Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Top Spokane residents times at Bloomsday

Top Spokane Runners at Bloomsday

Congrats to Paul Limpf and Rachel Jaten for making the top 20 list this year!

*This list is a work in Progress, please send me any updates if you have them!

1. Forest Braden Spokane, WA  35:45 2009
2. Mike Brady    Spokane, WA     36:29 1984
3. Mike Layman  Spokane, WA     36:30 1980
4. Rob Greer      Spokane, WA     36:42 1984
5. Rob Greer      Spokane, WA     36:45 1983
6. Mike Brady    Spokane, WA     36:46 1986
7. Mike Layman Spokane, WA     37:05 1982
8. Rob Greer      Spokane, WA     37:12 1987
9. Phil Burkwist Spokane, WA     37:18 1982
10. Don Kardong Spokane, WA  37:22 1981
11. Mike Hadway Spokane, WA   37:24 1985        
12. Michael Brady Spokane, WA  37:24 1981         
13. Rick Riley        Spokane, WA  37:25 1981          
14. Don Kardong Spokane, WA  37:32 1980
15. Jason Fayant Spokane, WA   37:34 2003
16. Evan Sims    Spokane, WA     37:44 2012
17. Paul Limpf  Cheney, WA  37:45  2013
18. Rob Greer   Spokane, WA     37:52 1989
19. Corey Brantley Spokane, WA 37:52 2001        
20. Don Kardong Spokane, WA  37:56 1979

1.Kim Jones   Spokane, WA   40:28 1996
2.Kim Jones   Spokane, WA   40:34 1997
3.Kari McKay   Spokane, WA   41:32 1997
4.Kim Jones   Spokane, WA 41:52 1995
4. Kim Rosenquist Spokane, WA 41:52 1987
5.Kim Jones  Spokane, WA  41:58 1990
6.Kim Jones    Spokane, WA   42:17 1998
7.Kari McKay   Spokane, WA   42:22 1998
8.Kim Jones   Spokane, WA   42:24 1991
9.Kim Rosenquist Spokane, WA 42:26 1986
10.Kim Rosenquist Spokane, WA  42:39 1984
11.Kim Jones  Spokane, WA 42:54 1989
12.Kim Rosenquist  Spokane, WA  43:13 1985
13.Kim Jones  Spokane, WA  43:15 1992
14.Kim Jones    Spokane, WA    43:40 1999
15.Kari McKay   Spokane, WA   43:41 2002
16.Rachel Jaten Spokane, WA  43:48 2013
17.Kari McKay    Spokane, WA     43:52 1991
18.Janet Collar   Spokane, WA     44:10 2007
19.Janet Collar   Spokane, WA     44:15 2011
20.Janet Collar   Spokane, WA     44:29 2010

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Wildflower 2012

The week leading into, and following, Wildflower has been an interesting time. The triathlon community in Spokane has been handed some hard times. It's times like these that really make racing feel insignificant. These events have reminded me how valuable time with the people you love truly is. I am so very blessed and lucky to live the life I do. Every day you get in this life is valuable and if you are not doing what you enjoy most in life, and spending time with the people you love, you are wasting time. My thoughts and prayers will daily be with the people affected these last two weeks.     

If you want the short version of my race report here are the quick facts.

Place- 12th Overall (6th American)
Overall time-4:13:23   (an 11 minute improvement over last year)
Bike- 2:27:34  
Run-1:14:26   (Fastest Pro run split of the day) 

Here is the full account of the day.

The swim is the event that I am usually most unsure about. It always creates a guessing game at the first race of the season, as to what your time may be. I made sure to get a good warm up this year. I have learned that I swim a lot better with a good warm up. I swam out to the first turn buoy and back for my warm up. The race started with a count down. As the numbers decreased my anxiety increased, and after the call of one we were off! The swim start was fast and rough. The fast swimmers went off the front like torpedoes, and a main pack of contenders quickly formed. For a short while I could see this pack, but very quickly they pulled away. For the majority of the swim I stayed in what I call no man’s land. The lake was very smooth; I had open water ahead of me, and a gap to the next group of swimmers behind me. At this point I just stayed relaxed and thought about all the stroke critiques that my swim coach (Kevin Wang) always gives me at practice. Coming out of the water I was very thrilled to see the clock. I swam a new PR by 15 seconds. Any time you set a PR no matter how big or small you always have to be happy.  

