Saturday, November 28, 2009

Ayer FD Thanksgiving 5K Yields Hardware

This time it wouldn't be me getting the hardware:

469 154 Molly Bowers 31:27 10:08 9 F3/11 F-10 BOXBOROUGH MA
470 155 Kyle Bowers 31:27 10:08 44 M81/87 M4049 BOXBOROUGH MA

Now if I could just get her to practice ...

I am officially "off" running for two weeks - then slowly starting up again and targeting US Masters Half Marathon Championships on 2/7 in Melbourne, FL.

Monday, November 16, 2009

2009 Race Season Comes To An End

Wow! What an intense year 2009 has been! This has been my most athletic year ever with 11 months of training! I am glad to be done. We arrived back from FLA yesterday afternoon. What a great vacation we had. I am so glad I decided to go down there and race. It was really awesome to race with the world's best 70.3 athletes and as you can imagine, everyone down there wanted to win. It was interesting to meet so many people from all over the world and see some great athletes in action. In addition, we saw a German kid come out of nowhere to win the race (Raelert) - over some huge names in a stacked pro field.

I swam Thursday morning during the remnants of Ida. I got out quick because the waves were big, but as I got further out, they got bigger! I was trying to swim through these 15-16 foot waves that were cresting. It was crazy and I concluded after a decision to cancel the swim might be a possibility. Instead, the race directors moved it to the harbor side which was much more calm and protected. As it turned out on race day, the wind was gone and they could have done it out by the pier, but I think it all worked out okay. I'm not a big fan of the TT style swim start, but I still had a good swim without any drafting. The bike course is just completely flat. The run is not so easy as it goes over the causway bridge four times, which is a decent climb. Anyway, here are the numbers:

Swim: 30:52
T1: 3:27
Bike: 2:18:27 24.3 mph
T2: 2:38
Run: 1:32:37 7:05 min/mile
Total: 4:27:59

A new PR! Of course, I have nothing to compare this race to, as this thing is designed to be fast in the first place. My knee held up and I had a strong race throughout. I do have some opinion about the race and I will not ramble on about what has already been publicized about the race - you can go read about that elsewhere. It is an urban race on urban streets. The bike course is very tight and it was very close to a (road) bike race with lots of cornering bunched up 3 or 4 wide, especially in the beginning. I did see three crashes - one right in front of me. I could see it happening and triathletes just aren't roadies and don't handle the bikes well and ... cones everywhere are disastrous. There were some guys putting hands on others, but I think people are just so nervous and want to avoid crashing. There are a lot of turns as mainland Clearwater isn't that big - that means lots of turns and several hair-pins - zig-zagging all over the place. It was a great day to race and just beautiful and sunny. It did start to warm-up on the run - high 70's?? but I was okay with that. It is Florida and you can expect it to be warm and sunny. Three weeks ago it was in the 90s. They are well prepared on the run course with lots of water, sponges, drinks, etc., so you can get a cool-down at each aid station. That sun is hot though boy - I had 30 on and still got a sun burn. My pale body has just not seen the sun for two months and that was probably the hardest part about the run; very little shade.

Anyway, my conclusion about the race; anyone who has the desire to go down there and race, I highly recommend it. Even though 70.3 is not my strength, I still had a great and fun experience. It was really just a race for myself. Also, I think this race, along with the sport is getting harder and more competitive each year. It may be harder to qualify in years to come, as the international competition is also growing. I am very glad I went and to put things in perspective; you will hear the words "former-pro, not a new comer to the sport, former Olympian, ITU champion, etc, etc." a lot during the awards ceremony and I'm not just talking about the pros. These athletes are fast and the amazing times are proof. I wouldn't have changed a thing about the trip - stay at the Sheraton Sand Key or Marriott (Sand Key) as this is the nicest part of that area, out of the town center and no riff-raff.

Well, all the knobs have been turned down and the switches are in the off position. We will once again, have to see how strong the ADDICTION TO TRAINING is .... as in the past I have struggled with the off time. Right at the moment I am happy and content. 2009 was a great year for me! with many PRs with some great, good and so-so performances, but with a lot of racing and a number of new adventures. At 44 I am as fit as I have ever been. I am also improving in the sport of running and triathlon, and more passionate now then ever about the athletic lifestyle. It is ironic that I would discover the ability I thought I never had and maybe still don't, but the extra hard work makes up for the lack of ability - as I now approach the 45-49 age group - T.G.!

