Monday, December 31, 2012

2012 in Quick Review

AIM Time Trail  - June

Toad Suck - Tri September

Sisters Wedding - St. Thomas - April

Hr Track Run - Jan.


San Fran Jan

Cadron Trail Run - Feb

Hot Springs Tri - June

Boston - May

Atop Mt. Magazine - March

Takewondo

Petit Jean - Seven Hollows

Arkansas Snow - December

United Flight 93 Memorial

Pinnacle Race the Base - Dec.

St. Thomas Wedding Fun


Arkansas Tournament Nov

Philadelphia - May

Fun in the Rock

Chicago - Aug - Northside/Southside Challenge


2012 was a great year!  There were some new beginnings and got the chance to continue to see many new places and visit friends!  Let's up 2013 is even better!

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

White Christmas Arkansas!

Two years ago, we had the most the snow I've seen in Arkansas in the 20 years I've lived here.  I believe it was around 6".  Well tonight, I know we've exceed that amount.  Here is a short time lapse video of the snow from 6pm -9:30pm.  My battery ran out on my GoPro.  I also started about an hour after it started snowing.



Arkansas Snow from RJ Maguire on Vimeo.

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas everyone!  Enjoy the holidays and stay safe out there!

It's about to snow here in Arkansas! Let it snow!  6" - 10" expected here in Conway!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Mt. Nebo Bench Trail Race

On Saturday December 16, I went out to Mt. Nebo for the 4 mile Bench Trail Race.  The race was to take place along the bench trail which runs around Mt. Nebo. 
The weather forecast was looking pretty good for the race. The rain from the previous evening had moved up and the cloud cover was going away as I made the driver out there.  However, when I got closer to Nebo, the clouds were still hanging over.
photo
The drive up the “mountain” was interesting with the dense fog and the switchbacks. I was planning on riding up Nebo with my bike after the race, so this gave me a great chance to see what I was getting into.
I arrived at the check in where it was still dense fog and cold.  The wind was blowing pretty hard, which brought a pretty good chill to the air.  The start to the race was about 1/4 mile downhill from the check-in.  They had a truck and trailer available to shuttle people down.  I decided to take the truck down that way I could at least save my legs a little.  The grade downhill to the start is around 18%, so I would rather warmup closer to the start.
uphill
The start area was located on the bench part of the mountain, so that area was fairly flat.  It allowed for a good warmup.  At the time, I was still wearing long sleeves, but could tell that the air was warming with the cloud cover moving off.  Also, this area had significantly less wind. 
The start was a road start and went down the road a 1/4 mile before hitting the trail.
396988_178182928990618_2019891057_n
I know my problem with a lot of races is starting off quickly.  I’ve been trying at the beginning to allow some of the crowd to pass, so that I can allow myself to settle into my own pace. They described the elevation before the race and it looked something like this.
mt-nebo-bench-trail-elev
I was moving along the first mile getting there in about 6:40.  It was probably a little fast, but hey this a 4-mile race, it’s best to push hard.  The second mile didn’t feel too bad, but I could tell my hip flexors were a little tight and my legs were a little heavy.  I was still felt really good however.  My second mile was a 7:22.  Going into the third mile is when I was really starting to feel it.  The uphill section was a more of killer than I thought!

hurt
This Hurts
 

smile
Smile!
At that point, I could really feel myself dragging, but knowing the end of was near I was going to fight.  Heading into the final mile, I started to feel a side stich coming on.  I had noticed that I wasn’t breathing effectively about half way through the race and this came back and bit me.  I was going to push through the pain and make it to the end.  Plus, I had someone behind me and I wasn’t going to let her pass! 
end1
To the finish
end3
You shall not pass!
I ended up with a time of 28:50 which ended up with a 15 overall placing and 3rd in my age group.  Some takeaways from this race are the following, practice breathing and start working on some more temp runs.
Overall, this was a great race.  The trail was wide and not technical at all.  The race shirt was great and the age group prizes were beer glasses, so you can’t beat that.  They also gave us Christmas ornaments that said 2012 Mt. Nebo Bench Trail Race which was a nice touch!  The after race food was some chili and potato soup which made for a nice meal before I started my ride!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Race the Base

Short post here

Great race with a challenging course. There wasn't a lot elevation gain, but it was rocky. The first mile was pretty smooth and the final two were tough. I was following a group of 5 and was able pass four before the end. We all finished within one to two seconds behind each other!

