Wednesday, September 29, 2010

32 degrees Sunday

For the last few weeks, I have been taking a few more lunch time runs to help preserve my heat acclimation. The thought being that it might be a very warm day at Twin Cities.

Now, I just checked the weather for Sunday and the morning temperature is expected to be 32 degrees. That is roughly 30 to 40 degrees cooler than I was expecting.

Rather than worrying about it being too warm, staying warm could be the difficult task – especially in the hands. Gloves at the very least will be something that I will be wearing on Sunday morning.


Thoughts from Cool Down Runner

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Magic 8 Ball confirms marathon goal time

Yesterday evening while wondering through the store with my daughter, I stumbled across a magic 8 ball. Now, magic 8 balls were a fade of days gone by but a few are still around setting store shelves.

What the heck, I picked it up, shook it, and then ask it about my goal marathon time.

My first question to the Magic 8 Ball was "Will I run time X:XX:XX at Twin Cities?"

Magic Ball's response was "Most Definitely"

My second question was "Are you sure?"

Magic Ball's response was "Yes"

My third question was "Are you really sure?"

Magic Ball's response was "Without a doubt".

At this point I put the Magic 8 Ball back on the shelf and was satisfied that no matter what my training has been like, the weather conditions, or anything else that might effect my race, the Magic 8 Ball has faith in me that I can do it.

The moral to the story is believing in our self is the hardest and sometimes having others believe in us gives us the extra determination needed to see a difficult task to the end.


Thoughts from the Cool Down Runner

Bib #120

With a little detective work I have discovered that my bib number for Twin Cities # 120.

Most people may not be aware but many of bigger races layout bib numbers by seed times. I don't know for certain that Twin Cities does this but I am assuming they do.

Thus, a goal that I ways have for a race is to finish higher than my bib number. Which means this Sunday, I have to finish with in the top 120 runners.

Looking back at the results from '09, the 120 place runners ran about 2 hours and 50 minutes so if the same pattern of finish times occurs on Sunday, I should be within that window.



Thoughts from the Cool Down Runner

Marathon Taper and Going to the Dentist

First, I am not saying that going to the Dentist is a bad thing or that it hurts, but for some reason it is something that I dread doing. And the waiting leading up to the appointment only gives me the time more time to think about what they will find i.e cavities and so forth.

How is that like a marathon taper? Well, this is how I draw the comparison. After months of running, running, and running, I am now find myself with loads of extra time before a big appointment – Sunday morning. I cannot do a whole without risking something that would hurt my marathon effort. Thus, I am left to set around and think about it.

Meaning I have tons of time to wonder: should have done more speed work, more tempos, more long runs, or worse I have done too many hard workouts and will I be too tired on race.

Too much time allows for an idle mind and an idle mind just leads me to worry too much.


Thoughts from the Cool Down Runner

Sunday, September 26, 2010

3 x 6 min and 4 x 1 min


My workouts are winding down to conclusion before Twin Cities. This morning my 2nd to last stressor workout was 3 by 6 minutes with 3 minute recovery followed by 4 by 1 minute on/off. My goal for this workout was to run them fairly close to my expected marathon pace. However, surprisingly my first 6 minutes was right on marathon pace. Most of the time, I am a notorious slow starter and build toward a strong finish. So it was really nice to be on target from the start. Each of the next 2 intervals was slightly faster the previous. The only thing that concerned me was my heart rate. Not sure of the exact reason, but my rate was running a little higher than expected. But once my recovery period started my heart drop right down to where I would expect it to be.

The final 4 by 1 minute on/off were what I call super strides because the pace for running them is similar to what my 200 meter type workouts would be. Mainly, the purpose of these extender workouts is to get the leg turnover up – somewhere around 100 strides per minute. Marathon training grinds the legs along mile after mile with a much slower leg turn over. Taking the opportunity to push the leg turnover up even just a little makes the marathon pace seem a lot easier.

Now, it is time for an easy afternoon.


