Bluff Creek Triathlon

Bluff Creek Triathlon – Ogden, IA   8-11-13

 

Bluff Creek Triathlon was an event that I haven’t raced before. Many of my teammates have raced this event before and highly recommended it. They had both Olympic and sprint distances to choose from. Now that I’ve raced it, I recommend it as well. The water was clean and bordering on 78 degrees all week. The bike course was both challenging and humbling. The run course consisted of some trail running and nice paved roads through the park which made it fun and technical.

My girlfriend and I both decided to camp at Don Williams State Park , same location as the race. I recommend camping at the park as well, because this saved us a lot of time, money, headaches and it allowed us to sleep in an hour longer. Who doesn’t like that? We decided to go down Friday afternoon to get camp set up and make a weekend of it. Sometimes it’s the simplest weekends you enjoy the most. BTW, if you choose to go this route, The Lucky Pig Pub and Grill in Ogden is an excellent choice for dinner. Great food and the service was awesome.

This was my first event back from injury. I wasn’t sure what to expect. I did make the mistake of expecting my times to be pre injury times. Boy was I wrong!

Swim.

The buoys were set up with bends and corners, and I wasn’t sure how to attack that. This was a new event for me, so I didn’t know how the veterans were going to attack it either. The first bend to cut was big and looked too good to be true to be legal, so I did the safe thing and swam out to the first red buoy then turned for the next. I quickly find out that I’m all alone, and that everyone did the smart thing and cut the corner. From shore, I bet I looked like a fool. I’m guessing this cost me 30-60 seconds. Once I found out how the swim was going to be, I found my path and held it to the end. I finished strong and ended up having a decent time in the swim. The swim exit was a boat ramp that was tricky to maneuver. It was covered in moss under the water and roughed up out of the water for water drainage and tire grip. The carpet they laid down and the ushers helped. I’m hoping they have the ushers out in about 4 feet of water and more carpet or pads covering the moss under the water next year.  

Bike.

T1 was a little out of sync for me. It felt like I was a newbie in transition or forgot what to do. I was in T1 for about a minute. Once I hit the bike mount line, I mounted the bike and quickly got up to goal pace. The road conditions were great. I felt great and was exceeding my goal pace by about a mile and a half. I figured I felt good, so I might as well keep this pace. Wrong! I came to the first river valley. It’s not called the famous twister hill for nothing. The climb out of the valley was long and grueling. I was still “ok” for the next 6 miles to the turn around, but I knew I had to climb it again on the way back. By the time I hit the valley again, I was back down to goal pace. I kept my mind right by telling myself that I’m still on target. The descents were fast…too fast for comfort. I gutted out the next climb, but cost me precious energy for the next 5 miles. I faded fast and couldn’t hold pace. The wind was only 5-10, but was a direct head wind. I was thirsty and had only one bottle with me. I knew there wasn’t going to be a bottle exchange, so I originally had two. I shared my other one with a participant who forgot theirs. I don’t think that affected me too badly though. I was happy to do it. With one mile left, I was ready to get off the bike. I forgot to pull my feet out of my shoes before the dismount line, so I had to run into T2 with my bike shoes on. My first race back felt like my first race ever. T2 was out of sync as well.

Run.

This was the portion of the race I was worried about. My foot injury kept me from running for about 6-7 weeks. I just didn’t know how my foot was going to hold up. Going into the race, I knew I wasn’t going to push the run, but rather keep a pace that was comfortable for my foot. I felt good on the run. I was concentrating more on good form and landing. Luckily there were two water stations that I could actually hit 4 times with the two loop run course. This quenched my thirst from the bike and kept me hydrated throughout the run. The course began and ended with a ¼ mile trail run that really slowed me down to focus on my footing. In all, it was a great run course.

The best part of the whole weekend was that I got to spend it with my girlfriend doing something that we both love to do. Can’t wait to do it again!