I was to finish 9th overall and 3rd in my age group!

This was the first race of the Arkansas trail run series. Next race is the Mt. Nebo bench trail run. I'm excited for this run because I've never been out there.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Jumping out a Plane

This was from my trip last year to New Zealand, but I just recently figured out how to to take it from the DVD it was recorded on, transfer it to my computer, and then make it into a smaller file to upload unto to Vimeo.  I knew how to complete the last step, it was the first step that always got me.

Anyways, as I was traveling around New Zealand there are a few places that you could go skydiving that are pretty awesome.  My first attempt was going to be at Lake Taupo, but it ended up being to cloudy that day. Plus, I was hoping for a clear day!  Another good location was Able Tasman, but I was looking for more of a mountain setting than beach.  As we traveled down the west coast, I could have attempted it at Franz Josef, but thought the weather wouldn't clear.  I missed a good opportunity there, but still had at least two more chances.  Continuing down the coast, Lake Wanaka was another place, but there plane was in the service shop, so no jumping there!  Finally, we arrive in Queenstown and I signed up knowing that I was going to have a couple of days there and an oppoturnity to could open.

Sure enought the next morning, we wake up and the sky is clear and the winds are light and it's time to jump.  I decided that I wanted to go ahead and jump from 15,000ft.  Might as well go to the top and get that one minute free fall. 

We wait about 30 minutes before we are suitted up and taught some instructions for the jump.  I would like to say that I wasn't nervous at this time, but I was getting there.  Now it's time to head to the plane.  We all load up and I'm the first on the plane and I'm going to be the last one off! 

The ride up was very nice with the very of the mountains and the lake, but now I'm starting to get nervous.  We reach 12,000ft and the people at that height start to jump out!  4 groups jump at 12,000ft and I am left with one other person who is jumping also at 15,000ft.

We start our climb to 15,000ft and finally reach the jump point.  I think at this point I'm strangely calm realizing that there is only one way down.  It's time to jump!  We shuffle towards the door and being attached to someone you kinda of have to move forward.  We hang off the edge and now it's time to jump!  Watch and enjoy!


Skydiving Queenstown from RJ Maguire on Vimeo.

We freefall for a minute and the chute deploys.  From there, it's a slow drop to the ground enjoying the views along the way.  The freefall was awesome.  I was surprised how clear my mind was even though we were rushing toward the ground at a high rate of speed.  I even added a small swimming move and remember to show my hands for the way down! 

NZone did a great job from start to finish.  I did ask how many jumpers they had and the most customers in one day.  The stated they had about 40 jumpers and one of their busiest days, they had 300 people.  It was cool to be able to see them pack the chutes and get ready.  It was almost like clock work there!

Maybe one day, I can head back.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Martyn Ashton - Road Bike Party



I saw the above video awhile back and thought I would go ahead and share.  Pretty cool video!

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Seven Hollows Trail Run

I've been wanting to go around and explore more around me close to home and today I went and decided to go for a trail run out at Petit Jean State Park.  I decided to run the 4.5 mile Seven Hollows Trail.  It was a great run and scenery.  Enjoy the pictures below.


Seven Hollows Trail Run from RJ Maguire on Vimeo.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Tour De Tour Bike Ride w/Go Pro

I just purchased a Go Pro last week and had the opportunity to get a good ride in today.  I mounted the camera on the drop and away I rode.  I rode the Tour de Toad short loop out towards Harris Brake Lake.  I set the Go Pro to take a picture every 2 seconds.  I then uploaded the pictures on iMovie and transitioned them every .25secs.  I didn't get the whole ride in, but at least until Pleasant Valley.