Bike-2:27:34 (a five minute improvement over last year)
Coming out of the water always feels hectic. I was in such a hurry to get out of transition and start riding hard, that I almost ended my race in the first 700 meters. The beginning of the wildflower bike has some quick twists and turns that quickly unfold. I misjudged a sharp left hand descending turn, and entered it a little too fast. My reaction caused me to lock up my back brake and sent my back wheel sideways. The crowd all gave a gasp waiting for my crash, but luckily I kept the bike upright. If I had one word to describe the rest of my ride, I would use the word controlled. You can go ride till your eye balls bleed, but you will pay heavily later in the race. I wanted to ride as fast as I could, but still in a manner that set me up for a solid run. In the past I have been a very aggressive punchy rider, and at times I have paid for it on my run. The first part of the ride I did not see too many athletes, but in the last third of the bike I really started to pull riders back in. For me this was exciting. It was nice to no longer spend the bike leg riding alone, sometimes even wondering if I am even still on the race course because I have not seen anyone for quite some time. This was my first race riding off of power and I am excited for the next race to try it again. My power meter really helped me stay honest the first section of the bike when I was by myself and set me up for a great run.    

Run- 1:14:26 (fastest Pro Run split of the day)
Whenever I race a triathlon my level of anxiety decreases with each event. The swim is the event that always makes me the most nervous, the bike I feel much more comfortable on, and the run simply feels like home. Once I put those shoes on and start running most worries have left my head. Just like my bike at wildflower, my run was very calculated. Living on a state park, and doing almost all of my running on trails, I have plenty of practice keeping a steady effort on very inconsistent terrain. This is something that makes wildflower very hard. Yes, it is easy to keep the same pace on flat ground or a track, but can you keep your effort consistent in extremely varying terrain? I came out of transition quickly and realized that I needed to slow down. I felt good, but I had to be realistic, and know that wasn’t an effort I could sustain for the whole race. I didn’t see anyone up the road, but was hoping the competition wasn’t too far ahead. At the first mile I had the first person in my sights. I really wanted to push hard and catch them quickly, but I knew I needed to stick with my pace and know he will come back in time. The flat sections I based really off of how I felt. You could say it was a perceived effort. For the long uphill’s I would switch my watch over to the screen showing heart rate. I knew the numbers I needed to stay below in order to not damage myself for later in the run. For the majority of the run I felt great. I would sing songs in my head to pass the time, and just focus on staying relaxed.  With every person I passed my excitement grew. Quickly I realized that I was getting close to the top 10 of the race. This made me very excited! The whole day I kept thinking about the fact that if I wanted to get paid I needed to be in the top 10. With 3 miles to go I could see 11th and 10th place not that far up the road. I was starting to hurt a little bit at this point, but I wanted a top 10 badly! With every step I took I got closer to overtaking the two pro men ahead of me. I knew it would be close. If I wanted my first top 10 I would need to dig deep. With a mile and a half to go I knew nothing on my watch mattered. I needed to suck it up and go for it. This last section is uphill. I was giving it my all, but the two men ahead of me were staying the same distance away. At the top of lynch hill I knew they were out of reach. At this point I decided to enjoy the finish. This fall, winter, and spring I have put more effort into training than I ever have. Even though I had not made the top 10 this race was a huge breakthrough for me. To go 11 minutes faster than last year's time, made me excited! Later I found out that it was the fastest pro run split of the day, something I want to try to achieve at every race this year.

Thanks you’s   
There are so many people that made this race possible for me.

Fitness Fanatics- You guys are always so willing to help me, keep my bike running smooth, and help me get the right supplies I need for the season. Thank you Robin and your crew for supporting me and always helping me since the day I started triathlon.

Chris Louis-Thank you for getting to California before me and helping me get so many things together. This trip would not have been able to happen without you. Hopefully someday soon I will be old enough to rent a car in California on my own.

My parents- My parents are my biggest supporters. I am very lucky to have the family I do surrounding me. I would not be the person or athlete I am today if it was not for them. Thanks mom and Dad.

Staff at Tri Cal- The Crew at wildflower treats everyone so great! This year I did not have to camp and was put up by the race director in an amazing house on the lake. They fed me for 3 days, and went above and beyond to make us feel welcome.  Thank you Dixie, Kendra for all your hard work. To my roommates Tim, Mariane, Christine, Steven, and Own. I had a ton of fun staying in a house with you guys. 

Robyn Louis- Thanks for putting up with me all weekend even when I got really nervous before the race. Thanks for helping me get everywhere I needed to be. Thanks for cheering for me, and supporting what I do. I am very lucky to have you :) 

My Sponsors-Without my sponsors I would not be able to compete. You can find all my sponsors placed on the side of this blog. They are all companies I believe in and have products that rock. Thank you for supporting me! 

Up next for me is Boise 70.3. After that I will be giving a go at my very first Ironman. I am very excited for a hometown Ironman at CDA. 

