Archive for April, 2011

6th, 5th & 6th

Posted in Triathlon with tags , , , , , , , , on April 30, 2011 by brianestover

Consistency would be an accurate description of how the Accelerate 3 athletes did in their age groups today at USAT’s 2011 Duathlon National Championships.

In the older guys division (45-49) Billy finished 6th in his age group and 48th overall. One thing that is amazing about Billy is, as he has moved up in age groups he has gotten faster. He is faster now then he was at 40, 35 and 30. Billy is anti aging. He also has nice running form and rhythm. It probably doesn’t hurt that he does his track workouts with some of the best female triathletes in the world.

In the 40-44 age group Francois and I ended up leaving T2 next to each other. Francois turned in the 5th fastest bike split on the day to take 6th in the age group and 22nd overall, while I grabbed 5th in the age group and snagged the bottom step of the top 20 overall. Francois and I were :05 apart. 14th through 22nd place on the overall results sheet were separated by :56 seconds.

Francois and Coach Brian

It’s been a long time since I’ve race Duathlon Nationals. I was amazed at how tight everything was at the second turn around on the first run. Only the first two guys had cleared the field. Everyone else was strung together in groups of 4-8 runners with small time gaps. The other thing that surprised me was the fluidity of the groups around me. The group in front broke apart then my group swallowed them. Then half of my group got spit out the back. It seemed the first run was a constant catch the group in front, spit half out reform and repeat. I hit the second mile marker in 27th position in the wave with a 11:30 :01 back of Billy.

T1 was a giant CF. There were people everywhere. It seemed like 30 people were all grabbing bikes rushing down the center aisle to get out. I left T1 with 2 people in front, one to my right side and two behind me, all of us wheel to wheel to wheel. But then I had to drop them enroute to the 13th fastest bike split of the day. See you later fellows. Not. My power output was 237/246 AP/NP over a rather rolling course.

Dusty raced Wildflower today. It was his first run over 45 minutes in 3 months. I’m relieved to say he had a solid race and seems to be back on track. WF is no easy course. I was nervous how his groin would hold up on the brutal run course.

Now it’s time to sit on my hands and wait for Kerry’s results for St. Anthony’s tomorrow and James’s results from the MayDay Biathlon in NC he is racing. I’m hoping she snags the top amateur age group spot again and I predict he has a solid shot at the overall win.

This is also my first blog post on the new Mac. Exciting no doubt, probably more exciting for me.

Here We Go

Posted in Triathlon with tags , , , , on April 27, 2011 by brianestover

Duathlon Nationals is coming up this weekend. It’s been a long, long time since I’ve raced this race. I’m pretty excited to return to racing a national level duathlon race. I’m even more impressed that over 500 people signed up for a duathlon. Best thing is it’s only 10 miles from my house. Nothing bad about sleeping in your own house the night before a race.

There are several big guns entered in my age group. Continuing my undefeated streak (2-0 yeah, I’m a masters bad ass!) since entering into the M40-44AG is going to be hard, if not impossible. But I’ll try to du it.

We’ll have to see how it goes. My hamstrings seem to be better. Missing all that training on the run can’t be a good thing. The cycling I feel is going fairly well. I’m putting up some good power numbers. Hopefully with my rather aero position I can take advantage of the false flats and wind to generate a fast split on low watts. Although generating higher watts then my last race might be the smart thing to do. I’d clean my bike before the race, but since I’ve only ridden it in two races this year, it’s pretty clean, or at least not dirty enough to warrant me cleaning it. It’s turning into a ride my TT bike only in races year I think.

My only concern is the run. It starts up a f*cking hill. For at least a kilometer. Straight uphill. I have no idea what the RD was thinking except maybe generating slow run times. That course either goes uphill or down hill. It’s going to be a quad buster for sure on the final run. I think fast times = a sexy race. Maybe it’s just me, but I really don’t think races should be about who can slog uphill the best. It’s probably just me eh?

