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Ass Whooping

Posted in Triathlon with tags , , , , on March 22, 2010 by brianestover

Another Tucson Tri Series race has come and gone. Surprisingly, I was 3rd Overall. In a time about :90 seconds slower then most of the 3rd place overall finishes that I’ve garnered in this series. I’m infamous for 2 things in this race series. I hold the mens course record for the most number of top three overall finishes without a win and better yet, the record for leading off the bike more then anyone else and not winning. Six times baby that I failed to seal the deal after starting the run with the entire field staring at my ass. For those of you interested in power numbers, my AP was 239w my NP 245w. The race got away from me at the beginning. The swim took me about :40 longer then usual. At one point, a mere 100 yards into the race, I looked across 11 other lanes. Each lane had 2 people in it, and no one was behind me. Not one freaking person. Nada, zip, zero, zilch. At that point I didn’t bother to look on the other side at those six lanes. A big congratulations to my friend Mike Montoya. He won the final race of the series last October and the series championships. Then he kicked off this year with a sprint finish win to put himself into good position to capture another championship. My other teammate, Leo, whom I’ve not met, finished 2nd giving a clean sweep of the mens podium. Too bad I was :90+ back at the line, a 3 way sprint would have been awesome. Except for one small thing. I sprint like a snail. I’d use old age and treachery against them if it ever came down to it, but they are both older then me, so I’m screwed. What’s up with the young people in triathlon in AZ? 8 of the top 10 men were in the 35+ age bracket. You young MFers are SLOW. The way you young guys race, you’re going to need more time here beginner triathlete.

A big thank you out to the guys at Genuine Innovations. Marty, their CEO was at the race grabbing 4th overall and handing out limited edition black 16g Co2 cartridges. This is a pros and bros only type of thing. I don’t qualify for the former but I do qualify for the latter. Now I’m sporting at least half a dozen limited edition cartridges in case I flat. Thanks Marty!

At the end of the day this result reconfirms what I’ve said. Oceanside 70.3 isn’t going to be pretty. I’m going to need some serious training if I’m going to get through Wildflower without wilting.

I don’t not suck.

Posted in Triathlon with tags , , , , , , , , on March 1, 2010 by brianestover

Cold. Wet. And not just your girlfriend. That was what we were faced with at the Desert Classic Duathlon on Sunday. The trails were a muddy, sloppy mess, as if mud makes any other type of mess. Judging from my kit it sure doesn’t make a clean mess. But damn it, it’s so much fun to run in the rain. Especially on trails dodging cactus and stomping in puddles. My high school and college xc skills are still there. My leg speed, um, well, not so much.

It wasn’t so bad on the bike, the weather that is, not my riding. My riding, now that was an awesome display of patheticness. With all the kit I had on the only cold part came with the 5k downhill that saw me cruising along at 29+ mph. Couple that with a chain that skipped unless I was applying some upward pressure to my shift lever and the fun factor wasn’t near an all time high. The front Zipp 1080 is a bit twitchy at times. Sort of felt like I was hydroplaning. Hydroplaning, twitchy and wet roads = some puckering here and there. The rubber stayed down and the Styrofoam stayed up is a decent summary on my biking. Other then I suck, which is the best assessment of it currently.

I accomplished my goal of a personal worst time on the course. 1:39:21. A PW by 4:31! F*ck yeah I rocked it! I was still 2nd in the Men’s 35-39 Age Group. The streak of never finishing out of the top 3 in my AG in this race continues. This is a very sad reflection on how pathetically weak this AG is in AZ. Next year I get to play with the big boys in AZ, the M40-44 AG. When did I get so old?

The run went somewhat well. I’ve never witnessed this race from so far back. I was 25th in my wave in the first minute. The gun went off and I just cruised out from the line. About 100m from the turn to get on the trail, just like when I’ve been up front, those in the back suddenly started to slow. Who knew? I moved up 5 or 6 places in the 25 meters before the turn. Ran past a few more and hit the first mile in 6:10. The first mile of this race is more or less downhill and flat. The real challenge on the first run is between miles 1 to just beyond 2. The course goes uphill the entire time. Hit the 2 mile mark in just under 12:40. Just beyond 2 miles, the course turns downhill again. The smart play is run the first mile within yourself and the second mile hard to make time on those behind and/or pull in those in front. The section from just beyond mile 2 to the end of the run takes care of itself…..if you’ve run smart up to that point. Hit 3 miles in just over 18:10 and continued to push. I got passed around mile 3 then just clung to the dude and let him pull me. When all was said and done, it worked out to about 6:02 per mile for a 21:06 3.5 mile opening leg. Last year I ran 19:30. sigh…..