Here are some photos from the day
                               Our Sweet House for the Weekend!

Building up my bike in the dark! 

Start of the Pro Mens Race!

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Snake River Half Marathon 2012

The 2012 Snake River half marathon was my second ever open half marathon. I have run plenty of half marathons, but all of the others came at the end of triathlons. For me an open half marathon hurts a lot more than running at the end of triathlon. Yes they both hurt, but they are both a different kind of hurt. For me Triathlons are more of a mental pain, they still hurt physically don't get me wrong, but you are not running on the rivet like in a open race. To say I was excited for this race would be an understatement. I had two goals; 1.)Set a new Open half marathon PR 2.) See where my early season fitness is at.

For This blog I am going to do something different. For the first time ever I wore My Garmin watch with Heart rate. Lets take a look at how the race unfolded by looking at the data. Each one of these pictures will have a blue highlighted part on the graph, this is what I am referring too in the paragraph below each picture.

If you want to play with the file and look at all the graphs you can find it here http://tpks.ws/AfH4

Evan Sims started fast, and withing the first 400 feet I decided the pace was too quick and let him go. The first 400 meters was well under 5:00 minute pace (pace is the Blue Line) and as you can see in the graph, I quickly decided to slow it down and get on a pace a I knew I could sustain.

This next highlighted part is the out section on the course all the way until mile 6.3 (almost the turn around). My effort (HR is the red Line) was a little higher and stayed elevated because I was running into a head wind for this section. Evan was about 20 feet ahead of me and I was breaking the wind on my own. I Kept thinking this is stupid on my part. Since we were staying the same distance apart, I knew I should just catch up and let him break the wind. But Every time I would try to pick up the pace, it seemed like Evan would do the same. I knew I would also risk going beyond my threshold too soon in the race, if I tried to hard to catch him. If you go beyond your threshold in a distance event, the damage cannot be reversed. My pace jumped around a lot during this section and I really think it was due to the changes in wind.

About 400 Meters before the turn around, I hit the darkest point of my race. As you can see my Heart rate drops off for a while(even with a tail wind). This was the point where I started to cramp up and get into trouble. I suddenly found myself in a funk for a little over a mile. Mentally I started to doubt myself, and the negative thoughts started pouring into my head. I was cramping, it hurt, and I really just wanted to stop. I saw third place run in the other direction and I thought to myself "crap I am shutting down and he is going to catch me". In the meantime Evan had put the hammer down and was gone up the road. He was running like a beast. I was giving it my all and shutting down in his wake. This is the point in the race that matters most. The point of most struggle. I had to stop myself from thinking all the negative thoughts, and really only let myself focus on keeping good form. Luckily for me I started to feel better. The proceeding sections were some of my fastest sections of the race. I was dipping below 5:00min pace and doing everything I could to bring Evan back. People running the other direction were giving me encouragement, and it was giving me mounds of motivation.

Whenever I run a half marathon, I always tell myself it is just a 10 mile race. Really the goal is to nail it for 10 miles, than hang on for 3. My thought process is that you can always run 3 miles, no matter how bad you are hurting. This race threw me for a loop though. I had hit the point where my 10 miles were up, it was time to hang tough. The problem was that the wind had suddenly shifted directions and my last couple miles were into the strongest headwind of the day. My pace dropped considerably. If you look at the photo my Heart rate (effort) stays at the same level, but my pace suddenly starts to drop. At this point I started doing math in my head, and thinking about how close I was to my PR. I knew I had to give it my all!

The Very last section of the race is just a ramp up to the finish line. Both in pace and effort. Once you are at less than a mile to go, all the cards should be on the table. There is nothing left to hold back and it is your last chance to leave everything on the course.

Overall my Splits were all over the place. Really I think this is due to the always changing wind. At some points I was flying with a tail wind and at other points running into a headwind. The very last split .16 of a mile is a little off because I forgot to stop my watch at the finish line.

This is a graph of my 5 heart rate zones. As you can see I spent 98% of my time in my threshold zone, and really didn't spend any time above it.