On the plus side there are several Accelerate 3 athletes racing. Hopefully we’ll all turn out good results.

HUGE at Nola 70.3

Posted in Triathlon with tags , , , , on April 17, 2011 by brianestover

James ripped it up at the Nola 70.3 duathlon today. He set a huge PR on the run, by about 9 minutes, to take 5th in his age group and crossed the line as the 10th age grouper overall.

His training seems to be paying off and he has moved up a notch or two on the getting faster ladder. I suspect a few of his rivals in the regional racing scene sat up and said “Oh shit” after seeing his splits. A solid ride in blustery conditions and a stellar run to cap it off. Not a bad day at all.

I think a lot more people will be seeing this side of his kit then in years past.

The behind view

Uh Oh, This Can’t be Good

Posted in Triathlon with tags , , , , , , , , , on April 14, 2011 by brianestover

After last weekend’s triathlon turned duathlon I was pretty beat. My calves and hamstrings were sore. I took Monday and Wednesday off, just did some easy spinning and swimming on Tuesday. Today I ran on the treadmill. I’m not sure you could call it running. My hamstrings were sore right off the bat. About four minutes into the run they felt great. About five minutes into the run, my calves were sore and continued to get worse. WTF? It’s never taken me this long to recover from a duathlon. I can’t recall a single duathlon, even when it was 10k/60k/10k where four days after I’m still hobbling. I’m walking like an old man. Oh wait, I did age up into the 40-44 AG.

I’m supposed to race on Saturday. I don’t know if that’s such a wise idea. I suspect that with only 8k of running vs the 15k or really 19k after you factor in warm up that the duathlon required, that I won’t be this destroyed. With Duathlon Nationals looming up on the race calendar, it might be smart for me to skip the small fry for the bigger fish.

On the brighter side of things, my poor laptop has officially been admitted to hospice. Yesterday it stopped displaying my screen picture. Today it uninstalled both of my printers. Both days, it’s turned off the wireless and failed to turn it back on when I commanded it to. I wonder what tomorrow has in store. Half the time when I close the lid, I have to do a hard reboot. This forced me to take drastic action today. I bought a new laptop.

It’s official, I’ve crossed over to the other side. I’m getting a Mac. Since they didn’t have my model in stock (go figure) at the Apple store, it had to be ordered. I’m looking forward to crossing over to what some call an evil empire. I wonder if I can use Google Chrome on it? If you’re going to go evil don’t do a half ass job at it.

In the meantime I’m going to lie down on the floor and foam roller my aching calf muscles. Seriously this is ridiculous that I’m still sore. Even more sore now then earlier today. DOMS, it’s really true. Who knew?

The Decision was….

Posted in Triathlon with tags , , , , , , , on April 11, 2011 by brianestover

There was no decision. I didn’t have to choose a wet suit. It rained in Phoenix the day before the race. A lot. .02 inches. Which for Phoenix is close to biblical flooding. When it rains that much, they test the water in Tempe Town Lake. Those results take 24 hours to get back. They tested Saturday at 10am. Race time was Sunday at 7am. Phoenix, we have a problem.

The Race Directors made the swim into a 5k run. Which was good. I was a little behind for the week in running frequency and miles. A 5k/25 mile/10k duathlon will go further to make up the lack of running then a triathlon will.

I ended up 5th overall for the men. 2:02:50. After the first run I was in 11th place, but left T1 in 7th place. Rocked the bike with the third fastest split, left T2 3rd overall and with a pedestrian 40:08 10k lost 2 spots. But since they did wave starts all I really know is it was very crowded in the last 1.5 miles. There were a lot of people right at the 3 minute stagger ahead of me and it was going to be iffy as to who beat whom. All I really knew was I was leading my wave, was getting pressure from behind and I was running scared.

