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American Past Time
A novel by Len Joy

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Monday, May 17, 2010

Tempe International Triathlon - Results


Near the finish line (I'm the guy on the right)

 I competed in the Tempe International Triathlon yesterday. It was a nice day with low humidity and the winds were light. The event was well-organized and there were plenty of great volunteers to hand out water and gatorade along the run segment. That was much appreciated, especially for all of us in the older age groups, as the race is run in waves and for some reason most triathlon organizers figure it's best to let the younger folks go off first. I was in the last age-group wave (50 and over) and we didn't go in the water until 7:15, which meant that when that picture above was taken it was about 10 am and 95 degrees. 

It's a dry heat, but the dryness is way overrated.

I was satisfied with my race. I finished each event strong with some reserves. I was probably a little too conservative because of the heat. I had a good pre-race hydration plan and I had enough gatorade/carbo pro on the bike segment to stay hydrated. I felt good on the run but I was a little concerned about leg cramps and didn't push the run as hard as I had planned.  

Here is how I did compared to my goal:

                       GOAL                                           ACTUAL
Event             Time           Pace              Time                Pace
------------   -------       -------              ------              -------
Swim:             36:00          2:11              33:13              2:02     
Transition:        2:00                                 2:10
Bike:              80:00         18.75 mph      78:31             19.1 mph
Transition:       1:30                                  1:50
Run:               49:00         7:53                53:32               8:33
                    ----------                         ---------
Total             2:48:30                              2:49:16

Age group place: 4th                                 12th out of 21st

A little disappointed in the 12th place finish, but it was good competition. Definitely room for improvement.
 
Next race:  Keuka Lake June 6, 2010
 
 
                                       Len               Colin           Tom         

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Tempe International Triathlon - Sunday May 16, 2010



My next race is Sunday at the Tempe International Triathlon. After the Havasu race in March I left my tri bike in Phoenix and trained at home with my road bike. That saved at least $200 on shipping charges for the bike.


I’ve been out here in Phoenix since Tuesday staying with Carol (sister #2) and Tom. Tom and Colin are racing in the sprint edition of the Tempe Tri and I am in the Olympic distance. I have been trying to come up with a realistic goal – but it is difficult because I haven’t raced this course before. I am certain the bike course will be less challenging than Havasu, but all of the swim times I’ve studied are longer than at Havasu, and I think perhaps my personal best swim time of 30 minutes at Havasu was because their course was short. Or the current propelled me. There won’t be any current in Tempe Town Lake so I’m not expecting a sub 30 minute time.

Havasu is a challenging bike course – lots of hills and turns and it took me about 83 minutes to complete. Then on the run, I had concerns about leg cramps and took it easy so it took me about 54 minutes. I know I can do better than that.

Here is my goal for this race:

Event           Time     Pace
------------ -------  -------
Swim:           36:00    2:11 per 100 yds
Transition:       2:00
Bike:             80:00     18.75 mph
Transition:       1:30
Run:               49:00    7:53 min/mile
----------
 Total           2:48:30

Age group place:       4th

This would be a personal best by over 3 minutes. I’ll report back on Monday with the actual results.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

"Respect the Cow!"



I ran in the Wisconsin Marathon / Half-Marathon on Saturday in Kenosha. My goal was to complete the half-marathon in one hour 46 minutes.

At the eight mile mark I was 30 seconds ahead of the target, but I faded in the stretch and ended with a time of 1:49:05. It was my first race at that distance, but since I plan to complete two Half-Ironman races later this year, it's important I get accustomed to the distance. This was a good start.

In the all-important age group of athletes over 58 years, 11 months, I finished first. In the normal age grouping of 55 to 59, I finished 5th. I also finished 257 out of about two thousand participants.

I trained for the race with a group from the McGaw YMCA  in Evanston organized by triathlon coach Craig Strong  and shepherded by my personal spinning instructor, Heather Collins. The group did well and I ask them to share with me their impressions of the race.

This is what John Cleave (the only other guy in the group) wrote:

A long race is an excellent opportunity to reflect on how much variation there is in the human body. Beyond simply short and tall, skinny and fat, there were small, compact butts and big; round ones, thick muscular thighs and thin ones; wide shoulders and narrow ones; long and short arms; long thin legs and short squat ones; big, little, wide, narrow, squat, and long heads; long thin necks and short squat ones.

Similarly, I saw a lot of variation in running style. Some runners were rigid and tight: arms held in close, hands clenched, short choppy strides; others ran loose and gangly, like they were made of rubber.

One guy ran in a cow suit. The temperature was in the low 70’s, so wearing that suit took some fortitude. And the guy beat me by a minute . When he passed, I shouted “No cow is going to beat me!” and he said, “Respect the cow!” Everyone around us laughed.

I saw him after the race and told him I respected the cow.

There were a huge number of Navy guys there to cheer us on. I yelled “Go Navy” at almost all of them. Many responded “Hoo-ah.” I’ve heard this before but didn’t know it’s significance so I looked it up:

  • Hooah (who-ah), adj., U.S. Military Slang. Referring to or meaning anything and everything except "no." A masculine guttural sound often used when at a loss for words.
A free beer and brat at the end of the race was an excellent thing. That beer was some of the best I’ve ever had.