59 4 miles, 7,871' vertical gain. Sunday, 1:20:33 for 4000m, with full swim results here. And now I get a rest week - with NYC bagels, too.

Monday, May 06, 2019

Cactus Man Triathlon

I was hoping for better, but I started feeling poorly Friday afternoon, and had a sore throat Saturday night, so once I started the run I threw out my sub-3-hour goal time. I hoped to finish only without getting really sick, and my stretch goal was in under 3:15, and my really optimistic take was 3:10. But I must have been doing better than I thought, because my final time was 3:05. Solid swim, OK bike, and while I had to walk through each water stop and twice on the second loop, I still had about the same time on the run as I did in September for an Olympic tri: Swim 27:57; T1 3:21; Bike 1:22:43.4; T2 2:33; Run 1:08:36.1; Total 3:05:10.7, 9/18 ag, 145/214 men, 177/322 overall. Not a bad day, all considering. But what's with these fractional seconds on a 4Peaks Racing event?

Thursday, May 02, 2019

Splash & Dash #1

A sweet little event at Tempe Town Lake, with 2 swim options, then a set run, which can be dropped for people who only want to do the swim, plus relays. So, 6 different race categories, then all the age groups. The weather was nearly perfect; the water temperature was 74 degrees, so it was wetsuit legal and pretty much everybody wore one, as did I, for the open water practice. Results here; 1:04:33 for the 1500m swim-transition-run, which was 30/58 overall, 23/40 men, 3/4 a.g. in that category. That's nearly 5 minutes faster than last year (over a minute faster on the swim and over 3 minutes faster on the run), probably because of the weather but also a stronger run than last year. On to Cactus Man on Sunday.

Photo credit: Pedro Gomes (the triathlon coach who gave us the only advice I remember: "With 17 hours, you can do pretty much anything.")

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Ladies and Gentlemen, The Harvard University 100th Anniversary Reunion (pause) Band!

Of course I'm going to embed the HUB 100th Reunion hype video as soon as I saw it.

It's not clear anymore if I was ever as young as those current Bandies in the video, but the records say otherwise.

Tuesday, February 05, 2019

Powerman Arizona Duathlon

Broken finger from a fall on the second trail run 500m from the finish, and was dead last in my age group. But there were only 3 in my division, so Podium!

When it doesn't hurt so much to type, I'll add more.

UPDATE: I'm still typing one-handed, but surgery went well and I can peck my way through this update. Overall 2:44:38, which is 21 seconds faster than last year, even with the fall and picking myself up and folding my broken finger against the rest of my hand to finish. Run 1 30:55, T1 2:43, Bike 1:34:20, T2 2:26, Run 2 34:16 (last year was 34:09, so I was doing pretty well for me). 23/36 overall, 14/18 men, 3/3 age group. Full results here.