Leading the Charge

My wave was the guys 35-44. The gun went off and since the start was up a small hill I cruised the start. Didn’t take me long to find myself in the lead which was exactly where I did not want to be. Soon a group of five of us formed. At the first turn, I surged a little and now there were 4. At the next turn I surged a little and now there were three. Shortly after that Brandon surged and now we were 2. I tucked in behind him and held the 2 yard gap for a bit. He surged again just past the mile marker and now he was by himself. After that he pulled away over the rest of the run. I think he was :20 in front heading into T1. I passed him there and never relinquished the lead in my wave. On the second run, he was about 1 minute behind me. With 1 mile to go he got with in :10 before fear took over and shifted my running up a gear.

On the Bike

This is the first time in ~ 20 years I haven’t broken 18:00 for 5k. I’m a little worried especially now that I’m racing masters. I’m also worried that I’ve become a one trick pony. Hang in for the run, ride everyone into the ground and hope I’ve gotten enough room to hang on. Certainly that needs to change. For you power geeks 25.2 miles in 62:25 AP 231. My power output confirms that my position on the bike is pretty solid and aero, at least I think so. Now if only I could get some solid wattage output.

I need to sit or fall over

Panic? What panic?

Posted in Triathlon, Wetsuit with tags , , , , , on April 9, 2011 by brianestover

Who was panicking? Not me. You know why? I had a plan. A plan so great, a plan so awesome, a plan of pure genius that there was no need to panic.

An email to the wet suit buyer at my favorite triathlon store, Trisports, and I had not one but two wet suits hand delivered to me. Yes, I said hand delivered. How’s that for customer service? Now the problem, and it’s a good problem to have, is which of these kick ass suits do I wear?

Or as the Blacksheep asked “Do I go with this” Nineteen Frequency “or do I go with that?” Blue Seventy Helix

Nineteen Frequency

Blue Seventy Helix

But the news only gets better. I ran yesterday for four miles. While the first 3 minutes I thought I might need CPR, for the next three I was thinking maybe just O2 flowing at 4L/min. Finally after a few more minutes I convinced myself that I probably wasn’t going to die on the treadmill. The good news was no hamstring pain. Did I mention what a pain in that ass that was? Literally? This morning I woke up and knocked out 7.1 miles with just a small twinge 32 minutes into my run. It never got worse and wasn’t noticeable by the end of the run.

The downfall of having such a genius plan, is that now I’ll be that guy. You know, the guy you see at a triathlon who has 2-3 of everything. I’ll have my old Blue Seventy Helix as a just in case suit, the new Helix loaner suit and the Nineteen loaner suit. I’ve already packed three front wheels in the car. Since it might be raining, I’ll have all my rain kit with me. So now it boils down to making the drive, not forgetting my USAT card again, then showing up race morning and playing Paper Scissors Rock with myself to choose a suit and then actually racing.

But for now, it’s off to the trainer since it’s raining. Netflix sent me the last season of Weeds. I’m about to watch a few episodes and bang out some intervals on my bike.

No Need to Panic

Posted in Triathlon with tags , , , , , , on April 7, 2011 by brianestover

Why panic? Just because I’m racing this weekend at the Marquee Triathlon and then again next Saturday at the Phoenix Triathlon isn’t a reason to panic. I could list the reasons to panic such as:

1. I don’t have a wet suit. Ok that’s not entirely true. I have a wet suit, with a few holes and several tears. So technically while I have a wet suit I don’t have a wet suit to race in. Just because I don’t have a wet suit isn’t a reason to panic. I mean it’s Thursday and the race isn’t until Sunday. No worries. Plenty of time to get a wet suit.

2. I’ve ridden my TT bike for a total of 34 miles. And that’s since November 1. November 1 of 2010. Clearly no reason to panic there.

3. I ran with Ted last Saturday for a casual 7 mile run that turned in 9.2 miles going up huge, steep hills at an rather unreasonable rate of speed and tweaked my hamstring. Actually I tweaked my hamstring running downhill in the sandy wash but let’s not split hairs. It’s not a reason to panic. Nor is the fact that it still hurts when I walk. Nope, no panic there. Ok maybe a little panic with that one. But just a little. And by little I mean it’s just a tiny nagging thought that runs through my head all day long like a fire truck siren blaring 5 feet from your ear.