You know triathlon/duathlon really isn’t that hard when you aren’t pushing the bike leg. I can’t say except for the steep pitches back into the park that I really rode hard. My 202 watt average power would confirm that. Like I said, I Suck.

Second run was fine, had to tie my shoe starting the run, which consisted of struggling to get my neoprene gloves off then tying my ghetto lacing system. I’ve got wide feet and hate my running shoes flopping around, what can you do?

Some dude sprinted past me near the finish. Crossed the line, walked for 2 min then went straight to the trailer where all my (dry) gear was. Got naked, dried off the best I could, put on my dry clothes and got back to the hotel for a hot shower. If you were running up the final 75 meters to the finish line and saw a skinny dude with a really white ass in the back of the trailer, that was me.

The nice thing about racing is it allows you to objectively assess where you are at. Running, I’m ok. A few long runs and some miles consistently and things will be good. Cycling…well I’m going to need a moped if I want to go fast.

Swim Tips & Tricks

Posted in Random Stuff with tags , , , , , , , , on May 27, 2009 by brianestover

Swimming for many triathletes is the most challenging part of a triathlon. Here are a few pointers to help you get through the swim. Using your brain when you swim will help you exit the water sooner.

Practice drafting. Doing a triathlon is great for this. So is getting a few same speed swimmers together at the local swimming hole. Use every opportunity to practice, even if it is in a race.

Look forward in the water to find the bubbles coming off the feet in front of you for a draft. There isn’t much need to lift the head to find the feet when you can follow the bubbles by looking forward. 

The more you look to see where you’re going the harder the swim is. Sight once every 20-30 strokes not every 4-6. 

If you have a long, slow swim stroke, ride someone’s hip. Not as good as their feet but allows you to swim in cleaner water. 

Start the swim riding a hip.  You can always take a few easy strokes to get back to their feet once things sort out. Lose their feet, often times there is no getting back on. 

Don’t be a Lemming. For many people, getting to the outside of the pack will enable you to swim faster then struggling within the pack to find decent water. 

Use the surroundings to help navigate. Is there a shoreline you can sight off of, trees, a pier, boats or other swimmers? Get landmarks in your mind before the gun goes off. Use these things for gross navigation. Lift your head to fine tune where you are going. 

Know someone who is just a bit faster then you? Line up right next to them, after the initial drag race, slot in behind them. 

If you start in the second or later waves, there is usually a line of colored caps to follow. If you breath left, move to the right of this line. If you breath right move to the left.  You can use the earlier waves to sight without lifting your head.

Desert Classic Duathlon Recap

Posted in Random Stuff with tags , , , , , , , on February 24, 2009 by brianestover

The first race of the year is in the bag.  The Desert Classic Duathlon results are here: 

All in all not a bad first race for the season.  Things seem to be on track, runs were a bit faster then last year, bike was faster, power numbers higher (np 297 ap 285).  Missed setting a PB on the course by about :35 and was just over :50 faster this year then last.  The transitions were longer this year but with a record field the transition area grew quite a bit from previous years, especially compared to 2002, when I first did this race. 

The race played out much like this race always does.  There is a mad rush from the line since it hits a trail about half a mile into the run.  I was sitting in ~15th place once again after the first minute. Dominic made a big move from behind me to bridge into the first group of 4.  Made me nervous for a second, I thought he was going to keep heading up the road which meant I was going to have to make a decision on holding steady seeing if he came back or go forward sooner then I planned. There was a small gap then a group of about 10. Another small gap then the group I was in, each gap was about 3 meters.  At this point I was still in contact with the leaders more or less and running rather comfortable. As we were making the left hand bend before the final stretch to the fencing that funnelled us onto the trail, I bridged up on the right side of the road.  Surprisingly easy especially since I went from ~ 14th to 5th or 6th in about 10m, but this is the point where many people realize they have been over enthusiastic from the gun.  Passed another person or two right before the trail to enter in 4th position.  We were 3 wide and it really doesn’t work well on that trail.  The tall guy in the middle drifted towards me, we bumped, he moved back then drifted back towards me.  I placed my hand on him and firmly guided him over (ok I admit it was more of a shove out of my way since he was slowing and I wasn’t, sorry dude)  into the person on his left and went around him.  I think he was less then thrilled judging from his comment. This move put me in second position on the trail in my wave.  My skills from college xc days still come in handy here and there.  Hit the first mile marker and looked at my watch, it said 5:36. I’ve done about .5 miles of running this year faster then that and I started to over analyze my pace.  