Here is the Strava file for the ride


Enjoy the show.

Harris Brake Ride from RJ Maguire on Vimeo.






Upcoming some time this week I will get out my race report on the Heber Springs Tri!



Monday, September 24, 2012

Toad Suck Tri 2012

Well here again is my never too late race report from the Toad Suck Tri on September 9th, 2012.

The Toad Suck Tri is an international distance triathlon put on by DLT Events in Conway, AR.  The swim is 1500 meters, the bike is just a little over 40k, and the run is a 10k.  Race site is located at Lake Beaverfork just a few miles North of Conway.

Pre-Race
The international distance is race is now 3 years old and is held along with a sprint distance race that has been there for over 20 years.  The past three years the international distance race was held on Saturday and the sprint on Sunday.  This year they decided to have both races on Sunday. 

I woke up in the morning around 4:45 and ate a PB sandwich along with some OJ and coffee.  I headed out to the race site which is only 10 minutes from my house, win!  The weather was looking excellent for this race.  It was around 50F in the morning with high 80F later in the day with clear sunny skies.

I was going to count this as my "A" race for the year.  I've been working hard on the bike this year and figured that I could finish this race around 2:34 based on some pre-course riding.  If I did, this would be a drop in time over 9 minutes form the race last year.  

I arrived around 6:00 to find that it was still pretty empty for the Toad Suck Tri racks.  I was able to secure a good spot up front and got everything set up.  I was sipping on some gatorade pre race and about 7:00 had a gel before the swim which was scheduled to start at 7:25. 

Swim
The swim is a beach start before heading out to form a shape of house.  Last year, the swim was two loops of 750m course.  It was nice this year to have a one loop swim.   My goal for the swim was to swim about the same time as I did last year even though the race was wetsuit legal. 

As the swim is about to start, going to the first buoy was going to be difficult to site.  The sun was coming up directly in front of  the buoy.  Off we go, I know that since I won't be up front, I'll just site off everyone in front of me.  For me, the swim is always the most difficult part.  I still have to calm my mind and body when swimming and the first few hundred meters can be tough sometimes.  This was one of those days.  It took me until the first turn to begin to calm down.  I believe I started off a little to fast and swallowed water a couple of times.  Once the final straight came though I was able to get myself in a rhythm and fought on to finish the swim! 

Because I didn't wear a watch for the swim, I didn't know what my time was.  I could tell about half the bikes are left so it was time to ride.

2012 - 31:03 10/13 AG.
2011 - 31:34

I was able to get a 31 second improvement even though I wasn't comfortable with the swim and the swim wasn't wet suit legal.  I can say I'm really happy with that!



Bike
The Toad Suck bike course is a rolling course.  It has a nice uphills followed by good downhills.  If I were to compare it to Arkadelphia course, I may say it's a little tougher because you are having to constantly have short climbs and then downhill.  Whereas, the Arkadelphia course is uphill to the turn around and the downhill back. 

Last year during the bike I felt that I never got in a rhythm and couldn't push any power.  The goal this year was to push the pace and see what would happen on the run.

Riding out I was able to pass a lot of people that were faster swimmers than me.  I was feeling great heading to the turnaround.  From there, I knew the course is faster going back and was ready to up the pace just a little more.  The course uses Hwy 25 N and Burkett Flat Rd.  Well Burkett Flat Rd, has nice new pavement, but it can be kinda of tight with bikers and any cars that may come along.  As I was biking, back to Hwy 25, I came upon a car that was having to go slow and couldn't pass because of a slower cyclist.  Well, the person behind me deceided to pass me and the car.  I didn't know what the rules were but I didn't cross the yellow line and made the pass of the car also!

Heading back to transition, I was feeling great and ready to run.  The nutrition on the bike consisted of a 32oz bottle of water with a NuuN tablet and two gels.