4. Between all the not running I’ve done this week and the Naproxen I’ve taken I’m sure it could possibly be better by Sunday right? And by Sunday I mean Sunday morning just in case my body decides to read this.

5. Just because there are some really fast guys registered isn’t a reason to panic is it? Did I mention a few of those guys have way faster then me run PB’s. Nope, not a reason to panic.

6. Some of those same guys are really strong cyclists as well. Another reason to not panic.

Now lets list all the reasons I shouldn’t panic.

1. I’ve swam 40km this year! That’s 30km more then this point last year. That’s actually a reason for some of them to panic!

2. My biking power/weight ratio has increased since my last race. All due to increases in power. Maybe I can drop a few kg’s by Sunday. 5kg or so should do it.

3. I’ve got nothing else. Clearly a reason to revert back to panic mode.

Brooks Ravenna 2

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on April 1, 2011 by brianestover

This is my third pair of Brooks Ravenna running shoes. These are the shoes that a person named Chrissie Wellington wore on her feet winning her first IM Hawaii title, Challenge Roth and a few other Ironman races. My interest was piqued in these shoes after talking with the marketing director at Trisports after the Brooks rep had talked to them during product training. I was searching for another shoe and the marketing director suggested I try these. A suggestion I’m glad I took.

Brooks Ravenna 2

Brooks calls the Ravenna 2 a Guidance shoe. I’d label it a lightweight neutral trainer. Brooks claims 10.8 ounces, but it runs lighter and feels lighter when you handle it. The Ravenna 2 has a DRB – Diagonal Roll Bar and a DRB Accel, which is it’s medial posting and thermoplastic shank for it’s medial posting. Mild over pronantors which I happen to be on the right, will like that it works with out being intrusive. Neutral runners, which my left foot is, will not be hampered by it. The heel sits around 26mm off the ground, the ball of your foot about 13mm. One of the unique features of the Ravenna 2 is the biodegradable mid-sole called the BioMoGo. This shoe fits well. Snug in the heel, enough room for high volume feet in the forefoot without pinching or numbness. The lacing system works well and Brooks includes enough shoe lace to tie a double knot with ease.

BioMoGO midsole


Enough of the technical stuff. How does the Brooks Ravenna 2 run? The answer is – Awesome! This is a shoe you can run every day pace in, run fast in, run long in or run fast and long in right from the box. My first run right out of the box was just over 13.5 miles on trails through a forest. The Ravenna 2 handled the off camber, the wet leaves, rocks, roots and mud with no complaints. It handled the tempo portion of the run through wet grass with no slipping during toe off. My second run was 10 miles over dirt roads and a little pavement. Again there were no complaints from the shoe or my feet even on the steep paved up and down hills. The bottom is aggressive enough with out being a mud collector nor does it take away from the feel of running. I had just over 3 hours on this shoe in the first two runs. No blisters, no black toes, and once I set the laces to my liking I never thought about these shoes again while running over any type of terrain.

Ravenna's sole

The Ravenna 2 would make a great long course triathlon or marathon racing shoe, as Chrissie has proven multiple times. In fact I’m torn between the Ravenna 2 and the Asics Gel DS 16 which I reviewed here for my long course racing shoe. The Ravenna 2 would also make a great shoe for track or faster running days while being durable enough for an everyday trainer. Unfortunately Brooks has not capitalized on Chrissie’s wins, nor have they told the masses how good the Ravenna 2 really is. A little publicity could take this shoe a long way. There are many lessor shoes being worn at races in greater numbers. The Brooks Ravenna 2 is a front pack running shoe worthy of the podium but unfortunately Brooks has yet to make a name for the Ravenna 2.