Thoughts from the Cool Down Runner.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Good morning 10 miles

This morning Jeff and Chris joined me for some easy miles on the Davidson trails. After so much pounding on the roads, hitting trails gave a much needed break to my legs.

Setting here now, my legs are still coming around but both legs are starting to feel better. Last week, my mileage clocked in at 74 miles. Barring any major issues, my mileage should be about 73 this week. The miles will really go do down starting this week.

There are just two more stressor workouts: tomorrow and Wednesday.

My work out tomorrow has 3 x 6 minutes plus 3 x 30 seconds. The 3 x 6 minutes will have 3 minute recovery between each interval. Each 30 second interval will be followed by the 30 recovery. The idea behind this work out is to keep the marathon pace feeling in my legs and then follow it up with some speedy stuff. Even running 30 second really hard will make the longer intervals feel so much easier.

Then, on Wednesday my work out will be 6 x 2 minutes with 1 minute recovery. Most likely, the pace for this workout will be just a shade under marathon pace.

Then, it will be cruise time until Sunday.

My runs will be easy on Thursday and Friday. Saturday, my last work out will be 4 shake down miles plus a Tabata work out. Just so everyone knows this is not a new pattern for me. Since my return to marathon running in '08, my pre race workout plan has remained pretty much the same.

Using the same pattern lets me drift back into my comfort zone and that's a good thing. Being in my comfort zone means less stress leading up to my race.



Thoughts from the Cool Down Runner


Friday, September 24, 2010

Last Cycling Time Trial of the season

On Wednesday night, cyclists were going around Charlotte motor speedway in the last Carolina Cycling Time Trial of the year. Over the last couple of weeks, I kicked around the idea of skipping it since my Twin Cities marathon is just over ten days away. But motivation to do it overcame all of the sound reasons to skip it.

Luckily, with each faster ride my start time is being pushed back further and further. Last night my start time was 7:44.

There are pros and cons to starting late. Traffic is easier to navigate on the way to the speedway. The temperature tends to drop as the sun sets. Although, the temperature remained a little warmer than I expected for a fall September evening. Then, there is the wind which is the curse of every rider. Based on my observations, the wind tends to calm down later in the evening. The con is that it is so late in the evening so it makes for a long day.

Picked up my number in the registration are – hum – it was a yellow number. I was so hoping for a red number which has been my goal all year. I thought riders going under 24 minutes scored a red number. I guess I was wrong because my bib was yellow and still in the 300s. Oh, well, this will remain one of my goals to be conquered next year.

Normally, my warm up is about 40 minutes but sometime a change is needed so my warm up got shorten to 20 minutes. Then, I moved to the starting area which was virtually empty. Jumping right up to the starting line, I headed out.

Shifting up through the gears rolling out from the start is the most dangerous part of a time trial. Once I have reached my cruising speed; I will only shift up or down one or two gears depending on the wind and the elevation change.

For the first 5 miles, my Garmin was showing an average speed of 25 mph. This was right on my personal time trial record. Then, my legs started to suffer. Mentally, my focus was on the quads and each thought sent to them was "stay relaxed". Going up the front stretch, my average speed would dip below 25 mph and then going down the back stretch, I would push hard to gain back the lost time.

With 9 miles complete, I knew that I was close to a PR. I tried my best to dig down but it wasn't to be. Crossing the finish line, a new PR eluded me by mere 8 seconds – 23:55.

Was it disappointing? Yes and no. Like any athlete getting a PR makes all the work seem worthwhile. Missing a PR leaves any athlete wondering where they could have made up that time. In this case, the disappointment didn't last that long.

Putting the time trial into perspective, getting a personal record wasn't the goal of my last 6 weeks of training. My rides have been reeled back both in distance and intensity as the desire to run a marathon was more important.

But walking away, hope was abounding for next year. My riding has improved so much this year. Sometime, it is hard to believe I only started riding a road bike in July '09. I'll take a lot of what I have learned this year on the bike and apply it to my training next spring. Barring any accidents, there is still definitely more room for improvement.


