Sunday, May 17, 2009

Race Report: Queens Biathlon

Yesterday I wasn't sure if I was going to do the Queens Biathlon (run 3/bike 20/run 3). I had a pretty long day working. Immediately afterwards, a couple of good friends surprised us so we went to dinner at Blue Ribbon (try the bone marrow marmalade!) and walked for probably an hour to ease down the food. When we got home, I thought I should prep my bike and gear anyways and try to sleep early. Finally decided that around midnight, I'd race if it wasn't raining.

Woke up, and whaddya rain. Packed up, left relatively early at about 6am so I had time to commute and sign up once there. It was an unpleasant commute once I got out of the train. I rode 5 cold and windy miles, which I figured would be a precursor for the cycling part of the race.

Once there at about 7:20, I met up with colleagues doing the race and also cheerleading. I always appreciate when friends are rooting us on. Also chatted with a few familiar faces from last year's race.

The race started at 8am. I'm guessing there were 200 max participants. Started towards the back. I always find that more fun when I know I'm not going to kill myself racing. Picking off people helps me to move faster.

Leg 1 - 3 mile run (~21:30)
  • Times are approximate until official results are out
  • Very hilly out and back run
  • I believe that going out too fast, particularly in races that last more than 90 minutes, does a lot to decrease performance and increase pain and recovery period. Even so, heart rate reached 181 in the last 100meters at the end of the leg.
Leg 2 - 20 mile ride
  • It was a brutally windy course heading out to the turnaround. I don't even know what the gusts were, but I'm guessing it hit 30mph against the riders. The course is a 5 mile out and back course done twice.
  • During the first loop, since I have not been biking at all, I realized I wouldn't have any biking power. Consequently, just tried to spin comfortably on the way out. On the back half of the first loop, I let my nifty little Lightspeed rocket me to other riders ahead.
  • In the second loop, I spun at a higher gear to get a little more speed on the way out. The winds were still unrelenting. On the way backside of the second loop, I was able to take off again and was able to catch more people.
Leg 3 - 3 mile run
  • The first 3/4mi or so, I couldn't feel my legs! I knew I was running, but my legs just were seemingly absent. If you've done a brick workout before, you know what I mean. This was my first brick workout since...last year when I raced the Queens Biathlon :-)
  • I thought I could pick off a few people in this last leg because I was relatively fresh. According to Phil, I moved up from 20th to about 14th.
  • The last 800m is uphill. I wanted to catch this one last guy that was about 100m ahead at the 1.5mi mark. I was able to pass him with about 50m to go, then both of my quads started to cramp up. I knew at the finish line, he would pass me again if I wasn't able to loosen them up. Obviously not enough time for that so I got passed with 10 yards to go. Ugh. My consolation is that I started at the back of the pack so I probably finished ahead of him anyway :-)
  • I didn't even look at the clock when I crossed, but luckily Phil recorded it. I crossed, gun time, at 1:37:06. I'm guessing it took about 30-45s to get to the starting line, which would make my final time around 1:36:30.
Wrapping Up
  • I think multi-sport events are always a lot more fun.
  • Didn't place in my age group this year :-(
  • Figured out how to use the Garmin 405 for multi-sport events only after the race
  • I'll do this again next year :-)

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