Who is Ted?

I'm the father of two beautiful daughters and an amazing wife. For fun, I enjoy the long hours of seemingly endless suffering that endurance sports (mostly running, cycling and triathlon)provide. During my "down time" I'm an avid beer snob and self-described gourmet chef (in other words I like to burn things on a stove or grill).

Monday, June 20, 2016

Boulder Sunrise Sprint Triathlon Race Plan

Next Sunday I will be racing my third triathlon of the season.  Originally it was supposed to be my second, but a couple of weeks ago, I participated in a very small triathlon called Melon Man.  It was a reverse sprint triathlon similar to the Ordinary Mortals Triathlon back in May.

Sunday I will be in Boulder for the Sunrise Sprint Triathlon.  I've done some version of the Sprint or Olympic version of this race several times, the last being back in 2014.   That year I did the Olympic Race which took me just under 2 hours and 40 minutes.  It's actually been several years since I did the Sprint (2010).  According to Athlinks, I completed that race in 1:43:55.  That was actually my second triathlon ever, and while I may not PR at this upcoming event, I do plan to improve on that result.

The Sunrise Sprint is a done in a regular order for a triathlon.  The swim is 750 yards, followed by a slightly longer 17.3 mile bike ride, before finishing with a 5 kilometer run. This is pretty much the standard Sprint course for most of the races at the Boulder Reservoir.

The Swim:  I've been doing a fair amount of swimming this year (at least in terms of frequency, if not volume) but I don't expect to see a huge change in my performance from other years.  This will be my first swim in a wet suit this season and I've recently changed to a DeSoto Espresso wet suit.  Other than a trial run at the swimming pool last week, I haven't really had a chance to use it.  It was definitely more comfortable than my full suit, but I don't expect to see a huge change in my performance. The last time I was in the reservoir was for Ironman Boulder.  Given that race wasn't wet suit legal, I suppose I could be a touch quicker.  I'm going to go conservative on this one: 15:00 minutes or 2 min/ 100 yards.

New Wet Suit this year (well new to me anyway!)

T1: The transition from the reservoir up to the bike area is a bit longer so I would imagine that will take me a bit more time. I'll give myself 3 minutes here.

The Bike:  I just haven't put as much time into cycling this year.  At least not outdoors.  I have managed to get over to the YMCA early in the morning for some fairly intense sessions on the spin bike.   The bike course for this race consists of some climbing at the start, followed by a long downhill, before returning to a more gradual climb at the end.  In the last couple of races this year, I've averaged somewhere around 19-20 miles per hour.  These races have been reverse order however.  On the one hand I've been able to go a bit harder because I've only had a short swim afterward.  On the other, I've also been coming off of a fairly intense run.  I would be pleased to ride somewhere between 19-20 miles an hour on this one, so that would put me in somewhere between 52:00 to 55 minutes.

How will Spin Bike Sessions translate to the upcoming triathlon?

T2:  With a shorter transition, I should be able to get this one done a bit quicker.  I'm going to say 2 minutes tops, but would love to do it much faster than that.

The Run: Other than a slight hill at the start and a bit before the finish, the run course is relatively flat, but there's also no shade.  Depending on the day, it could be fairly warm (current forecast is around 88 degrees for a high).  Coming off of the bike, I don't know what kind of performance I can put in for the run.  I'm going to go a bit conservative on this one and estimate 24:00 minutes.
Did I mention I got some new kicks for Father's Day?

Putting all of this together, my total time for this sprint race should be between 1:36:00 and 1:40:00.  Based on last year's results, that would put me right in the middle of my age group.   If these things come together, I will consider that to be a good performance.

Monday, May 23, 2016

An Unexpected Race

I am a sucker for a good deal.  So when I received a club email this past week informing me about a nearby triathlon, I checked my calendar and decided to try it out.  Total cost for the race: $32.  I even added the optional t-shirt for $12.

Similar to the OMT race from a couple of weeks ago, this one is a reverse order sprint race held in the nearby town of Rocky Ford.  It's called the Melon-Man Triathlon in recognition of the town's chief export: Cantaloupe.  Situated on the Southeastern Plains it has the potential to be both hot and flat.  The race begins with an out and back 5k, some of which appears to be run on a trail.   The bike course goes down a small county road and is also an out and back route somewhere between 10 and 11.5 miles.  The culminating swim takes place at the community pool (for which the race is a fundraiser) and is just 250 yards or 5 laps.