Thoughts from the Cool Down Runner

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Last long run

This morning was my last long before Twin Cities. Nothing terribly exciting happed. It was just 16 miles at McAlpine. But it is good to know that this is the last long effort and just a couple of more speed sessions left before race day.


Start time for Twin Cities is getting closer by the second.



Thoughts from the Cool Down Runner

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

To Boston or not

To Boston or not, now there is an interesting dilemma. There are many times that running the Boston Marathon has crossed my mind. Usually, the idea just gets dismissed without too much thought. After all, the logistics of running Boston are as complicated as it gets. Quite possibly this is the very same reason that New York, Chicago, or any really big marathon has never really been on my to-do list.

There is just something about running a small to mid size marathon that is nice. Getting to starting line is usually very easy. There is no waiting at the expo. Fields are smaller and spread out much quicker. There are probably numerous other things that attract me to doing smaller marathons which could keep me writing for hours. However, keeping my post somewhat short is my primary goal.

Then, there is the lore of running Boston. Other runners have asked me – what is the one marathon that I would most like to do if I had my choice of only one? Boston wasn't at the top of the list. Running the original marathon course in Greece was at the very top. How could any thing top running original course that is basis for marathon efforts that we do today.

But the lore of Boston is strong to lot runners. Boston is a race with a long history and great tradition. Runners put their entire lives on hold while they pour ever ounce of their being into obtaining a Boston entry. And from what I have heard Boston welcomes all runners with open arms. What better way to attract runners.

For me, Boston really has not even been on my radar until recently. First, Nathan mentioned something about going next spring a few weeks back. Then, Megan said something about running on Monday. Nathan and I ran together this morning and he again broached the subject.

Thus running Boston next spring is like a song from the radio that keeps playing in the back of my mind and for some reason it just will not go away.

Do I qualify? The answer is yes based off the '10 standards. My age group has to run 3:30. Using this spring as point of reference my time is under the age group standard by 47 minutes. Going back to '09 my qualifying time is 51 minutes under the standard for my age.

Still the question lingers, should I run it? After all, I am not getting any younger.

October 18 the registration opens for Boston.



Thoughts from the Cool Down Runner

Monday, September 20, 2010

Morning Tempo Run

With most people running in the Blue Ridge Relay or racing this weekend, I wasn't sure if there would be anyone out for a morning run at McAlpine. However, a quick email out to Megan found that she was up for some miles.

After a few more emails, we settled on a 7am start from Old Bell entrance. This was perfect for me. I needed to get in some miles plus a 5 mile tempo and follow it with a 2 mile warm down.

It was good to see Megan back running again. She looks to be putting our "Back" issue behind her – "Pun intended – LOL". We stayed on the soft dirt for the first 5 miles and then I head out for a loop and ½ on the Mc Alpine cross country course.

My legs were not feeling the greatest but they soon settled into a nice pace. Back at the stage, Megan and I met up for the final miles back to Old Bell. This makes a perfect way to start the day.

-btw Ben, if you are reading this post, I hope you quads are feeling better. Downhill miles feel great at the time but leave the legs sore for days. Advil and ice always seems to help me.


Later follow runners.


Cool Down Runner

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Multi Sport workout yesterday

Yesterday, my run was pushed into the evening so my workout turned from two single workouts into one long multi sport workout. First, there was the 14 mile run with a 5 mile tempo which was followed by 4 x 1 minute on/off. The first 4 miles were warm up which was not really necessary needed since it was about 92 degrees and clear sunny skies. And, it was dry. I kept trying to spit yesterday, but it was a struggle. The tempo went pretty well. Each mile was run progressively faster. After the 4x1 surges, the rest was an easy recovery run back to my car.