2012 - 1:13:30, 4/13AG  20.5mph
2011 - 1:21:04

Seven and half minute improvement!  I knew the biking was paying off.  The test rides on the course gave the confidence to know about what I would ride and I was right where I wanted to be.

Run
It had been awhile since I passed anyone on the bike, after coming back south to transition it started to get lighter as I passed a lot people.  The thing I love about the international distance is it gives you the chance to make up time that I lose in the swim.  The run and bike are long enough to make up huge gaps!  Off and running I go! 

The run is an out and back course.  It has a few rollers, with a climb just before the turn around and the after the turn around.  My plan was the pace easy the first half and then begin to push the pace at the end.  Going through the first 3 miles, I was feeling great and knew once I got up the last little climb it would be a great chance to push the pace.  I was only passed by one person during the run, but I was able to make the re-pass once I began to increase the speed until the end.  The mile paces are as follows 7:48, 7:55, 7:48, 7:59, 7:37, 7:28, and final .15 was 6:07! 



2012 - 47:26, 7:39min/mile, 5/13 AG
2011 - 48:10

A small improvement in the run, but the bike improvement really helped the overall time! 

2012 - 2:34:42, 6/13 AG, 25/91 Overall
2011 - 2:42:50
Full Results - Click Here



An 8 minute improvement over last year!  I'm glad to see that things are starting to come together.  I would say even with my swim that this was my best overall race yet.  My swim time was good considering the early trouble, the bike was excellent, and the run followed up.

Up next - Heber Springs Tri Oct 14.  Return to the Hill.  I had a tough bike here last year, I will improve this year!



Tuesday, August 28, 2012

The Wash Out and The Race! Degray Tri Weekend!

My big weekend of racing was all set to go on the weekend of August 18th and 19th.  I had registered for the Degray Olympic and Sprint races.  The Olympic was to take place on Saturday and the sprint on Sunday. 

Both races were to take place around the Spillway area of Lake Degray outside of Arkadelphia, AR.  I decided that week that I would go ahead and stay in Arkadelphia the night before the Olympic race since the race site is about 1.5 hrs away.  I drove down to Arkadelphia after work and checked into the Hampton Inn.  Since I've never really stayed in Arkadelphia, this would give me the chance to try a little local restaurant in the area.  The choice of the restaurant was Little Italy.  I saw decent reviews and thought I would give the place a shot.  It turned out to be a good place to eat pre-race.  The garlic rolls that were served before dinner were excellent and the salad was good also.  The seafood alfreado was ok.  It large chucks of crab and shrimp, but was disappointed in the taste of scallops. 

I headed to the race site after dinner to pick up my packet and then it was back to hotel for a little rest.


The Wash Out
Pre-Race
I woke up around 4:45 for the race.  I got some coffee going with the in-room coffee maker and hit the shower to wake up a little.  The shower was then followed by a small breakfast which was a Cliff Bar and a banana.  I usually don't eat too much before a race of Olympic or Sprint length.  After this I decided to check the weather, and saw this!

This is not good!  Of course, behind all that is even more rain!  I was hoping that maybe it would off before the swim.  I've ridden in storms before and was ready to do so if I had to, but with all the rain behind and about to hit the site. It wasn't looking good.

I headed to the site and went to pick up my chip, but didn't really consider setting up transition because as soon as I picked up my chip it started to come down.  It started to rain and thunder around 6am and with a 7am start things were not looking good.
Well for the next 2 hrs, it was go visit with the race director and other athletes under the tent or hide out in the car.  Finally about 9:30 they decided to call off the race.  The rain and lighting was continuing and didn't look like it would end any time soon.  The race director moved everyone in the race from the Olympic to the Sprint at no charge.
Post Race
I decided to head back to Conway and relax at home. Of course, by the time I got back to Conway, I had clear skies and was so pumped to do the race I had to do something, especially after the big dinner the night before!  I chose to go to Beaverfork for a mini aqua bike.  I was able to swim for 30 minutes and then did the CATS sprint bike course. 

