Friday, March 30, 2012

Maxifuel Duathlon - Race Report

I am a bit late on the race report but I have been waiting for the event photos which I just got yesterday.

If you read my previous post you will have noticed that I barely had any sleep before this race, which is never ideal.  In this situation, I had this race on the schedule since last year, but my wife decided we needed to go to a school fund raising event, which ended up being quite good fun I must say!

Anyway, this weekend the clocks went forward with the arrival of spring, which meant we all lost one hour of sleep.  I went to bed at 2 and woke up at 7 so I could be at the venue by the 8am check in time!

I get to the venue and proceed to register and the I can already feel the buzz... just not so much as other times (when I'm fully rested). It was a beautiful day to race and it was great to be back though.

I racked my bike on the transition area and went out to do some stretches and a few short runs to get the blood going. I started having problems with my 310XT but it finally started working properly.

After a few minutes it was time to line up and we got given the race briefing. All 200 of us were ready to go and the gun went off! I started hard with the first 5 guys in the lead pack for the first 5Km.  As expected, my body gave in and after half the first initial 5Km. I was really tired due to the lack of sleep and it was showing. I got passed by about 10 guys on the first 5Km and I was short of my goal of 18ms or better and ended up with a time of 20mins. Hopefully this weekend I can beat it as I am racing at the same venue again.

T1 was not bad, but I can improve it. In and out in 48s.

It was now time for the Argon to go to work, and boy did it work!! This piece of machinery flied out there on the course. I must have passed about 100 people or more, and only got passed by a handfull, including a chick on a Cervelo P3.

This was the very first time I was racing on my Argon and I was actually quite comfortable on the saddle the whole time. I need to work on my power as the few people who passed me were spinning quick on a high gear, and I need to be at the same level if I want to improve my bike and overal times.  The Speedfill water bottle was great as well.  The tube fits perfectly well between the bars and I was able to get my drink comfortably on the aero position. All in all, great first experience competing on the Argon E118.  I finished the bike section in  01:02:17. More details below

T2 was a bit quicker and I was in and out of transition in 38s. Gotta beat 30s next time.

As I exit T2 I make sure to grab my gel for the 2nd half of the 10K, put my cap on and hit the tarmac. At this time I was ahead of many on my category (Male Olympic Distance), but I was conscious that I was not at 100% due to the lack of sleep.  Strategy was to get passed by as few guys as possible! My pace was slower than the virtual partner on the 310XT, but I was still managing to pass some people on the way home.

The final 100m were a sprint! I was already pushing myself to get across the line, when I heard some footsteps behind me and I started sprinting event faster! It was number 60 who finished in the exact same time as me as we crossed the line. 

All in all it was a good race.  Better yet, I look at it as a competitive training session allowing to focus on my goal which is to prepare for the half IM in May 

It took some time for the results to come up but I was surprised to find out that I had the 5th fastest bike split in the Olympic distance race!! We weren't that many (50) but I still see it as an accomplishment.  I finished 9th across all categories (Super Sprint, Sprint, Olympic) and 7th in my category (Olympic).

I have copied the results straight from the F3 events results page.
Position Overall9
Gender Position9
Category Position7
Race Number19
Avg. SpeedAvg. Pace
Run Time00:20:13(18)14.84km/h00:04:03
Bike Time01:02:17(4)38.53km/h00:01:33
Run Time00:47:28(32)1.26km/h00:47:28
Overall Time02:11:25

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Maxifuel Duathlon Pre Race

Tonight is the Strictly Come Dancing charity event at y daughters school, and tomorrow I have a race I need to heck in for by 8am. Needless to say, I did not sign up for this  gala tonight, but rather the family CEO did! (that is my wife for those of you who do not know us personally)

As I munched through my meal and thought about the plan for tomorrow,I thought I'd jot down my ideas on how I plan to race the event, so I decided to blog from my iPhone .