There was a quick change of clothes and shoes before heading out for an hour and half bike ride. The first 30 minutes were tough. There didn't seem to be enough water getting into my system. Both water bottles were soon emptied. To get some energy back into my system, I was taking these Sport Beans every 3 miles. Slowly, it started to do the trick and my body started feeling a lot better. Sport Beans are a rarity for me. The tart taste is usually not something that my body craves. Yesterday, maybe because it was dry, my body was tired, or my body was just low on energy, the Sports Beans hit the spot. Now, for the million dollar question – is there any difference between a Sports Bean and a jelly bean. Inquiring minds want to know.

Sorry for the slight Sports Bean tangent.

My timing was bad finishing the 14 mile run so I missed the evening group ride. Not wanting to mix it up with any cars, my only really good option was to ride loops in the Business Park. Solo loop in the park are boring. Even if you try chasing other riders, it is still hard.

Darkness was settling in by the time my workout was coming to a close.

Such is life.

Overall, it was a tough day. Running and biking in 92 degree heat took something out of me. My body was well drained by the time that I returned home. Working out for 3 continuous even when in good shape can be taxing.

Luckily, today my run is just an easy 10 miles.


Thoughts from the Cool Down Runner

Monday, September 13, 2010

103 running and 158 riding

The last time my mileage topped 100 miles, I was 21 years old. I had never run 100 miles in a week before and wanted to learn how it felt. All I remember from that experience, it seemed like all that I did was run. Ironically, this is the same feeling that surrounded me all of last week.

Going out the door in the morning to get in as many miles as possible and then follow it with a ride in the evening.

Here's a sampling of the running miles:

Monday, I covered 24 miles with Nathan and Jon on the greenway.

Tuesday, I was solo for 11 miles

Wednesday, I ran 12 mile fartlek work 6 x 4 minutes with 4 x 1 minutes.

Thursday, I hooked up with Nathan for 10 miles plus 10 mile Tabata workout

Friday was 7 miles easy with a Tabata workout.

Saturday, well Saturday was 28 miles of running with a 12 mile tempo in the center.

Sunday, Nathan and I hooked up for another 10 miles.

But this was my last big week before heading into Twin Cities.


Here's a sampling of the biking miles:

Monday – off

Tuesday – 36 miles

Wednesday – 30 miles

Thursday – 40 miles

Friday – 30 miles

Saturday - off

Sunday – 22 miles

This makes me kind of glad that this was my last big mileage week before starting my Twin Cities taper. Now, there is less worry about accumulating a lot distance while keeping the focus squarely on intensity.


Thoughts from the Cool Down Runner

Sunday, September 12, 2010

28 mile run with a 12 tempo run in the middle

Yesterday morning, I was off for my last really long run and final marathon paced run before the Twin Cities Marathon. In the past, this is usually a solo run for me, but yesterday fortunately, I had a huge group come out to give me some support for this really long run: Caitlin, Jay, Paul, Derrick, Nathan, Mike, Adam, and Steve.

As per our typical marathon paced runs, we started with a 10 mile warm up in 75 minutes. Actually, it was closer to 11 than to 10.

My legs were feeling rather tired during the 10 mile warm up. I was regularly drifting off the back and had to make a conscious effort to stay up.

I would have probably dropped back but I was also trying to show everyone the turns on the course so that our 12 mile tempo would go much smoother. To help keep everyone on track, I had painted pink arrows ("for Caitlin") at all of the turns on Friday night.

Back at the park, everyone grabbed some water and fuel if they wanted it. Nathan and Derrick took a rain check on the tempo so Adam, Mike, Caitlin, Steve, and I ran the 12 mile tempo. Jay and Paul took the short loop for the 10 mile tempo.

Paul and Jay were soon out of sight on their run.

Our group settled in with a couple of 6:35s miles to start, and then Mike drops a 5:57 on the 3rd uphill mile. He pretty much brunt every match in my book to stay with him. He tested out Steve, Adam, and Caitlin as well. There was plenty of hard breathing by everyone.

We turned and headed through downtown area of Huntersville where Steve jumped out about 10 yards in front of us. He was definitely in good shape and it was showing.