Mentally I just cracked there and started to worry about if I was running to fast to soon, does my training support the first mile’s pace etc.  The string to the first guy stretched and snapped.  The first marker was short from everyone I talked with.  It really was a big mental laspe on my part.  Finished the run a bit pissed at myself for cracking like that as the pace was never too much and there was never pressured from behind on the first run. Decent transition for me, only one dude rolled past me in T1 plus the lead runner flatted so I grabbed the lead in my wave for a bit.  A short bit. Guy in my AG rolled past me so fast I didn’t even see what he was riding.  My thought was just keep him in sight then outrun him on the second run.  The dude forgot to consult me for the game plan and proceeded to put about 4:30 on me over the next 19 miles. Yeah, I’m big enough to admit I got spanked on the bike.  I don’t feel too bad because he outrode the entire field, elites included.  Later I found out he was a recently retired pro cyclist. My prediction is he causes lots of headaches for duathletes all over the country in all age groups.  I really hope he can’t swim because if he can, then I predict he casuses lots of headaches for triathletes across the country, or at least So Cal where he lives.

One more guy passed me on the bike. I recognized him from some other races.  We have the he gets outrun, he always passes me on the bike and he gets outrun in run 2 pattern.  I passed him back on the 5k climb into the park, he rolled past me into transition, I rolled onto the run course before him and that was that. I was able to take the downhill section coming off the big hill on the run pretty easy, as well as some of the rocky sections. No need to trip, fall or twist an ankle since there wasn’t any pressure from behind on the second run.

So all in all not too shabby for this time of year.  2nd in my AG, 6th or 7th AG overall, with solid runs and ride. Qualified for Duathlon Worlds again and got some good feedback on how the last few months of training has been going.  Big props to one of the guys I coach.  Billy set a PR on the course by 1 minute.  He keeps getting faster as he gets older.  Also my friend Jeff, set a PB as well including PB’s on the runs and bike.  Congrats.   Big congrats to the Phoenix Triathlon Club,  the RD and their crew, the volunteers and for supporting duathlon in the US and putting on one of the best season opening races anywhere in the US.

Day 2 – DONE!

Posted in Random Stuff with tags , , , , on December 20, 2008 by brianestover

WOW!  That’s all I can say about one of the suits I tested today. Holy crap this thing was fast. You know how people drive on Sunday, nice and slow, in the right lane where slow people should drive, well this suit felt just like that.  It just didn’t feel fast. At the hundred I checked the clock and thought maybe it’s time to get some prescription goggles.  At the 200 I thought maybe the second hand on the clock was sticking again like it did a few months ago (when I swam :35 for 100yds thanks to the sticking second hand).  I was doing math after the 300, figuring out my average pace for 100 and realized about 350 in (yeah my math skills aren’t super awesome) that this suit was crushing it.    I swam my fastest 400 by several seconds in it.  The second 400 in it tied for the next fastest time with another suit.  I completely died on that last 400. That last 400, I was flying.  In at the 200yd mark well ahead of any of the other 400s that I’ve swam in this test so far.   Didn’t even feel like I was swimming that hard. About 275 the wheels started to come off and by 350 the lifeguard was tossing the rescue buoy in after me.  Even imploding and swimming a huge positive split, the suit swam tied for the second fastest 400 of the test.  It just didn’t feel fast but I keep looking at the clock and thinking no f*cking way am I swimming this fast.  I’m interested to see what this suit can do in the second round when I swim it first for the day.

But it’s still early in the test, I have 5 or 6 suits to still test.   So we’ll see how round one shakes out. Then round two will begin. 

That last 400 is really tough when you’ve done 3×400 and have been swimming them like you are doing 1×400.   The scary thing is some ex-college swimmer was holding 1:10-:11/100 in the lane next to me.  Even with a wetsuit I was barely out swimming him.  Damn you ex-college swimmers.  Why do you have to be so fast in the water?  Why?

On a side note, I’ve realized at this point in December, I’ve logged more yards in the pool then all of last Nov, Dec, Jan and Feb combined.  Actually, this week I’ve logged more yards then all those months combined.  This should bode well for me, maybe not so well for the rest of my age group, in the early season tri’s like Oceanside 70.3.