Now for the Race - Degray Sprint

Pre-Race#2
With the race starting at 8am, I got up around 4:45 and was on the road by 5:30.  I usually like to get there early, so that I have everything setup and ready.  Also, allows me time to get a warm up swim in and just talk to people I know.  The breakfast for the morning was another cliff bar, banana, coffee, and orange juice.

I was one of the first people there, so I was able to get a prime spot up front for the race.  Easy to find, easy to get in/out and plenty of room since I was at the end of the rack!

I did about a 200 yard warm up swim and then got ready for the race to start!

Swim
On to the swim, a 500 yard swim, my worst part of any race!  I've been working hard on improving this and only more experience will allow me to get better!  Here is another attempt, at glory!  I lined up on the far right side away from most of the crowd and start began.  I'm feeling good and comfortable through the first 175 yards which is where the first turn is and realized that once I got there I would be in  the pack and had trouble getting through the turn.  I keep swimming and felt good throughout, but still my time came out a little slow! 

Swim Time - 10:48.60 AG: 10/15 OAM - 61/117
T1: 1:18

Bike
After the 100 yard run to transition it's onto the bike!  I had trouble getting clipped in right away, but eventually got going to the first hill of the day.  The bike is 16 miles compared to the 13 miles for the Spillway Triathlon in June.  This extra 3 miles adds another hill/downhill to overall course. With the first part uphill, I try to take it easy.  After, the turnaround it's time to put on the speed.  As I was heading back in, I had to avoid drafting because I had two people that would pass me, slow up, I would pass them get away for second get caught, and do again.  Finally with about a mile to go, they speed off and I didn't want to catch them at that point.  I was feeling good as I rolled into transition. Once, in transition, I had a little issue putting on my socks.  I'm thinking I may go sockless for the next shorter race.
Bike - 47:33, 20.2mph AG: 4/15 OAM - 19/117
T2 - 1:00

Run
Now it's my time to shine for the 3.5 mile run, the run is 1/2 mile longer for the Degray Sprint.  The run is uphill for the first half before turning around heading back downhill.  Again, the plan is to take it easy for the first half and increase the pace till the end.  I start off feeling pretty good.  About half way, I feel side stitch start to come on, but know that I can push through it.  At this point, I have not caught up to anyone and was pretty much alone on the run course.  At the turnaround, there was someone about 45 seconds again of me and another about 10 seconds behind me.  I try to push the pace to catch the person in front of me, but to no avail!  I was passed by 2 people which was disappointing, but I still felt good on the run.
Run - 24: 52, 7:06 per mile, AG: 7/15, OAM: 36/117.
Total Time: 1:25:33, AG 5/15, OAM: 30/117

Quick Thoughts
1.  Another strong bike on this day
2. While I felt good on the run, the run times appear to be pretty fast, shows some fast runners showed up
3. Still need to work on the swim, maybe try to start off faster and then settle into a pace
4. Work on transitions.
5. Run faster!

Up Next: Toad Suck Triathlon International Distance September 9th, Conway, AR

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Providing a Quick Update

Well it's been almost a month since the last post, so thought I'd provide a quick update!  Things have been going well with training throughout July, but work came up at the end of July and into the first of August which required lots of travel!  I left from Conway on July 23rd and went out for installations throughout Florida, SC, PA, DE, NJ, and DC.  I returned 5700 miles driven later on August 8th!  It was a long work trip, but it was good.  We completed the items that needed to be done.  While, I didn't get any time off during this, I did get a few runs in. However, there was no swimming, biking, marital arts, or sight seeing.  The only sight seeing was from the window of the truck! 