Jenn and Randy

 

Just few mentions, first, I would like to thank Jennifer for the support, nursing me back to health the phenomenal meals she cooks and allowing me to train often. I just need to work on not getting seconds on the food she cooks. Next, I would to thank my SUX Tri Club teammates for keeping me motivated through the injury. Last, TriSports.com for the support and the awesome website and service that gets me to come back for more great gear.

Stupid Weather

It’s been a tough season for racing this year. I can’t seem to catch a break with the weather. First, it took forever for the air up enough to get out and run or ride. It wasn’t until May before the weather changed, but by then, I had two races on the calendar. One of them postponed and the other was held, but in the 35 degree, rain, sleet and wind. Not ideal racing conditions. The next race I had to travel for, but was cancelled altogether due to weather and last race was in 50 degrees, wind and rain. And, it’s not much fun for the spectators to cheer us all on. I always feel bad for them when there out just standing in the cold. I think that might be worse than racing in it.

I should really stop bitching though. I’m 3 for 3 in podiums for races held so far. This weekend will be a challenge however, as I travel to Minnesota for a 70.3. Am I prepared? Hell no! For the first time, I’m worried that I won’t be able to muster up enough endurance to complete the race. The opportunity to train for such an event has been few and far between. If the forecast for my race this weekend doesn’t change, this race will be held in the wind and cold rain. To top it off, we’re camping…which I love to do, but not in the wet. Who wants to hang out in a stuffy tent while it’s raining? Not this guy!

Yoga Farts

Over the last few days, I’ve been taking it easy in preparation for my upcoming race. I call it resting, others call it tapering just to make it sound cooler than it really is.  It’s a sprint, what are we tapering down to? Rest and eat, rest and eat! Save the tapering for the big races.

Anyway, during my “tapering time”, I like to incorporate some yoga for relaxation, balance and stretching. I want to tell you a funny story that happened tonight in class. But before I do, I want to tell you this. The class is always full of women, so I’m assuming that’s why they keep the studio hotter than balls. It’s stuffy and I sweat like a pig. Someone told me it might be a hot yoga class. I wasn’t smart enough to ask what that was. Sounds kinky, so I thought they were pulling my leg. Whatever!

So now the story. We were doing some position that had my face closer to my crack than I’m more comfortable with. It caused a little pressure in the belly region, but I pushed through the discomfort.

Whatever the hell this is called…

Yoga

Yeah, that.

Well, the lady next to me couldn’t handle the pressure…I guess. She FARTS and we’re all in the same position with our faces near our cracks. At first , I was like…

imagesCAF5M6X1

Then I was like…

Oh No you didn't

She doesn’t apologize or fall out of position…we just get an innocent, “whoopsy”. I had to fall out of position because I was laughing inside, which quickly morphed into an outright laugh when I noticed that everybody acted like it didn’t happen. Am I wrong for laughing?

Now, back to the stuffy heat in this room. Have you ever been in a hot car when someone locks the windows and farts?  Yes, it was like that. I’m guessing every guy that’s been through college knows what I’m talking about. Funniest part is that if you’ve ever taken a yoga class, you know you’re supposed to take deep breaths and not to hold it. It was a very unpleasant feeling to say the least. I’m still laughing as I write this story.

I’m guessing that lady won’t be back to class for awhile. And about this yoga vs hot yoga, is there a difference?

Hope you enjoyed!

Free Speed

Well, first race of the year under my belt. Would have been my second race, but the first one got postponed due to snow. Looks like the race I have this weekend may end up with the same fate. It’s May 1st and the Hawkeye state is still getting snow. Unreal!

 Forecast

Yes, that’s our forecast. Boo! The positive side is that I’ve never seen snow in May before. So, now I have a story to tell my grandkids, just like my Grandparents told me.

Anyway, back to the race. I was fortunate enough to acquire a few things in the off-season  thanks to Trisports.com. Their website is the easiest site to navigate! I highly recommend them.