We hit this short, tiny hill where I sensed a change in the pace. Mentally, I wanted to go with it but the legs and body were not responding. A 5 yard gap soon balloon to 100 yards. A quick check of my Garmin indicated that I was running about 6:11 miles but that 3rd mile effort had taken its toll on me.

Slowly, Mike, Caitlin, and Steve pulled away. By 7 miles, my body and a well done steak had a lot in common. Everyone had pulled away to the point that they were out of sight.

Caitlin is another one that was looking smooth yesterday. Three weeks from now, she will most likely surprise even herself.

My overall average was in 6:40s for the entire 12 miles but there were some 7 minute miles over those last 5 miles.

I was the last to make it back to the finish. Everyone had finished their efforts, but Mike did join me for the last couple of more miles. Then I was solo for the last 4 miles.

The best part was when I came back to my car where a nice bottle of Gatorade and banana were waiting for me. Special thanks to Nathan for supplying the post run refreshments, and to Mike for leaving my personal snack on my car. I drank the Gatorade in one shot.

From a long run perspective, this was one of my best and easiest long runs because 24 miles of it were a huge group run. But for the marathon paced run, I was a little disappointed, the legs just didn't respond the way that I expected. There was very little bounce in my legs. In hind sight, Mike's hard 3rd mile was more than my body was ready to handle. Letting him go would have been the best thing for me, but being stubborn is part of any runner's make-up. In this case, I doomed myself. It just goes to show that even experienced runners can be sucked out beyond their abilities.


Thoughts from Cool Down Runner

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Marathon Pace Run Course Map

I updated Map my run with the course map for Saturday's marathon paced run. We will use pretty the same course that we used for the 8 and 10 mile tempo runs, but we will tack on a few extra flat miles through the heart of Huntersville.

My objective was to keep the course as flat as possible, but I am limited by the area and with the idea mind that I want to keep you guys safe when you run it.

Course Map

This works in IE only.



Thoughts from the Cool Down Runner

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Fartlek - 6 x 4 min with 4 x 1 min

My workout today was 6 x 4 minutes with a 2 minute recovery followed by 4 x 1 minute with a 1 minute recovery. I preceded the workout with a 4 mile warm up and followed it with a 2 mile warm down. In all honesty, I dread workouts like one for a couple of reasons. This workout drags over a large amount of area and time. I mean I covered approximately 6 miles when I include the recovery portion in the overall mileage. The second reason is that I usually do these workouts alone so every time, it is just me and my Garmin. These workouts are much like any time trial because it is really a race against myself. With no one along, it is just me to determine how difficult the workout actually is. And, I am worlds worst because I never feel that I measure to where I feel that I should be.

I did give myself one break. I have pretty much stopped running track workouts in favor of fartlek workouts. To me, track workouts are mental torture. I go around and around with no real relief in sight. Further evidence to support doing fartlek workouts, road races hardly every involve perfectly flat ground with nice round turns at the end of each straight away. For me, usually fartlek workout has become a far better tool in my arsenal to running workout.

Oh, well, I thought I would share a few of my thoughts from my workout today.


Good Running from the Cool Down Runner


Tuesday, September 7, 2010

How long does it take you to recover from a workout?

Yesterday, I was running on the Mallard Creek Greenway with Nathan and Jon. To set the stage, I'll break down what we were doing. Nathan covered 10 miles or so with us while I stayed with Jon for 24 of his 26 miles. For whatever reason, my body just didn't bounce back very quickly afterward. In fact, for the remainder of the day my body was dragging. My quads and knees felt sore and stiff.

Even thou, I have done many of these runs before, I don't always do the best things before, doing, and afterward.

Going into the workout, I made sure to be well hydrated and thought I was well carbo loaded. Afterward, I started consuming water when I returned to my car and when I got home; I made sure to put some easily digestible food into my tummy.

The one thing that I didn't do is I didn't drink or eat anything during the run. The morning was cool and I was not planning to run all that hard.

Somewhere around 22 to 23 miles, I really started to feel it. My body and especially legs just didn't have any bounce. Running down hill my legs seemed to be revolting against my every movement. Jon even mentioned that I didn't seem to be running as well.