It's good to be back and the big happening this weekend is the Degray Triathlon weekend.  I decided to go ahead with the Degray double.  I will be competing in the Olympic distance tri on Saturday and then the Sprint distance on Sunday.  I've been wanting to do the double, but wasn't sure after all the travel.  After thinking about this week, I thought why not.  Plus, I would be doing something on Sunday anyways, so why not another triathlon.  So far, the weather is looking great for the weekend with temperatures mid to low 60s in the morning reaching into mid to upper 80's during the afternoon.  It will be cool weather for this race which is usually pretty hot and humid!

One last note,  I like to look at the stats and see where people visit from. It's cool to see what countries the traffic comes from.  The leader in visits is of course the US, but a surprise second is Russia.  So welcome!  I don't have a lot of traffic, but it is fun to look at.  Here are the current standings.

United States
1483
Russia
109
Germany
45
United Kingdom
23
Hong Kong
20
India
17
Latvia
17
Netherlands
16
Indonesia
14
Canada
13

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Never too late Spillway Triathlon Report

Well this sprint triathlon took place on June 23rd, so this post is only a couple of weeks late!  I still remember the event clearly, so I figured I would go ahead and write up my report on this event!

The Spillway Triathlon is put on by DLT Events and the race is at Lake DeGray, which is just north of Arkadelphia.  Transition is located at the Spillway rec area.  This is also the same area and similar course for the Tri-Arkansas Olympic and Sprint distance triathlon in August.

The race is a 450 yard swim, 13 mile bike, and a 3 mile run.

Pre-Race
The nice part about this race was the start time at 8am!  That meant I only had to wake up around 4:30 for the little less than 1.5 drive to the race site!  I was able to leave my house around 5:30 after a small breakfast of PB sandwich and banana.  I arrive on site around 6:15 and found that it was already started to pack out.  I choose a different spot this time.  Most of the time people choose somewhere near the bike out/bike in, but I instead chose the place close to the swim in and run out.  Plus, most of the the good spots were taken up front and I didn't really want to be in the middle.  I racked my bike and then went out for a pre-race swim.  I swam for about 15 minutes and then wait began for the start!

Swim
The swim for this race was a 450 swim in the clear for a lake water of Degray.  The swim was an in water with the course running clockwise in the shape of an elongated triangle.  You swam out for probably 150-200 yards, then turned right for another 150-200 yards and the swim in was only around 50-75 yards.  I lined myself up to the far right and away from most people.  The announcement is made for the start and away we go.  I've been start my swims slow to allow myself to get comfortable and then increase the pace as the swim goes.  I was feeling good and reach the first buoy where it was somewhat crowded.  I was not able to make a great turn on the buoy or the next one either.  I'm usually on the outside, but this time I ended up more on the inside of the buoys.  I was keeping close to the crowd and just off the back.  I get into the swim exit and run towards transition.  Overall I thought my swim was pretty good.  The sighting was good, pace felt great, and was comfortable overall.  The only issue with this race was there were no timing chips, so I wouldn't know my exact swim time since I didn't have my 310xt on for the swim.

Swim Time plus T1 - 10:42 - 9/14 AG

Bike
The bike is where I was hoping to get back in the race, and see how fitness has improved since Memphis in May and Hot Springs Village.  The course is an out and back along Skyline drive.  The ride starts out with a somewhat steep and short up hill to the spillway and continues over the spillway before a gradual uphill till about 1 mile before the turnaround.  You have a quick downhill, back up hill, and then downhill to the finish.

I was feeling pretty good on the bike.  The first half I was holding back just a little to allow myself a strong run.  The only issue was slowing down a little before getting back to the spillway due to a truck having to take a turn. It was a little disappointing to lose that downhill momenteum, but it wasn't anything that I could deal with.  I came into transition feeling pretty good.  I did run to the wrong side of the rack!  Overall, biking is going really well.

