Sunday, December 30, 2012

Nothing like a new pair of running shoes

There is something to be said about getting a new pair of running shoes.

For several years now I have been a fan of Brooks running shoes. I like the construction if their shoes and the fit it provides. I have tried other name brands, but Brooks has been the best for me. Specifically, I have been running in the Glycerin 8 model. Yes, I know I am a few versions behind as the 10's are out, but the 8's have worked well for me.

A couple of years ago after wearing my first pair, I developed pain in my right arch. Little did I know at the time, but this was the indicator that it was time to replace my shoes. Since then, I started to track the mileage I was putting on each pair and I know that at 230-250 miles, it is time to replace them. At 6'-4", I am tall for a runner and do not get as much mileage out of shoes as I would like to. That is fine with me because I know when it is time to get a new pair.

As the time drew near to replace my current pair of Brooks Glycerin's, I started to research what other types of Brooks shoes would work for me as a neutral runner. For the first time, I tried Brooks Shoe Advisor on their website and this is a great tool. You are asked a few basic questions and then you need to provide what type of pronation you have. If you are unsure, the Shoe Advisor provides some easy steps to help you make the right choice. When you have imputed all of the necessary information, you are provided with 5 shoe recommendations that are best for you. For me, the winner is actually the Ghost 5, with my old standby the Glycerin coming in 3rd.

So, I decided to go with the recommendation and went with the Ghost 5. The shoes feel great and a little lighter than my Glycerin's. Today I went on my first run in the shoes covering 6.1 miles and they felt awesome!

I was toying with going with the Pure Cadence, one of the new minimalists shoes from Brooks, but I was unsure of how that might feel after several years running in a traditional style shoe. I even called Brooks customer service to speak with a specialists on my dilemma on what shoe to go with. Decided to stick with the traditional style shoe for now and one day I will work towards trying the Pure line of shoes.

Thank you Brooks for continuing to provide great customer care and products. Looking forward to pounding the pavement in my new Ghost 5's, especially in just 2 weeks from today at the 20th Anniversary Disney Marathon.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Let the Taper begin!

On Saturday, I had my last long run leading up to the 20th Anniversary Disney Marathon. Lately, I have switched my running to the Neuse River Greenway and I am so glad that I did. We have a 6.5 mil stretch from the CASL Soccer Complex to the Falls Dam. Soon other stretches of the greenway will be opening.

For this run I decided to park at the soccer complex and run to the end of the greenway at Falls Dam and back. That would give me a 13 mile run. It was a cold morning so a stocking cap, gloves and an extra layer would be needed. Took about 1-2 miles to finally warm up, but it was not that bad. There many people out running and ran into (well not literally) my friend Jon as I crossed under Capital Blvd. He was close to finishing his 8 mile run.

Overall I was feeling good on my way to the turnaround at Falls Dam. I was in a good rhythm around a 10 min/mi pace. The second half of the run is where it started to become more difficult. Right at the 8 mi mark I started to get some significant pain in my left knee. At first it was on the outside of the knee and then worked its way to the knee cap area. I slowed my pace and shortened my stride length to take it easy. The pain was not getting any better. I had to revert to walking at that point. For the remaining 5 miles, my run turned into a painful run/walk. I ended up with a 10:45 min/mi pace which is not all that bad for me over that distance. Those last 5 miles were really tough. I had to keep giving myself encouragement to get through because of the pain. I knew not to push it.

At this point, I am glad I have reached the taper phase of the training. Knowing that it is just 3 weeks from the marathon, I did not want to make this worse. My knee can use some rest and I am even contemplating not running until the race. I may revert to rides on the trainer instead.

Submit a comment if you have any suggestions or feedback on this thought of riding instead of running.

Regardless of the knee pain, I am still looking forward to the race. It is going to be an awesome experience on January 13! My last time at the Disney marathon was 2010 where there was record cold temperatures. Hopefully we will mot have those temps again, but you never know. All eyes will be on the weather as the race date draws closer and closer.

There is so much excitement for a runDisney race and with this being the 20th anniversary just adds to the excitement. I can just picture all of the things that go on from my past experiences at marathon weekend and I cannot wait to see what the 2013 edition has to offer.

