Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Rockville Results

I've got to say, your performances at Rockville were nothing short of amazing. It's a sign that we run stronger as a group, and that the workouts are (hopefully) bringing everyone to form.

A quick recap of the results: Kip and Dave once again led the Baltimore contingent as they finished 6th and 7th, respectively, in some damn fine times. Much faster than last year for Dave, I think by at least 45 seconds! The Too brothers, reppin' NJ, have been on a tear up there lately, winning most 5 mile races in the mid 23s. Goes to show you that Rockville is a harder place to run than most. At least the weather cooperated this year, we'll probably not see that again for a while. After Kip and Dave came Eric Furst, who, although he doesn't "race" for us, did extremely well. His 35th place finish produced a time that would easily win most 5 mile races in any area. Will Knox, who is always humble about his fitness and downplays his form, ran extremely well, finishing 45th. In his Rockville debut, Ben Ingram raced to a sub 27, which landed him at 53rd place.

Old Man Berardi was caught in between Ben and the next group, led by Jeff Rumbaugh in 28:49 (99th!) and then followed just a few seconds back by Joel Brusewitz (100th). Terence and Kris were next up, both running much, MUCH faster than I've ever run at this race. Jim Adams had a terrific performance, averaging 6:37 for the 8k. I think that means Jim can hang for our whole runs now, rather than just sprinting every couple hundred meters. And then of course there's Barf, who ran 12 miles that morning and just wanted to run hard for about a half mile or so, and then jog.

On the women's side, FRR was represented by Julie Culley (3rd in 27:52!), Phebe Ko (4th in 28:11) and Chrissie, who rocked out with a PR of 29:31 for 8th place.

And yes, I raced over the weekend as well, thanks Brian for the shout out. You know it's against custom to write your own race report and send it out, it's just something I don't do for myself, but since you asked, I shall provide.

As you're all aware, my only goal is to have the best race I can have. This means if given the opportunity, I race in the elite or open waves and therefore pass on receiving any kind of age-group awards. It doesn't mean that people from within the age groups won't beat me, I just do it because it gives me the best chance at racing well. I entered the tepid 80 degree Lake Mercer and my wave consisted of 6 men and 2 women. As 8 o'clock hit and the gun went off, 3 or 4 of the guys and both girls just went tearing into the water. I tend to race at my own pace in the water, and quickly bridged to one of the girls and stayed with her for the first half before passing her. A minute after our wave started, another wave went and I was almost immediately swallowed up by the top swimmers from that group. As we rounded the farthest buoy and headed in, I was quite proud of my sighting (spotting the next buoy and swimming in the straightest line towards it). One of my wave's competitors was swimming next to me but improperly sighted the buoy and I finished just ahead of him.

My swim time of 25:13 is still very, very slow, but without a wetsuit and given the perceived effort, it was about right, and importantly it is an improvement. I ran up to my bike, and headed out, thinking I had a great transition. Apparently I was mistaken, as I lost considerable time to my competitors here. No matter, I rolled out on the bike course. I am the only one in the top third of the race that was riding a road bike instead of a TT bike. Most of the clowns are decked out now in aero helmets, have sick aero and disc wheels, and nasty aero frames. I'll break my rinky dink TT bike out in September when I'm in shape for it. So I rode a fairly conservative ride, never being really taxed but kept the cadence very high. As we approached the finish, I passed another 2 riders. They were still in their aero positions while I was sitting up, no hands, stretching my back and drinking water. If only I could have swam as fast as they did. My bike split was just under an hour for what was right around 23 miles (short of a 40k), it was 17th best.

In T2, I again was under the impression I was moving pretty fast, but looking through the results it was again not the case. Gotta work on those transitions in August! I headed out onto the run though with my legs feeling the best they have ever felt I think. I hit miles 1-3 in 6:08, 6:09, 6:03. I was pleased with those times, but was really looking for everything to be around 6 minutes. I was running very comfortably, and was not putting myself in the red zone. Mile 5 was the toughest, assuming it was accurate I ran a 6:30. I really didn't feel like I slowed down that much, but apparently I did. Then in the last mile, despite feeling the onset of leg cramps, I managed to pick it up enough to split 5:56 (38:09, 11th best on the day). I always feel like a douchebag though because I ran three guys down in the last half mile, including one that I just absolutely sprinted past in the last 150m. My kick was akin to a kick we might have at track practice. Most people just don't have that energy at the end. Of course, while they're congratulating you afterwards, I had to remind most of them that they actually beat me on net time, because they started in the wave a minute after me. I just finally passed them by the end of the run. If I hadn't lost 7 minutes to the top guys in the water, and at least 5 to most everyone else, I wouldn't have to worry about outsprinting these 40 year olds.

I wound up in 15th, up from 24th last year, and was very pleased with my run, which was 1:03 faster than last year and 16th positions better (39:12, 27th in 2006). I have until September 8th to work out the kinks, do some bricks, get faster in the water so that I can try and rip through my 4 triathlons in 15 days goal.

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