Since this is the first time I've ever done this race, and I've only driven through Rocky Ford a handful of times, I don't really know what to expect from the course or the event.  It looks like it will be a fun little race and  I'm hoping to capitalize on my decent performance at OMT.  And unless the course is deceptively hilly,  I think that I can perhaps improve on my 5k time a bit. Combine that with slightly shorter distances on the bike and run, well . . . who knows.

At any rate, it will be interesting to do a race in a small town.  The majority of my races have been in or around Boulder and the last time I did a triathlon in a small town was for HITS Sterling 70.3 (and Sterling is still more than 3 times the size of Rocky Ford).

Sunday, May 15, 2016

OMT 2016 Race Report

Yesterday was the first triathlon of the year for me.  The Ordinary Mortals Triathlon here in my home town.  I didn't feel like I'd put the same level of training in this year, so I didn't really know what to expect when I awoke yesterday morning, but in the end, I was pleased with how the race went overall.

The weather was a bit cooler than expected on Saturday Morning.  I would guess that it was somewhere in the low 50's at the start of the race.  There was also a bit of a wind which certainly made things feel a bit cooler.  One of the nice things about this race is that it's a "reverse order" event, meaning we started with the run.  As a result, there was no need to jump on a bike while still soaking wet.

Around 9:00 a.m. the gun for the start of the race went off, and the pack cruised down the first hill.  I tried to settle into an easy pace, but knew that I was going a bit faster than I normally would.  I hit the first mile mark at 6:45 and still felt pretty good.  I did my best not to slow too much, but also didn't kill myself getting up the first steep hill.  Mile two was a 7:30 pace which seemed a bit more appropriate to me and before long, I found myself with less than a half mile to go.  A good chunk of this is uphill including a patch of stairs, and towards the top I started to feel a bit winded.  As I made the final turn back toward the finish, I found myself at roughly 22:30 give or take a few seconds (Ranks as a "Great" performance).

Heading towards the "steps" at about 2.4 miles

Transition went well as I got my shoes off and got ready for the bike portion of the race. I didn't slow down too much or pause to drink water, etc. while in T1.  As soon as I hit the mount line, I jumped onto the bike and got rolling.  Although the first part of the ride contains more downhill than up, we were battling a head wind for most of the way out.  This kept my pace a bit slower than usual for this section, but it was sure helpful to have a tail wind on the return trip.  I felt pretty good throughout the ride and did my best to pass a few of the riders in front of me along the way.  All told, I moved past about 10 to 12 people over the course of the ride (T1= "Good", Bike= "Great").  My bike time wound up being less than a minute slower than two years before.

Heading out for the bike portion of the race

Coming off of the bike at T2, I finally remembered to take my race belt off.  In year's past, I've forgotten and then had to swim while wearing it.  I toyed for a moment with trying to get my jersey top off as well so that I could swim in just my shorts, but I realized that I would be sitting there fighting with it in transition so it was better to just get moving.  My time for T2 was about 1:08 which wasn't too terrible (T2= Great).

The swim is done in the local university pool and consists of 12 lengths or 6 laps.  Basically, you swim up and back a lane, duck under the lane rope, and repeat, working your way across the pool from right to left.  It makes the swim rather unique in that you know exactly where both the person in front of you as well as the person behind you are at.  I had a pretty good lead over the person behind me, but he was coming strong.  With only about 2 lengths to go, he closed to within a few feet of me which made for an interesting finishing.  Then it was out of the pool followed by a short run to the finish line.  I managed to keep my competitor at bay and crossed the line just in front of him.  My total time for the swim (which includes probably 40 seconds of running) was 6:46 (Swim= Good/ Average, Overall= Great).

When all was said and done, my final time was 1:07:35 which was good for 6 out of 16 in my age group and 20th overall.  I think there were something like 140 folks total (77 male finishers).  It's interesting to do a comparison from each of the years I've done the race to see the difference in each performance:

I may have to consider deviating from my every other year tradition next year as I'd love to see if I can nudge my performance forward a bit.  I think there still might be a few more seconds to shave off of the run, bike, and swim and it would be great to get my time down by another minute or two.