Jun 19, 2009

Pervasive Ads

I'm always amused by what ads pop up on my site... you may recall that I was losing focus at one point. This morning I saw the following after my recap post... wonder where the connection with looking for hot chicks and this blog come in??


Jun 18, 2009

Winding Trails Race Recap - 2009 #1

The first race of the season went down this past Tuesday and I had a good time as usual. The family was represented by myself, uncle Eric and cousin Jason...

The usual butterflies were in place being the first race and all but I got through that before the start of the swim. I did a really quick warmup in the water and then had get out for the first wave to go off. I'll be in the second wave all year since I don't swim under 7 minutes and that was the cutoff that they chose for the first wave. I felt really good throughout the swim and managed to draft a bit more than usual. Came out of the swim right behind Eric but passed him on the run up the beach. Time for the swim was 9:47 and 45th place, which includes the longer run to transition. I'm guessing it's a minute and a half to two minutes for the run which means about an 8 minute swim, not too bad.

Transition went fairly well and I jumped on the bike. My biggest issue on the bike is that the middle ring in the front is shot and was dropping the chain every time I put a lot of power on while in the second ring. In retrospect, I really should have brought it up to my buddy at Tolland Bike to get it fixed (I have since dropped it off so I don't get this excuse next week). Finished the bike feeling really good and ready to run. Time was 32:13 for 62nd place. Clearly, I think I could have gone faster with a better middle ring, but we'll see next week.

Off on the run, and the usual results... not great. It was exacerbated a bit by the sore ankle, but mostly my lack of running conditioning hurt. I've been trying to strike a balance between letting my ankle sprain heal and getting some good run training in. The run was where the excitement came in though... I was walking on the last hill when my uncle came by moving pretty good. Immediately I took off after him, and actually felt pretty good about my chances because I had been able to catch my breath going up the hill. The other factor was that you can't coast down to the finish from that point anymore, the line has been moved out. That was the difference maker, as he couldn't hold the pace all the way to the finish and I caught him just after the old finish line but with 100 yards or so to go and pulled away. Run time was 31:38 and my total was 1:13:38 for 75th place out of 128.

Check out the full results here: http://thelastmileracing.com/results/results2009/09windingtrails1.html

Nice job to Tom Cornish by the way... #1 overall on the bike!!


Jun 11, 2009

Sneak peak at Winding Trails 2009

Despite getting rained out on Tuesday night, I rode the new bike course and then followed it up last night with the official "Demo Day" at Winding Trails. The course has changed this year as the race has gotten much bigger, over 300 racers over the course of the year as opposed to 80 or so when I first started 5 years ago.

The swim course is the same, although I did find out that there will be 3-4 waves instead of the 1 or maybe 2 that we have had in the past. It appears that there will be an attempt to seed folks based on predicted swim times which would certainly be an important difference from the past. In order to support this they've moved to a chip system for tracking which will also give better split times and better accuracy. The other important difference is the location of the transition area which is going to result in a longer run out of the swim. It's close to a 300 meter run after getting out of the water on a sand covered road which has a couple interesting implications. First, coming out gassed and then running for that long will definitely slow down some folks and it will probably make sense to pace this run a bit more than the normal sprint. Secondly, your feet will be covered with sand so it may be worth having a water basin for your feet or even some shoes near the swim exit. Lastly, the question of where to take off the wetsuit will take some thought as well, I haven't entirely decided what my thoughts are on this yet.

I got a chance to ride the bike course twice and although I was originally disappointed because it seemed easy, I think it will be a decent course and definitely structured to not get congested. The main difference from last year is that the first mile or maybe even two is wide open trail and although it's a bit hilly it will be fast. Clearly the goal was to get the racers to spread out and I think that will be the case on this course. It gradually adds some single track and some hills as you get through the bike course. There is still very little technical demand to the course but cornering skills will be very helpful in making a difference to your race. It's definitely a twisty course with a lot of braking and accelerating where bike handling will help you a lot in addition to being in shape. The final touch of the course is where you ride on the deep sand that they laid down to protect the feet of swimmers running into transition... ug, really sucks your legs down just as you're ready to run!

The run course is the same as it was last year but shifted a couple hundred feet to the new transition area. Ultimately, this means a few less steps to warm up before the hill and then your finishing kick will obviously have to start at a different spot. I'm thinking just as you get to the bridge... but this will have to play out over the course of the season.

All in all, I'm really looking forward to next week and the start of the "real" season!


Jun 10, 2009


No race at WT last night, but it was postponed to today. Hoping to get back there tonight and bring my latest newbie along with me...

I did go for a bike ride on the course last night, it's changed from last year. It felt a bit longer, probably because there was no one else on it and we weren't pushing hard. Also, I have to admit to being a tad disappointed that it wasn't more technical. I have an advantage on tougher bike courses because riding skill becomes more important than fitness :) However, most of the single track sections are still in and the steep hill is still there but they've all been moved to the end of the course. I suspect the thinking is that this will allow racers to spread out a bit before the logjams.... we'll see how it plays out.


Jun 8, 2009

Rec track at Soapstone

Took "our kids" to Soapstone Mtn to run for track on Saturday... one of the parents took some pictures, check them out...


Jun 2, 2009

Winding Trails!!

Free demo day next Tuesday!!

Worth a trip out to check it out, then the weekly series starts the week after.


Made the big time...

Sometimes it takes years, sometimes it takes months... we all dream about hitting it big and making it to the next level. When you get a break and it happens, you feel on top of the world. I've managed the feat once before when I won the Mr Average award at the Winding Trails race in 2007!

Yes, I was invited to play with the "A" team in Racquetball in the mornings!!

Note, while the above is a bit of sarcasm, I am indeed playing Racquetball tomorrow morning with the group of guys that have been playing for years. I'm really looking forward to it, it's been nice to have a regular game with Eric on Thursdays, and this will give me the chance to play even more.

The critical question??? Lefty or Righty?


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