Bike Time - 39:19 - 5/14 AG

Run
Having completed a couple events out here already, I knew what to expect for the 3 mile run.  The first 1.5 miles is uphill followed by a fast downhill finish.  The first mile is hardest uphill portion.  After a good bike, I was going to take it easy pace wise through the first mile and then start to increase the pace all the way back to the finish.  I was feeling great and holding a steady pace. Since this is an OAB, it gave me a chance to see where I was in standing with some other people that I knew.  I figured I was about 2.5 minutes down by the time I reached the turned around.  I knew that it would be tough to catch them, but I increased the pace as much as possible into the finish.  I was really happy with the run.  I think I may have left a little out there, but not much. 

Run plus T2 time - 22.49 - 4/14AG
Overall - 1:12:50 - 4/14 AG

Another great event completed!  I've been keeping up the training for my next event which will be Tri-Arkansas and the Degray Sprint on the weekend on August 18th!


Sunday, June 17, 2012

Tri the Village 2012 Sprint - Hot Springs Village, AR

Before starting out with my report, I would like to thank all the volunteers for coming out and supporting this race.  For a small sprint with close to 125 athletes, there were probably well over 100 volunteers for this race.  Great support from the residents of HSV.

Now to the race!  This was the first year that this event was being held at Hot Springs Village.  Hot Springs Village is a very large gated community located just NE of Hot Springs.  The area has a few golf courses and lakes inside the community.

The race was setup as a 500 yd swim, 13.5 mile bike, and 3.5 mile run.  The swim was located in Lake Balboa.  We then biked around Lake Balboa before finally ending the race with a 3.5 mile run on the Magellan golf course.

Pre-Race
The Village is located about 70 minutes from my house.  I got up around 3:45 am ate a small breakfast of PB sandwich, banana, and some OJ.  I then packed my truck and was out on the road by 4:45.  I arrived at the race site plenty early and racked my bike and waited around for the start of the race at 7:00 am.  The weather was nice for an Arkansas summer day.  The humidity was low and the temps were in the 70s to low 80s.  With the heat and humidity down this could make for a fast race.



Swim
I got a small warm up swim about 10 minutes before the start and lined up to the right side and up from of all the swimmers.  My wave was 39 and under male/female and relays.  The gun goes off and away everyone swims.  The swim is by far the weakest part of my events.  Usually, I just hoping not to have any anxiety and just get through the swim.  I start off swimming well and swimming to the right of most the group.  I was able to get a pretty open water for myself and swam very nicely.  The only time I'm just counting strokes and sighting.  I have quit wearing a watch during the swim so that I don't get down on a bad swim.  My swim time end up being just under 11 minutes



Swim Time - 10 min 56 seconds - 63/123.
Transition 1 - 1:02

Bike
I jump onto the bike and head out for the hilly ride.  The ride starts off with a quick downhill followed by a short uphill.  This how the course ended up being for the entire 13.5 miles.  I could feel my legs were a little tight when I first started to ride, but after a couple of minutes they loosened up and I was riding really well.  I know that the key to a course with rollers like this is that you can't take a break on the downhills.  You need to push the downhills to allow yourself to fly over the uphill sections.  Around mile 7, there is a larger hill that required you to get out the saddle if you wanted, but overall the course hills you could stay aero and get overhill.  I was feeling really strong on the bike by the end and felt that I had pushed it just enough to all for a good run. I ended up averaging 20.0mph on the bike with a good time.



Strava course profile - http://app.strava.com/rides/10491512
Bike Time - 40 min 36 seconds - 21/123
Transition 2 -1:02

Run
Feeling good off the bike I throw my shoes on and head out to the run. The run was not talked about much before the race.  I'd assume that it would be a little hilly, but nothing to diffcult. The run starts with a short up hill before heading downhill and towards the entrance to the golf course. Upon entering the golf course, you could see the hills upcoming.  The run starts uphill in the golf course, before heading back downhill.  The run ended up being more of rolling course with uphill sections followed by downhill sections.  The hard part about some sections of the course where the small quick downhills followed by an uphill that was short and steep.  Following this, you then headed towards a very short uphill that was steep and "long".  The course then finishes with some rollers in the golf course before heading back to the finish.  I was pushing the run most of the way, but towards then end I was starting to feel the legs start to get tired.  I pushed through and finished however with a decent run.  I wouldn't call it my best run, but I was happy with my combined with my bike.  Another hard part about the run was, that I was passed by one person and after that didn't have any really behind me or ahead to really challenge myself. You can always get a little extra energy when you are chasing someone or feel someone is chasing you.