I'll make it short and sweet because I am, literally, writing between desert and coffee at the gala.

5km Run: plan on doing it in 18 minutes or less

40 Km Ride: tough to say because it's my first race with the Argon, but anything under 60 mins would be nice.

10 Km Run: I'll be dead by now, but anything under 50mins would be great.

Gotta go, coffee is here, plus.... The dancing exhibition has started.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Drop in fitness

All these sick days have taken a toll on my fitness lately. With my half quickly approaching and two weeks away in Africa in the end of April, I really do not feel as I am fully prepared to face this race.  Nevertheless, the cards are drawn and I have to try and make it to Calella in the best shape possible. Fingers crossed for me stay injury free and healthy for the remaining few months. 


Thursday, March 22, 2012

Birthday Run

Happy birthday to me!Nice run to start my 35th birthday with.  I went out with my Zoot Ultra Tempo 4.0 today and I wore the Ironman soles my daughters gave me (review soon) and they felt great. No blisters after 16Km at HRZ 3-4 and I could feel the gel in them really work.  Well worth the €10.

Training Peaks Link: 

Sunday, March 11, 2012

My Argon 18 E118

I went to pick up my E118 yesterday and spent some time at the shop fitting it.  Here are some photos of the beauty. 

The front bars are still too long. Gotta shorten them

Those 808 Zipp look lovely on the E118

Prologo Evo Tri 40 saddle

Front Look

Di2 Battery nicely tucked away
Shimano components all the way
Front cable wiring 
Di2 Shifters ont he brake lever
Di2 cabling

There are two things I want to look at though. First, the length of the extension bars is still too long so I need to find out from Argon 18 if I can cut the bar a bit more from the front end so the Di2 shifters sit right on my hand. Se below:

The second one is the height of the pads! The guys at the shop fitted all the spacers so that my aero position would be flat, with my upper arm perpendicular to the floor. See below: 
Im not sure about all those spacers on the aero bar. I might remove a few.

I will give it a few weeks and then I'll take a view on keeping it or getting it refitted. 

Now, I gotta think of a name for it. Any suggestions?

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

2012 Ballbuster Race Report

I did it! I completed the Ballbuster, a race which was stuck on my throat since 2010 when I was not able to finish due to the unbearable pain and lack of preparation.

This year is the year I am pushing for the Half Challenge Barcelona and hoping to do a full sometime later in the year or early in 2013, so this was a great experience to see where I am with my training, what my threshold is, and what I need to do to get where I want to be.

Not having done any multisport races since last year, I was not sure how my body would cope with the toughest duathlon in the UK with so little training due to all my travelling this year.  Well, my body started "talking" to me the day before when I started feeling quite anxious at work, with lots of stomach cramps which lasted all day and night! My wife was adamant it was my nervousness due to the race, and the thought of knowing I had failed last time around this track with a DNF after two laps! I was feeling so crappy I didn't event want to pack my bag or prepare the bike before going to bed... I decided I would wake up at 5am to do it!

I was up at 4:45am as I couldn't sleep anymore! I got all my lycra ready, prepared my bag, drinks, gels, and headed out to get the bike's tyres pumped and racked up.  All seems nice and easy now, but racking the bike up on the car again after the race was another story (details later).

I got to Box Hill and the fog was tremendous at that time in the morning. You could barely see anything and it was freezing cold.  I proceeded to the registration room and got my chip and numbers.

I went in to rack my bike and started warming up to get some blood circulating.  A few stretches later and it was time ti line up for the start.  As the gun went off I was actually feeling pretty good but I decided to save myself for what was to come.  The run was going well and I actually felt good all throughout. The first 2-3Kms were a bit conservative but I then decided to chase a group in front of me and I pulled away.  I finished the run in 59 minutes and then was time for me to get on the bike.

