Riding for a Reason

Changing the world, one mile at a time

Closing the Book on My First Season

 Last Sunday I competed in the Latebird J-Hawk Triathlon.  This was the same course as the first triathlon I competed in back in April.  The weather for this race was much better than in April, but the conditions still weren’t ideal.  Six of us were competing and all got placed into the same wave, which was nice.  We all arrived at about 7:30 for our 9:12 start time.  It was calm when we got there, but the forecast was for the winds to pick up throughout the day… not a good sign considering out in Whitewater there isn’t a lot of buildings to block the wind. :)  A big of change from the Earlybird race was the now everyone had race chips which allowed for accurate split and transition times.

I started out strong on the swim.  I was feeling good and wasn’t getting very fatigued.  My first split clocked at 9:50, which is about on par from my previous three races.  Still I know if I focused more on training for swimming I could probably get another minute trimmed off of there.  However, I have bigger weaknesses to focus on. ;)  The T1 transition I still need to focus on.  I’ve cut down how much I need to do in that transition to trim some time, but I still have difficulty getting my barrings together after getting out of the water.  About 3:14 later I was on my bike and off on the route.

 Bike Route

Bike Route

 Doing this route for the second time definitely was an advantage.  I knew what turns were coming next and what kind of terrain to expect.  Unfortunately, the winds are what got to me.  Starting out there were strong winds coming from the west.  Considering that most of the ride was heading north and south, that gave me no help and really just kind of pushed my bike all over the road for most of the ride.  I had about a mile of having the wind at my back, otherwise I was fighting the winds and riding in the drops most of the way.  I managed a respectable time of 46:23 on the bike with an average speed of 18.1mph.  My goal was to get at least 19mph, but on a day like this, that just wasn’t going to happen.  I had a great T2 time of 1:48, but I felt pretty gassed getting off of the bike.  I headed out to the cross-country trail for the 5k.

Run Route

Run Route

 It was nice to do this running route when it wasn’t drenched from the rain.  After getting a sip a water and walking for a few seconds to get my heart rate down, I was off.  I felt pretty good running.  Going through the nature preserve was pretty peaceful and helped me stay focused on the task at hand.  I didn’t really see anyone on the run, which made it difficult to try and pace myself, but for the first time, no one passed me during the race.  That was a first for me. :)  Granted there were only about 200 people total in the race, but hey, you have to have your achievements somewhere!  I finished the race strong and finished with a time of 1:35:27, about 13 seconds off my PR.  It wasn’t the time that I wanted to finish in, but given the more difficult bike and run courses, I will take that time into the off-season.  In all, I would say I had a successful season.  The first triathlon I did I finished in 2:03:38 and 5 months later I managed to trim more than 28 minutes off of that time.  Not too bad!  Like I’ve said before, this is a great triathlon to do for anyone who’s looking to get into the sport.  The swimming is in the lap pool which, for many people, is the biggest deterrent for doing a triathlon.  There is plenty of helpful staff around and they understand that many of the participants are newbies.

What’s Next?

Next I am going to spend the rest of the month of October resting my body.  My shin splint is still hanging around, so I’m going to stay away from running.  I’ll be hitting the pool once or twice a week to keep that fitness level going and I will probably try to bike to work a couple more times before it gets too cold.  After that I’m looking into getting a coach for the high expectations I’ve set for myself next season!

In regards to my Riding for a Reason campaign, I am getting ready to order my LIVESTRONG jersey and shorts.  After that I will be setting up my 2010 Grassroots Fundraising page and begin some preliminary fundraising.  I’m looking for corporate sponsors to place on my jerseys, so if you’re interested, check out my About page or feel free to e-mail me.

 
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October 5, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

2016 Olympic Cycling to be held near Madison?

Chicago2016There has been a lot of talk lately about the 2016 Olympics and Chicago’s chances of landing the bid.  We will find out next Friday, October 2nd, when the host city is announced.  More importantly for Cycling fans and the State of Wisconsin, the mountain and road cycling events would be held near Madison in Blue Mounds, WI.  The area is well known for it’s hilly terrain and is host to the annual Horribly Hilly Hundred ride.

Here’s a great ESPN article about choosing the location for the course.

Olympic bid could help bring high speed rail to Wisconsin

With the cycling events scheduled to be held about 160 miles from the host city of Chicago, transportation could be an issue for both the athletes as well as spectators.  Cars will not be allowed at the venue, so spectators would need to be shuttled to the race.  This would add yet another argument for Wisconsin to build a high speed rail from Chicago to Milwaukee to Madison by that time.  In addition to cycling events, the sheer volume of people attending the olympics would add tourism opportunities for both Madison and Milwaukee to host visitors with the dense population of Chicago.

Want to test out the course?

It may not be the mountains that cyclists climb through in the Tour de France, but this isn’t a walk in the park!  The 22-mile loop ranges in elevations from 750 to 1,750 feet.  Here is the mapmyride.com route.  If you want to check out a race there, check out the Tour of America’s Dairyland.

Map

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

Elevation

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September 23, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Another unfortunate triathlon death

I read the new this morning, only to find out that the third life has been claimed from triathlons in Wisconsin this year.

It is very unfortunate.  As  the popularity of this sport grows, so too do the deaths.  The basis of doing a triathlon is so positive and has the capability of changing your life for the better.  It is so easy to get wrapped up in those feelings, that you overlook the physical challenges of competing and any potential health risks that you have.

Triathlons are great because it’s an experience shared by people of all walks of life, all shapes, sizes, and ages.  It has the ability of sucking you in and pushing your body to it’s limits.  In reading about the last 2 deaths, it appears that all of these individuals had been training for at least 8 months, which is about average for a new triathlete.  They had most likely already made that lifestyle change and gotten into the routine of building their endurance.  Unfortunately, I think that sometimes the least amount of training comes in the most serious leg of the race.  I too, am guilty of this.  It’s very difficult sometimes to plan for training in a pool.  If you don’t belong to a gym and don’t have the availability of a local pool to practice in, it can be difficult to build up your endurance.  While it is true that the beginning of the race generally gives you an extra boost of andrenline, it also can put more stress on your heart, especially when the water temperature is still relatively cool in the early morning.  On top of that, many times, that first triathlon is the participants first time swimming in the open water.  The current, waves, 50+ people in the water with you, and not having a lane line to follow adds stress on your body and anxiety that can cause you to rush your breathing and shorten your stroke.

For others that are preparing for their first triathlon, make sure you have had a physical in the last 12 months.  Try to discover any Continue reading

August 10, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , | 2 Comments