Sunday, June 27, 2010

Philadelphia Triathlon

The Philly Triathlon continues to treat me well.  I finished 2nd today behind Bevan Docherty.  The weather was extremely hot and humid.  The water temperature was 84 degrees.  Unfortunately, the swim was canceled because there was a on going search for a swimmer, who went missing in Sprint Triathlon on Saturday.  The race was changed to a 5k, 40k, 10k duathlon.  Bevan ran the first 5k off the front about 30 seconds ahead of a chase group of 8 which I was in.  This bike course is one of my favorites.  It's two loops with 4 hills per loop.  There are also some fast technical down hills which are fun.  I didn't manage to bring any time back on Bevan on the first lap, but did manage to bring back about 15 to 20 seconds by Lemon Hill on the second lap.  Lemon Hill is at about 3/4 through each lap.  On the last up hill before the fast down hill to transition, I was flying up behind Bevan.  After the race, I found out he got a flat shortly before I caught him.  Anyway, I was in and out of T2 in first.  The gap was about 10 seconds.  Tyler Butterfield, Matt Reed, , Andrew Starykowciz, Andrew Yoder, and John Kenny trailed starting about 1:30 back.  Bevan passed my about 1 mile into the run.  I tried to hang on his feet but it wasn't happening.  The heat wasn't making it any easier.  With a good gap behind me, I needed to back off.  It wasn't worth risking overheating trying to stay with Bevan and losing 2nd.  At the finish, I was happy with my performance.  The splits weren't that impressive because of the heat.  But, I had respectable run splits relative to Bevan, Matt and Tyler.  All three are excellent runners.

Philadelphia Inquire Coverage
Slowtwitch coverage

Mens Results

MATTY REED01:55:48
JOHN KENNY01:56:15

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Wedding and Training in New Hampshire

Despite not having a race last weekend, my schedule was still packed.  My brother-in-law got married in Massachusetts near Boston.  We stayed in New Hampshire and traveled back and forth.  I did find time to get some training in.  The general daily schedule was a early morning swim in the pond followed by either a bike or run.  The wedding funcitons started early afternoon, so my workouts had to be done around noon to allow time to shower, change, and drive.  The best ride was a 3 hour 30 minute ride from New Hampshire to the outskirts of Boston.  I got to overlap one of my old bike routes from my days at MIT.  I also found a pair of work gloves.

These are some pictures my wife and I took during our moring swims in the pond.  The first three below are of Hannah and the last three are of me.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Trinona Course Record

I was happy to do a local race this weekend.  This was the second annual Trinona triathlon in Winona, MN.  The race is only a 2 hour and 20 min drive from my house, which is much easier than flying.  The highlights of the race where swimming in my Blue Seventy Axis wetsuit and climbing the bluff on the bike course.  My wetsuit fits perfect and keeps me high in the water.  The shoulders have plenty of stretch; it doesn't effect my swim stroke at all.  There was a timed challenge to see who come climb the mile long bluff the fastest.  I went 5:21.  I don't know if that's good enough for the jersey yet.  Overall, I won the race in 1:50:03 (unofficial).  Matt Payne and Alex Hooke were second and third.  Julie Hull should have won for the women.

That's it for now.  I need to check out of the hotel and get to the awards ceremony.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Zipp 404 Firecrest Carbon Clinchers

I was fortunate to be one of Zipp's test athletes for the new 404 Firecrest carbon clincher this spring. I was selected because of my "secret" security clearance I had in the Navy. Serious, I had to swear to not let anyone know what I was riding. I think my boss, Kevin, was disappoint he didn't know I was riding the 404 carbon clinchers this spring. Anyway, the wheels are great. They are going to be a big hit for Zipp. The carbon clincher is perfect for someone looking for a combination training/racing wheel. The wheels are:

- the lightest clincher on the market,
- almost as aero as an Zipp 808, and
- clincher tires are much cheaper than tubulars.

While testing the wheels I was most impressed by their durability. On one occasion, I had the misfortune to triple flat. I only had one tube, so I was forced to ride these expensive wheels 12 miles home on concrete roads. I expected to have lost a good portion of the rims. However, the rims where almost perfect. Most aluminum rims fair far worse. Overall, the wheels are aerodynamic, quick, and handle well, making them great for road racing or triathlon.

Zipp 404 Carbon Clincher

Monday, June 7, 2010

Rev 3 Half

Even after 6 years as a professional and 60 career wins, I still have my doubts sometimes about my ability. Going into the Rev 3 race, I was uncertain if I would be able to produce a good result with such a quality field (probably the best field outside of the World Championships). Putting forth the effort was never a question, but after a hernia surgery in 2008 and another in 2009, I lost the “uber” bike speed that I had in 2006 and 2007. I’m still one of the faster cyclists in the pro field, but I can’t relay on the bike segment to dominate the race right now. I also had knee problems in 2008 and haven’t felt as confident in my running ability as in the past. The youthful notion being indestructible is gone, and I haven’t had a satisfying run in a half for a year because of all the injuries.