First bit of gear I would like to talk about is my new 2XU Compression Tri Suit. Now, I got this suit a couple months before my first race. I was dying to use it. I bet I put it on 5-6 times and ran a few laps through the house looking at every mirror I went by. I looked fast and nobody could tell me any different. It was agony not being able to race in it right away. As much as I wanted to race in it, I knew better not to use it for the first time during a race, so I tested it out in the pool. First thing I noticed was that the shock from the cold water didn’t hit me as hard. Second thing, and most important was that my swim time decreased by 25 seconds in the 300m swim. I couldn’t believe it…free speed. This suit is fast, stylish and comfortable. I can’t wait to use this during the longer swims.

I also picked up a 2006 Quintana Roo tri bike. It was used, but new to me. It was in immaculate condition. Not a thing rattled or squeaked on it. I rode it the first night I picked it up and again, I couldn’t believe it. I gained an average of 2.6 MPG at a distance of 15 miles. That’s a huge chunk of time saved and an eternity in a sprint triathlon. I am sold on these bikes.

 Brookings Bike

If I had the $$, I would buy a new Quintana Roo with their latest technology without question. Illicito!!

One more thing, I am happy to say that with this bike, I had the fastest bike split in my first race of the year. You might be saying, big deal! Well, last year I was in the middle of the pack in bike splits. I never, ever thought I would even come close to the quickest bike split. Now I’m hoping I can build off that momentum the rest of the season.

Hope to write more good news soon.

Spring Thaw 10 Mile Race

April 6th should have been my first race of the season. Albeit a foot race, a race nonetheless. I was a little disappointed that I had to drop out due to a lingering sore foot. But, since I wasn’t able to participate, I might as well volunteer, Right? I did and it was a blast.

It’s been a long winter and conditions lately haven’t been great. In fact, they’ve been unseasonably cold and snowy. So, every chance I got, I would train, and over do it then keep going, because I lack the discipline to stop when my body says, STOP! I’m full-throttle when I get my blood moving. I was trying to play catch-up and it backfired. Shame on me! I knew better.

The good news is that I can slowly feel my foot coming back to me. The wait is the most frustrating part of an injury, because you want to get out there work, but it seems like I work harder to tell myself NO.  So, I have to ask, how many disciplines are there to a triathlon? 3? I say many. One of them happens to be the ability to say, “nope, not gonna happen today.”

Gymetiquette

Have you ever came across that “one dude” at the gym that gets joy out of banging or dropping the weights as loud as he can, then poses for himself in the mirror? I get a kick out of these guys.

Shut it down, Bruno! This isn’t a crossfit gym. If you want to throw weights around, go there. It’s expected. When we all look at you, it’s not because we’re admiring you, it’s because we’re wondering what zoo you’re from. We’re wondering how many of these weight you are going to leave lying around for everyone to step over or put away so we can use the bench. We get it! You want us to think you’re tough.

There’s plenty of members that can lift twice as much as you, but are secure enough not to make such a racket. They also pick up after themselves. They take their towel with them, their water cup and put the weights away.

With that vented, here is a list of gymetiquettes.

 

1. Keep your grunting at a dignified level. I shouldn’t have to hear you downstairs on the treadmill.

2. Put your damn weights away. If you can lift it, you can put it away.

3. Take all your garbage with you. We shouldn’t have to kick around your water cup or your bodybuilding energy bottles.  I say you can use less energy.

4. No banging or dropping weights. It’s not impressive! All you do is damage shit and make everyone’s membership dues go up.

5. If I’m wearing my ear buds, leave me the hell alone. I’m busy! I don’t have much time to workout, let alone come here and chitchat. I for sure don’t want to be associated with you and NO, I can’t spot that kind of weight.

6. Don’t just sit at the machine for five minutes in between sets. Nobody wants to watch you pick at the zits on your arm for five minutes while we wait for you to finish up.

That’s it. 6 simple rules. Ya dig?

 

Here We Go!

Today, I enter the world of blogging. I will bring to you the latest in my inspirations, my successes and my failures from a hobby of endurance sports and life. Enjoy!