Run - 28 min 30 sec - 20/123
Strava File - http://app.strava.com/activities/10491651
Finish - 1 hr 22 min 07 sec - 21/123 OA - 3rd AG 30-34

Post Race
I was really happy with my first sprint of the year.  I felt that my bike and run have come along pretty well since Memphis in May.  My swim is still slow but I'm feeling really comfortable in the water.  Next year, I will know what to expect on the run, so hopefully I will get a little more speed.  I ended up 3rd in my AG finish 1 min behind second place and 3.5 minutes behind 1st.  If I can cut, my swim to around 9 minutes, I would have been challenging for 1st in my AG.  I also could have moved about 8 places up overall.

The other great thing about this race was the post race food.  The food was provided by Newk's out of Hot Springs.  They had the grill fired up where you could hot dogs, chili, and chicken.  They also had sandwiches, pasta salad, chips, salad, and desserts. I would call this one of the best post race meals for a sprint triathlon.

I will be doing this race again next year and recomeneed it to anyone looking a sprint next year.  The volunteers, the course, and the post race made this for a great race.

One last item that was posted from Arkansasoutside.com is this video below from HSV.  Nice video.




Thanks to EVERYONE! 



Thursday, May 31, 2012

2012 Rock Run 8k and Upcoming Events

It's been a week since the Memphis in May triathlon and it is onto the next race the Rock Run 8k.  This was the third year in a row that I've run this race.  The race is held the Saturday of Memorial Day weekend.  It is run along the Arkansas River Trail near Rosenbaum Golf course just east of the Big Dam Bridge.  The course is flat, but the last two years it has been hot and this year was no different with the early heat. 

In years past, the course and gone to the east and under the Big Dam Bridge before turning back to the finish.  This year, we started to go east for about a 1/2 mile and then turned towards the east for about 4 miles before heading back to the finish.  The course was still flat and fast.  The goal for this race was under 37:00 minutes.  Last year, I went 37:08. 

The race starts at 7:30am, so all the runners lined up at the start and away we go.  I have been trying to force myself to hold back a little at the start, so that I don't start off too fast. Of course, I'm feeling really good for the first mile and was able to hit a around a 7:10. 
Still feeling good

 Somewhere around a mile and half, I start to feel a sloshing in the stomach and realize that maybe I had a little too much water before the start of the race, but no worries though.  I feel my pace has settled down a little and hit the second mile around 14:30.  I'm averaging a 7:15 pace and still feeling good.  At this point, the wheels come off quickly.  I try to hold back a little more and save a little towards the end, but I average around an 8:00 min/mile pace for the 3rd mile and then around 8:10 for the 4th mile.  I'm now just begging for the end to come.  With the race flat, you can see the finish off in the distance.  Just keep going, I think to myself.  The 5th mile was the toughest where I average close to an 8:25 pace.  I was able to finish the race in 38:28.  This was a tough race for me, I was hoping for the 37:00 mark, but my fitness still is not where it was at earlier in the year.  I still enjoyed this race and will back again next year assuming I have no other plans.





Upcoming Summer Events

As usual, summer time is a very busy time of year with races and general summer activities.  The last two weekends have included the Memphis in May triathlon and the Rock Run 8k.  Also, spent a day at Greers Ferry Lake. 

This weekend and next are no different.  I have the The Ranch Ride planned for this weekend.  This is a charity bike ride that starts in Conway and includes a 34 and 54 mile route.  I will completing the 54 mile route.  On June 9th, I should be racing in the sprint triathlon in Hot Springs Village.  So I'm keeping myself and challenged so far this summer.