Moving onto the race, the swim was non-wetsuit this year. Almost every pro race is non-wetsuit now since the water temperature for wetsuits changed to 68 degrees. I came out of the water in the second group of about 6 swimmers, roughly 60seconds down on the lead group. Andrew Starykowicz was just ahead of us in no mans land but behind the lead group of John Kenny, Bjorn, Richie, Crowie, Matt, Terenzo, and Joe Umphenour. The lead group could have been spread out too.

I couldn’t tell. Talking to Craig after the race, Bjorn was out in front of the bike the whole time and he, Craig, had tried to make a couple moves to separate himself from the group. He thought he was successful 5 to 6 times, but they kept coming back. If you aren’t familiar with the Rev 3 course, it’s 56 miles of hills and fast corners. It’s probably the best half bike course in the country. In addition to being a hard course, it’s also scenic.

I left T1 with Joe Gambles (2nd last year) and 2 other guys, who transitioned quickly. We passed John Kenny fairly quickly and were catching Ander Starykowicz. Joe Gambles caught Andrew and I was about 15 second behind just before the 1 aid station when I noticed my seat post had slipped and was continuing to slip. I rode the entire race last year with my seat post 2 cm lower because it slip when I mounted, but this time is was continuing to worsen. Luckily, I noticed volunteers at the aid station wearing bike helmets, so started yelling for an Allen wrench, and someone had one.

The bad news now is that I lost Joe Gambles and Andrew, and I had to catch and drop John Kenny and Victor Z again. I’m a stronger biker than Victor, but he does everything he can to hang around, which can be frustrating. Around my 45 (the turn around), I saw Bjorn off the front; Joe Gambles in Second trying to drop the group, and a group of 5, which I probably would have caught minus the mechanical – bummer. I was still trying to get rid of Victor, which I eventually did just after the turn around and caught Joe Umphenour just before T2, who lost contact with the leaders.

Coming into transition, I could see Bjorn leaving on the run in front with Joe Gambles, Andrew, Matt, Terenzo, Craig, and Richie in that order. The time from Bjorn to Richie was probably 2 minutes and I was 60 seconds back from Richie. I left T2 feeling good despite expending a lot of energy on the bike.

The first 2 miles of the run are fast because it’s downhill, and I was optimistic because I could see Andrew, Bjorn and Richie getting closer. I went through 3 miles in 16:25 and passed Andrew and Bjorn around this point, which was good.  However, I still wasn’t certain I’d have a good run. Last year I felt just as good until mile 9 and I was in 2nd, only to fade to 4th. I bruised my feet on the rocky gravel road, which was coming up. I had to walk/run to the finish in 2009. With a different shoe selection this year, I made it through the hilly gravel section without a problem and passed Richie, who is an excellent runner. Approaching the turn around and mile 6, Joe Umphenour finally bridged the 20 yard gap to me. He had been hanging behind me since T2. At the 1st run turn around Terenzo was leading with Matt running on his shoulder and Crowie 30 seconds behind. I confirmed the race standing with Joe because I was surprised we were in 4th and 5th. After having the problem on the bike I didn’t think moving up this far was possible. From the 1st turn around Joe and I ran together for almost the entirety of the race.

Similarly to the bike course, the run course is filled with rolling hills. I was running the down hills fast and Joe was taking his turn at the front on the up hills. I had a few physical concerns going into the 2nd run turn around. My calves and quads were starting to exhibit signs of cramping from the constant up and down, but I was still running fast. At the 2nd turn around Crowie and taken the lead and Terenzo had separated himself from Matt. I was still think about how to get rid of Joe Umphenour, who was tucked in behind me. In the last mile of the course there is a long up hill, around 50 meters from the top Joe U. let a 5 yard gap open up. This was my opportunity and from my experience of being burned last year in the same spot, I gave it everything I had to the top of the hill. If you have been in this situation, you know once you make a surge for the finish there’s no slowing down. You have to hold it all the way to the line. If the chaser sees you slow down, it's like blood in the water. Anyway, I was happy to finish 4th – big pay day.

Men’s Results
1. Craig Alexander 3:59:20
2. Terenzo Bozzone 4:00:20
3. Matt Reed 4:02:10
4. David Thompson 4:04:34
5. Joe Umphenour 4:04:58
6. Victor Zyemtsev 4:08:13
7. Richie Cunningham 4:11:03
8. James Cotter 4:13:36
9. Andrew Starkowytiz 4:13:36
10. Dorian Wagner 4:16:05

Thursday, June 3, 2010

2010 Gear West Duathlon Video

Courtesy of Curt and Christine Wood

If your looking for me, I'm in the black one peice tri-suit with sliver screen printing.