Another thing that I didn't do was that I didn't stretch when I finished. Probably because I felt so tired, I just changed shoes and headed home. Although, I didn't do everything wrong. I did do about 10 minutes of walking to help drain off the lactic acid in my legs.

I thought others might be interested in this topic. Normally, within an hour of completing my workout, my recovery has reached a level where I am ready to go for the rest of the day.

Yesterday, this didn't happen for me.


Thoughts from the Cool Down Runner


Friday, September 3, 2010

When a runner meets a car

Have you ever smelled burnt rubber? The kind of smell that lingers in the air after a tractor and trailer locks up its rear wheels. The smell is totally identifiable and very recognizable. That's the smell that lingers in my mind right now.

Earlier this morning, I was headed out for my 12 mile fartlek run. About a mile into it I was attempting to cross an intersection. This particular intersection is one of those that have double right turns. Coming up to the intersection, I had the light to cross but the guy setting there ready to pull out. You know the kind. He has one foot on the gas and one on the brake and is looking the other way.

Rather than chance running across in front of him, I decided to circle behind. Thinking this was the safest way to cross. Before stepping in the 2nd lane, I did a quick to see if there were any cars coming. All clear, so I started to cross. I am about half way across when I hear tires squealing. I don't have any chance to look. I bound up on to the hood of the car and as it stops I then slide off on to the road landing on my hands and feet. I was more stunned than anything else. I look at the woman setting in the driver's seat. Her eyes are as big as 50 cent pieces.

I looked at my hands, arms, and legs. There was only a trickle of blood running from my finger. I guess I cut it while sliding off the hood of her car.

She opens her car door to ask if I am okay as do some of the people in the surrounding cars. The mind was clearing just enough for me to say "yeah, I am fine".

I turn to run on but looked back at her to say "yeah, my bad". As much as she was probably going to fast coming into this intersection, much of the blame lies with me for cutting behind a car and stepping into a lane where I should not have been.

Luckily, the only serious damage was a small cut on my finger. Definitely, it was not enough to prevent me from finishing my workout.

Events like I try to not dwell upon. If I did, then I would be too scared to leave my home. No matter we do, there is always risk. From now on, I wait until the driver sees me and cross in front of the cars. While this is not totally safe, definitely, it is less risky than crossing behind cars.

A couple of side notes about adrenaline. This little incident pushed my heart rate way up. It was several miles later before it started to recede. I started my first interval and it easily pushed above my 180 because my Garmin heart rate alert was ringing like crazy, but after a few minutes of running, things settled down. My heart returned to what I expected for the reminder of the workout and everything pretty continued as normal.

And for anyone wondering, no, I would not advise as a new way to pickup girls – far too dangerous. And, running in traffic is something that I do on a regular basis so I guess that makes me a professional so for those of you at home please do not try it. LOL


Thoughts from the Cool Down Runner


Thursday, September 2, 2010

Carolina Cycling Individual TT Recap 9/1/10

Yesterday, I had a big night at the speedway with both an individual and team time trials in the same evening. This post will focus on the individual time trial with the team time trial coming out short time later.

I arrived at the speedway about a little before 6 pm to pick up my individual time trial packet and for the team time trial meeting. For some reason, I thought the meeting slated for 6pm. At least when I check-in for my packet, they said the meeting was at 6pm.

I ended up hustling back-and-forth from car to the registration area. I was trying to get myself and my bike ready and not miss the Team mandatory meeting. I grabbed a few miles on the bike, stood around for 15 minutes for the Team meeting, and then headed out for a few more miles before making my way to the starting area.

Normally, I like to get in a good warm up but last night I had to settle for about 5 miles. The engine was nowhere near being ready to ride, but sometimes you just have to go with it.

I rolled up to the starting chute. A couple of riders later they gave me my 10 second count down and I was off.

Normally, there are a lot of riders during my session, but for whatever last night the track was quite open.