Overall I am very happy with this race! It was not the time I was gunning for, but it was a PR by almost a minute. My Official time Posted after the Race was 1:09:31. I will take that time this early in the year! I know I left everything I had on the course. I have lots of data to look at, and apply to my training. It is still early in the year and I still have some time to improve on my run. Just in case you are curios, I did not take anything on the course. No water or Gatoraid. With the cooler temps there was really no need. My hat goes off to Even Sims. He Ran a new course record all by himself and was very impressive. If you look at the results sadly you will not see his course record of 1:07:45. The race filled up very quickly, filling before Evan got a chance to sign up. After e-mailing the race director, they still would not let him in. This is just my opinion, but if someone is your defending champion and course record holder, let them run! Evan used a number of someone who did not end up running and as soon as he hit the finish line the race director DQ'd him. I knew he without a doubt beat me handily, and after the awards I knew the overall trophy belonged to him. I am super impressed with your Performance Evan, and we will just say you now have the official, unofficial course record of 1:07:45.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Tips for Winter/Spring Riding

If you live in the northers hemisphere like I do, you know that winter and spring riding can be an adventure. You really never know what you are going to encounter out on the roads. I have ridden in rain, snow, hail, temperatures below 25*, gravel, and even crashed on my share of ice. Every year I have gotten a little better at dressing for the weather, and now feel like I have finally figured out a comfortable setup for winter riding. I will say it took a lot of freezing rides to get things figured out :).

This is something new I tried this year, but it is probably my new favorite cycling tool hand down! Yes fenders make your sweet road or TT bike look a little goofy, but their ability to keep the water off you can't be matched. I love my fenders! I use a fender that is a quick on off setup. If I am heading out the door and it looks like it is going to rain, it only takes me 2 min to put my fenders on my bike. Most of the time I find myself simply leaving them on. Besides keeping you dry they also help keep dirt off of your clothes and the back of your bike. Currently I use the SkS race blade fender.

Dry Feet
This is something that has taken me a while. But I now think I have finally found a solution that works for me. I wear a combination of 3 things on my feet in the winter. The first is a wool sock. Wool wicks moisture but it also has the ability to hold some heat even when wet. As far as keeping your feet dry, I have tried everything. I have even tried wrapping my feet in plastic bags before putting booties over them and somehow water still seems to get in(sometimes it is from sweating, and soaking your feet from the inside out). What I have finally found that works is wearing two sets of booties. Yes it sounds a bit odd, but this is what I do. First I slip on a Neoprene bootie that is very thick and holds heat. Then on top of that I pull on another bootie that is waterproof, windproof and breathable. The second bootie is not thick but it helps block the wind and water out. So far the longest i have gone is 2.5 hours in the pouring rain this year, but for those 2.5 hours my feet stayed warm and did not get wet. Any thick neoprene bootie works. The waterproof one that I use is the Pearl Izumi Pro Barrier WXB, and I am very happy with it.

Covering your core

This for me was the most expensive part of winter riding. I always wondered if the more expensive jackets performed better in harsh conditions. I never wanted to spend a ton of money in the past so I would always buy one of those neon yellow jackets and just put lots of layers on underneath. This year I finally Bought a nicer cycling Jacket and it was worth every penny I spent on it. Even in temperatures below 30* it preforms great. It is waterproof, windproof, and still breathes. When I am climbing I zip it down about a third to let some heat out. On flats and downhills I zipp it completely up to hold in the heat. Underneath this jacket I wear a very thin long sleeve moisture wicking shirt, then a little bit thicker layer (depending on how cold it is, usually less than 30*). with my fenders being first, this is my second favorite winter riding tool. The Jacket I use is the Pearl Izumi Pro Softshell JKT.

They are big and goofy looking, but they keep your hands toasty warm and dry. If it is 43* or below I won't ride without my lobster gloves. If it gets above this temperature I wear my all time favorite running glove from manzella the hatchback.

Scull Cap
This really can be any thin beanie. You just need to make sure it is thin enough to fit underneath your helmet. My favorite one to wear is a red beanie that I received at the onion man triathlon many years ago. Wearing something on your head helps a ton! Without it I notice my head gets cold fairly quickly.

Covering your legs

As long as my feet are warm, my legs never really bother me. It is probably because this is the part of your body that is working the hardest, and generating heat. I rotate between a pair of fleece lined bib tights and some pearl izumi cycling pants that pull over your bib shorts. Both work great and both keep me warm. Tights that are cycling specific do work a little better than running tights because they are designed to block out more wind.

When the Snow Piles up
Sometimes mother nature has other plans and no matter how hard to try a ride is just not going to happen. I have gotten better about riding my trainer this year. One thing that has made a world of difference for me, is watching something that motivates me. Me neighbor loaned me the 2007 tour on DVD and it has been awesome. My rule is I can't get off the trainer until they finish their stage. No matter how much I am suffering I watch the video and realize how much I need to pick it up. Nothing like watching the best in the world to motivate you to stick with it.

Yes I wear a lot of pearl Izumi stuff, but I am not sponsored by them. I buy all the stuff. Really other brands make very comparable products that work just as well. I am just telling you specifically what I wear :).