Until then, enjoy your taper time!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

1st Long Marathon Training Run

Hard to believe that we are almost to December. For everyone that is training for the Disney marathon that means you are probably at the long run point in your training. That is most certainly the case for me.

Training has been going well. So far, I have run more miles than ever before in a calendar year. Due to other commitments, I had to adjust my training schedule by a week. A week ago I did my first long training run. My daughter had a swim meet at NC State University and the plan was that I would run home from the swim meet when it was over. I know, it sounds ridiculous to drive to the meet and then say bye to my family as I run home. It is crazy, but these long training runs are important. The long runs are a perfect time to work on your race day plan from pace to nutrition.

I was blessed to have a friend offer to run with me. My good friend Ken joined me at the pool and we were on our way. One of the odd aspects of running the route we did was we have taken this route before. Why did I say it was odd, well we did this riding bikes before, never imagined I would run it one day.

It was a challenging route with many hills on the second half, but there is no way to avoid hills where I live. Regardless, it was great to get the run in and thank you Ken for your encouragement.

Once back home I started the recovery process with chocolate milk. I have not found anything better than chocolate milk. It makes a huge difference!

I have a couple of long runs to go prior to January, but looking forward to the race. It is going to be a fantastic time celebrating the 20th anniversary of the Disney marathon.

See ya real soon!

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Color Me Rad Race Recap

What a "rad" and colorful experience on Saturday.  For the first time, the Color Me Rad race series came to Raleigh.  This race was just a blast!  No other way to describe it.  Leading up to the race, we were unsure if Hurricane Sandy would impact things.  Fortunately the rain held off and it was just cloudy and windy.

If you are unfamiliar me Color Me Rad, this is a 5K race series with venues all across the US.  Most, if not all of the races sell out and Raleigh was no exception.  There were 9,000 participants in the race yesterday raising $25,000 for the Special Olympics of North Carolina.  All of the participants wear white starting out the race, but by the end, you are covered in blue, green, pink, purple and yellow from the color bombardment of various stations along the course and at the finish.  If you are wondering, the color that is being thrown and sprayed at you is simply colored corn starch.

All clean prior to the race.
We arrived at the race site an hour before the race and there was already a flurry of activity.  As we walked from the car towards the starting area at the Time Warner Music Pavilion  all you could see ahead was this line of white.  Seemed to stretch on for miles.  Our first stop was to the bathrooms one last time before the race and then we headed over to the start.  We took a few "before" photos to capture what we looked like prior to the color madness.  They also had one of the Smart cars with a Color Me Rad paint scheme in front of the start line.  I had to go aver and lay on the ground next to it as this car is so small.  With my arms extended above my head, I am actually longer than the car.  Too funny!

Smart, no wait...short car!
We could hear some cheering going on the grassy hill at the pavilion so we headed over there to see what was going on.  One of the race staff members was high atop the crowd throwing out gear and color packets.  We headed over to join in the fun.  They were throwing out tons of gear.  From t-shirts to tank tops, to hats, to silicon bracelets.  The best was all of the color bomb packets that they were throwing.  Leigh was able to snag an orange color bomb that I put in my pocket to use for post-race.

Everyone proceeded to head to starting line for the first wave.  Seemed like there were about 1,000 runners in this wave.  Another staff member was tossing out goodies and color bombs at the start line.  Some of the runners were opening their color bombs and spreading the fun to give us a preview of what was to come on the course.  As the race started it was a good 1/4 mile before you could do any running because of a narrow path the race started on.  Speed was no concern as this was an un-timed event.  At first it felt odd not wearing my Garmin or my phone on my sleeve, but that quickly passed.  Just had a waterproof camera in my pocket.  This race was all about having fun.