A couple of guys passed me and I caught a few other rides but for the most part I was alone on track. Hard to believe, but it is true.

My first few laps my breathing was hard and labored. My legs still felt really tight. Then, slowly my breathing started to slow, and I was able to relax. The quads and hamstrings were stinging but no more than they usually do. I tried to just relax and just push the pedals with a consistently high cadence.

A quick check of my watch at 5 miles told me that I was slightly ahead of my PR. I knew if could just hold it and not fade over the last 5 miles that I could get it.

One key suggestion that they give all riders doing the time trial is don't go out too fast. Those last 5 miles can be extremely painful if riders do. I just hoped that I hadn't made this rookie mistake.

Those last 5 mile turned into a blur as I focus on rhythm of my legs just pumping on the pedals. By the time, I hit 9 miles I knew that I had a new PR in the bag. I shifted in my biggest gear and made for the finish line.

Clicking my Garmin, I had hit the line in 23:47 with is 25 seconds faster than my August time.

How did I do it? There were a few contributing factors that really helped. First, while the temperature was in the 90s, the humidity was very low which really helped. Secondly, there was barely any wind. Usually, I get a head wind at some point, but last night I never really felt it. These two factors can make huge impact on your overall time.

The other factor is tapering. One of these TTs I am going to actually taper for it. Riding with fresh and rested legs has got to be worth a few seconds at the very least.

I am not sure if I am doing the last TT. It is scheduled for a couple of weeks from now. But then it was only a couple of weeks away from Twin Cities. Rest is paramount to anything else leading up to a marathon.

Thoughts from the Cool Down Runner



Carolina Cycling Team Time Trial Recap 9/1/10

I had to wait and entire year for this event to roll around again, but the wait was well worth it. Last night at 8:48 PM I got my chance to roll off on the Team Time Trial. Before going any further, I would like to take a moment to thank Scott, Ben, and Wade for taking a chance and riding with me.

We only rode together once before last night and then spent a little time riding together last night. But thanks to some good advice from other riders and my solid team mates, we had a good safe effort.

I would be our lead out rider, Ben would follow, then Wade, and Scott.

Ben asked me just before the start if I had anything left in the tank. I certainly hoped that I did. I without doubt didn't want to let them down and would pull out all of my reserves to help them.

Our strategy was to roll off the lead rider every 45 seconds. This way we always gave everyone a break and 45 seconds equates to about a quarter of the track.

I tried not to take us out too hard. They only count the top 3 riders but when you drop someone, the work effort increases from ¼ to 1/3 which is significant. Thus, it is very important to keep everyone together for a long as possible.

We were catching other teams and at one point, we were going by the start finish line and we were among 3 teams riding 3 abreast. Ben was on the front and told us later that the race marshal was telling us to spread out. I don't know. At the time, I was riding behind and couldn't see anything but my team mates in front of me.

We were told that the laps flew fly by and they do.

Effort wise, pulling is no different than when I was riding the individual time trial, but when I am riding in the pace line. Life is so much easier. I never had to touch my brakes last night, but there were portions where I could ease up on the pedaling. If I didn't, I would have run into the Scott; who I am sure didn't want to run into Wade. Wade was doing likewise to Ben.

On the last lap, I pulled us around to the back stretch where I pulled over and let Ben pull through. I was looking out of the corner of my eye as they pulled past. Ben passed me, and then Wade pulled past. I was looking for Scott. We were pushing really hard at this point. That's when I realize that Scott had dropped off and I was 3rd man. Ugh, I had to dig deep to get back on Wade's wheel. Then coming off the final turn, we were laying it all on the line as we headed for the finish.

Our time according my Garmin was 23:38. This was a great effort for 4 guys who only spent a short time riding together.

Watching the Team Trial was great, but doing the Team Trial was even better.

Now, I have to start thinking about next year. Watching the other teams, it was pretty clear; they had been riding together for while. Next year, we definitely need to schedule some practice sessions before hand.


I cannot wait.



Thoughts from the Cool Down Runner