The bike section was fine most of the way.  On the downhill I almost went face first with an oncoming van, but I managed to brake with enough time to avoid it.  The hills on zig zag road was what completely killed me. I absolutely need to do more hills to strengthen up these legs.  At this point, I was quite happy to have managed to have already done better than what I had previously done in 2010, which was one run and one lap of cycling!   But when I got out of the bike my legs started cramping like crazy.  I was ok for the first 500m, but then it really hit me hard.  I had to walk for about 3 minutes, stretch, and then I was able to pick it up and run for about 45 minutes non stop.  Close to zig zag road I got some more cramps and had to walk, until Jamie, a fellow competitor, passed me and decided to cheer me up and chat with me for a while, and we cramped (not crapped) together a few times before the finish line.

The last 500m were too much for me and I walked up most of zig zag road.  The incline was too steep and the cramps were too much for me to handle, but just the thought of having finished what is considered to be UK's toughest duathlon was a great feeling.

All in all it was a good race I think. It was my longest ever race/training session so it is good preparation for the half IM in May. Now, all I gotta do is keep those miles going until I land in Calella, and I have quite a few races in between to keep me in synch and pumped.

Official timing:
Total Time: 4:05:29
Run 1: 59m:45s
T1: 02m:44s
Bike: 1h:33m:28s
T2: 03:30
Run 2: 1h:26m:01s

Some more photos from the race:

Sunday, March 4, 2012

2012 Triathlon Show

Today was the day I was supposed to be home resting from yesterday's race at Boxhill, but I just could not resist the temptation of going to the UK's largest triathlon trade fair and have a llok at what was on offer.  I was able to convince my "very pregnant" wife to come along withe the girls and we made it a bit of a day out, albeit a very wet one due to this crappy rain!

As we get there we started walkin around all the stands and I was really trying hard not to stop at every booth to get all the free samples, but the temptation got the best of me and within a few booths I was already talking to someone about this new and innovative gel replacement snack!

We then proceeded to the top floor of the exhibition centre where none-other than Chrissie Wellington was signing some autographs of her book.  I was seriously starstruck!  I was able to get this snap you see on the left. I'm the guy with the red jacket and she is in front of me with her mouth open telling me she would take a photo with me but downstairs. What a legend she is!

After the brief encounter with the Queen of Kona, my wife decided I needed a new set of swimming trunks and got me a set of RED Aqua Sphere! She wants to make sure Im noticed in the swimming pool! Anyway, it was a present from her so I will not complain. While she was shopping for the trunks, on the other side of the same booth I spotted something I was looking to get for my E118, a Speedfill bottle and some Co2 tubes. I got them both along with some Salt Sticks. A few stands down it was Dextro Energy's turn to tell me all about their gels and bars, so I spent some more money there and brought a few goodies.

Anyway, just a few lines to tell you about this great show which is heaven on earth for every triathlete out there.  I will now start the Ballbuster race report and post it when I have some photos from the race organizers.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Ballbuster - March 2012

The Ballbuster duathlon takes place twice a year in Box Hill, Surrey, and it is widely regarded as the toughest duathlon in the UK. I, literally, busted my balls in November 2010 and I STILL did not finish it. I want to think that was due t the fact that I had just recently started training and was really not up to speed with what this race required from the body.
Looking at several forums and talking to people, my goal (apart from just finishing it) is to cross the line under 3h:45m with 1:10, 1:25, 1:10 splits.  I'm not really sure how I'll cope as, to be honest, with all the travelling I have done these past weeks my training has gone down a bit...well, a lot! 
On a negative point, I will be racing by myself as my wife and daughters will be at home this time around so I look forward to your comments as support! :) On a positive note, no matter what my result is this time around, I will take this saturday's race as a LONGGGG brick session towards my half ironman in Barcelona. Stay posted for some photos and my race report...and figers crossed for me to at least to finish the race.  
Here are some photos from my 2010 (failed) participation:
Starting line of the November 2010 race

Look at that fat ass! 

This was about 30 seconds before I quit! My knee was killing me :(