In 2010 I hope to reinvent myself once again. There definitely needs to be a focus on speed, as with all this endurance training and age, it seems to be the thing that I need, to go faster! This will probably be my last (certainly this long of a) post for a few weeks, but I will come back and recap the year and list best races, etc. for 2009. I will also post 2010 race schedule as it is now getting fairly set in stone with a the pre-registering and $$ flying out the window. New for 2010: (1) I am going to start logging all of my training miles. I've never been great at it and it is another thing to do, but I will try. (2) This blog site needs to be revamped. I look at all the others and they are so much better kept, organized, etc. I will try. (3) I am contemplating running some winter track - what does everyone think? I don't want injury, but it may be the one thing to help me get faster.

I hope everyone has concluded their year of racing (if they haven't already 2 months ago) and are looking at off-season and giving the body rest. I am a firm believer in the periodization thing and in 2009 it worked great. I had very little problems - no real injuries - and with all that training and racing, so I must be doing something right.

I enjoyed last week and will continue to celebrate this week. I don't want a repeat of 2008 - 15 pounds during off-season! Maybe join a gym and look forward to some XC skiing or whatever else.



Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Foster Grant 70.3 Triathlon Race Week

We fly out to Clearwater this afternoon. Everyone is excited to go! It looks like hurricane Ida is clearing out and we will have good weather later in the week. The 44 year-old body is holding together - just barely! May need to bring some glue to hold body parts on. I am looking forward to going all-out-all-the-way on last time in 2009!!

Good luck everyone racing!


Saturday, November 7, 2009

Last Day of Training in 2009

A couple of hours on the trainer today will finally cap off the year. Weather forecast for Clearwater, FL on 11/14 is 85 degrees and sunny, so I was fully dressed with the heat cranked up in the basement. It probably won't help, but I will continue to over-dress on any workouts between now and Tuesday evening when we fly down. No matter what happens - it is going to be a fun 5 days down in the Sand Key Resort. I hope the weather cooperates, as there is some chance of rain also. Anyway, the knee seems like it is okay - I've just had no recovery in any of the last three big races - so I am pushing it, but will survive and be in off-season soon enough.

Anyone racing at the Foster Grant 70.3 World Championships (keywords) email me at and I'll try to organize a swim for Thursday am.

Rock On!


Monday, November 2, 2009

Manchester City Half Marathon Report

Wow! What a beautiful day to run up in Manchester. When I woke up, it was raining and I almost turned around and went back to bed, but it cleared up and was a perfect day to run. Here are some pictures from last year, on a cool blustery, but also clear day.
That was a huge race yesterday! Lot's of spectators on the course - I was really impressed with the large numbers of people cheering on. Kudos to Sarah Normand for turning MCM into a big race and lots of fast runners up there this year trying to grab money, especially in the marathon. The Kenyans must have come up from the Bronx in a bus or two and there were just as many watching as running. Also, runners from all over the country had come up to race. I think they were all deceived by the slow times last year. Winning time this year was 2:23!
Okay, so moving on to the race report:
First of all, I give myself credit for going at an all out pace only two weeks after running a marathon! I missed the first mile, but my second mile split was 12:19. I ran with the Kenyan women because I am not fast enough to run in that first pack - those guys just took off and I just don't have that kind of speed. The women were talking to each other - I don't know what they were saying, because they were speaking swahili. That course goes right to the hills and boy is that course hard! My legs began to tighten-up and at about half way they were tight and I was done. The second half of that race did not come easy. I was working VERY hard just to run at the pace I was going at, which was decreasing with every mile.
Anyway, I ended up 16th overall and just missed the master's money, but ended up 1st AG with the no double-dipping rule. It's a little embarassing, but I would have beat myself going through the first half last year - a testament to how well I ran last year at the marathon. My legs are surprisingly beat today - that is proof of how hard that course is.
Anyway, kudos to BAA team-mates Jacquelyn Cilley 1:34 who ran well after being under the weather this week and Pat Moulton who stayed with the lead pack up until 18 after just winning Hartford marathon (for the 2nd time in a row) in 2:25 a few weeks earlier - also brother Casey 6th 2:36.

I am already thinking and talking about running the Manchester Marathon in 2010! - now that is called addiction.

I leave for 70.3 World Championships one week from tomorrow! My last week of training in 2009.