Sunday, June 10, 2012

I Was Running...

So here we go again with another non-cycling adventure.  This time I would run a 5k as part of the Rockin' Tomahawk 5k and Half Marathon.  It was slightly breezy, hot, and thank god it was only a 5k on tap for us today.  

(Photo: Sam Lund)
We would take to the course 5 minutes after the half marathon started so after they took off we strutted our way to the start line track parade of athletes style.  I knew it was going to be important to get a spot up front as I didn't want to dodge multiple people while I try to track down the leader, but that would still happen about a mile into the race.  Immediately, I knew before this thing started that I would need to keep Connor Ahrens and Dylan Dahl (both 2012 THS grads) in my sight if I wanted a good result, both are very capable of some fast times and of course we had Reuben Frey from UWSP looking to get out to a fast start as well.  The  airhorn sounds and quickly Reuben, Connor, and I formed a breakaway and it was game over almost before we rounded the first corner.  Couldn't see the chasers, and as we got to Sammy's Subs, we started to split apart, first Reuben kicked it up and built a 10 second gap and then Connor started started to pull away from me at about the same distance.  We would start catching half marathoners about a half mile into it and it started to become difficult to find Connor through the crowd, but I could still see him dodging through 100's of people pacing themselves on their 13.1 mile journey as we basically sprint by them as it would seem anyway.  So the first mile was pretty quick, about 5:35 or so, but now we would begin to go uphill along the hogsback, I would still be dodging people left and right just trying to stay out of trouble all while keeping tabs on connor and I could see him getting closer foot by foot, but just as I thought I was making ground I would lose sight of him as we headed out of Bradley Park to not be seen again.  The two mile mark I was feeling pretty good, but did not like being on the blacktop again and running along the sara park runway I was glad to be closing in on the finish.  Reuben came across in 17:08 first overall, Connor in 2nd at 19:04, and I would finish 3rd overall at 19:40.  I wasn't too thrilled with my time, but it was a hard course with more hills than I remembered so I am okay with that as I was rewarded for the effort not the time right!!??  Anyway,  that was a great race, great volunteers, promoters, timing and everything.  


Other News: In the Half Marathon, Andy Schiltz came through 4th overall making it a successful day for athletes powered by infint nutrition.  Jason Vanden Elzen ran his first ever 5k and finished solidly well into the top half of the field.  Great job to everyone who braved the heat on Saturday.

(Photo: Angie Larson)
Afterwards we talked about the race, I blabbed about bikes, we talked about future races and plans...lovin life.

Saturdays medalists and overall winners.  Sorry Twin Six for blocking your beautiful shirt, but the 1st place medal was just necessary to get in the way hahaha.  Don't worry I got you in here Rudy Project and Infinit

(Photo: Angie Larson)
THS Cross Country Runners:  Past, wayyyy past (me), and the future.
Left to Right: Connor Ahrens, Justin Lund, Austin Kaiser, Emmy Larson, Stephanie Welke
After that it would be time to get out and enjoy the weekend and have some fun in the sun, clearly Charlee here doesn't have to be asked twice if she wants to go on a boat ride.  She fell asleep on the boat just as we got back to shore,  she was all partied out.  What a perfect ending to a perfect weekend.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Nine Mile WORS

What a day out there at Nine Mile for race #3 in the WORS series.  Still getting used to Sunday races and taking off from the start line in the afternoon.  It's a bit of a difference coming from the WEMS series start times that is for sure, but I think I got the important things down, like when to eat and leave for the venue. I arrive just before the start of the sport race and I couldn't believe the number of cars parked along the road, but a staff member pulled up just as I did and told me there were spots by camping available if I hurry it up.  So parking close to the course was nice even though it was in the glaring sun.  I did get everything ready straight away so I didn't rush and then immediately searched for shade to stretch it out before the warm up.

My warm up consisted of a 5 minute spin and I litterally spun my legs into shape as they felt a little heavy this morning, then picked it up for brief moments just to break a sweat and breath a little heavier.  From there I jumped into the singletrack across redbud to get acquainted with with the granite singletrack.  Easy spin with a couple of jumps up the hills and then back again in the shade to stretch before the Don yelled go.

From the start I think I learned my lesson from Rhinelander.  I stayed in control and rode hard but not out of my mind in the first mile leading up to the first section of singletrack where a very important meeting or seminar was being held in a way that we had to each wait our turn before we were allowed to the enter the singletrack, but at least we got a break after the leadout.  This put me in an interesting position of actually being the one that was more in control of his bike in the tight stuff than those around me,  I continuously want to improve my tech skills, but today I felt quite comfortable and almost fearless more emphasis was placed on getting ahead of people before that next section.  So with that, I felt lap one went okay once I got around some of the traffic and began to go to work on the 2nd lap.  Funny thing was though that I kept on going back and forth with some of these guys, I would gap them in the singletrack and the climbs but would reel me in on the flats, that is till I caught jim peterson.  This dude was riding out of his mind as he just got crashed up (partly my fault since I got brake checked coming out of section 12 everybody else got collected as I was already over the log pile.)  We basically rode the rest of that lap together and really put some time into that group until section 4 where I dropped the chain the first time.

3rd lap was more or less the same, I struggled maintaining speed up to that first section of singletrack, but felt about right everywhere else, I would catch a glimpse of jim here and there on the climbs but would disappear in the singletrack again, this would be the last I would see of him for the rest of the day which sucked cause the way we were riding on lap 2 we probably could have moved up pretty good as that's exactly how I wanted to ride, I would lead up the climbs and he would destroy the singletrack.  3rd lap though was consistent and made the attack on the last lap.  I didn't necessarily attack anybody on that last lap, I just wanted to attack the course and finish strong.  I would, however, lose the chain again in section 9 and lost my front shifter up the climb where the water station was, but really none of the mentioned mechanicals took all that much time out of me, just opportunities lost.  I would even cramp a little bit on that last lap, but it was very early stage and besides I found it strange that it even happened, hell I never ever ever cramp, but it would leave by the time I got into the last burst of singletrack.

This was probably the most fun I had in a race in a very long time.  Great to actually be racing with people instead of being off the back just trying to catch one or two having a bad day.  I was quite a fan of this course of well.  Great job to all the volunteers and everybody involved in the event.

Results link is now working.  57th overall and 17th in age.   Good progress.  Important thing is I had a blast out there.  Time to flip the script and run a fast 5k next weekend.