As we made a right hand turn approximately 1/2 mile into the run, you could see this purple haze in the distance.  Our first color station was just ahead.  Bye-bye clean white shirt.  As we arrived at the station, the volunteers reached into boxes full of purple corn starch to throw it at everyone.  With the wind, color was going everywhere.  The volunteers were just as covered as we were.  It was all fun and laughs knowing what to expect.  We continued on and arrive at our second color station.  This time there was no color in the air.  At this station, the volunteers had sprayer packs on their backs and were spraying yellow color onto you.  We were not expecting the "wet" feeling.  It was a little chilly and the spray color helped to "set in" the powdered color already on our shirts.  As we left the aid stations we stopped to take pictures and have a few laughs.

Magic is coming!
As we approached the 3rd color station I took this photo.  I looked at Leigh and MaKayla and said "magic is coming".  As big Once Upon A Time fans, it was like we were in Storeybrooke and Mr. Gold had release the magic from the well.  All we could see was a purple cloud.  When we arrived at this aid station, there was more color than the others flying all over the place.  At one point, you could not see because it was so think.  One of the volunteers grabbed a handful of powdered, looked at me and I told him to "go for it".  He delivered a fastball to my chest like he was a Cy Young winning pitcher.  Nice strike, even if he was throwing purple dust at me.  After this color station there was bottled water to help wash down the corn starch.

The last color station before the finish line was a green mess as they had the sprayers out.  The ground was like green mud.  What we did not expect was that some of the volunteers had bottles full of the green color.  All of the sudden I got hit on the right side of my head with it...splat!  I could feel it dripping off my hair, down my neck and shirt.  You could say that I was not expecting that.  Same thing happened to Leigh as well.

All the colors of the rainbow!
Coming to the finish line each participant was handed a color bomb to be used at the end.  As we crossed the finish line there were more volunteers throwing all kinds of colors on you.  After finishing , everyone made their way to the grassy hill to get their official finisher pictures take and to join in the final color bomb.  The color bomb was so much fun.  Every 15 minutes all of the runners would gather and all at once would through their color packets in the air.  If you did not have enough color on you at that point, you were sure to be covered.  See the video below for the color bomb!


Overall this race was a lot of fun.  Lots of color and laughs!  If the Color Me Rad race series comes to a town near you, I highly recommend you join in the fun.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Race Recap: Myrtle Beach Mini Marathon

This past Sunday, I competed in the Myrtle Beach Mini Marathon. I am currently following my training plan for the Disney Marathon in January and this half marathon fell right in line with my scheduled long run. Many events were planned over the course of the weekend. Overall, this is a great weekend to celebrate running. Just take a look at all of the activities.

Coastal 5K
High Heel Run
Doggie Dash
Mini Marathon

On Friday we traveled down to Myrtle Beach and arrived in time to head over to the expo for packet pickup. My wife was running the 5K on Saturday and our original plan was to get the packet on race morning. Getting there in time on Friday made things easier. We both checked in and got our race bibs for the 5K and the half marathon. We then headed over to get our race shirts where the rest of the vendor booths were located. The expo is smaller than the big events, but there still are some great booths/vendors in attendance. You get to see more local vendors and races to the South Carolina area. After leaving the expo it was time to get some dinner and then rest for the evening.

Leigh with the final kick to the finish line.
Wake up time on Saturday was 6:00 am. MaKayla, Isabella and I were ready to cheer for mom/Leigh. I brought a cow bell along so they could make as much noise as possible during the race. We wished mom/Leigh good luck and she headed over to the starting corral. We were positioned about 100 yards from the start/finish line. Shortly before the start, the starter comes over the PA to let everyone know he was standing next to a 72-year old lady and this was her first race ever. How awesome is that! Everyone gave her a round of applause. As the race begins, Isabella is ringing the cow bell, MaKayla is taking video and I am taking pictures. We were like our own paparazzi. Leigh goes by and gives us all a wave and she is off. Leigh is currently in training for the Disney Princess Half Marathon in February and has been building a good base for the past few weeks. Her goal was to break 45 min and set a new PR. I see her in the distance and tell the girls to get ready as mom is almost here. She puts in a great kick to the finish and crosses the line with a new PR of 44:13! So proud of her as she did an outstanding job.

Leigh showing her 5K finisher medal.
After the 5K there were two more races that are must sees events. The first is the High Heel Run. The race is a sprint of approximately 100 m and there were about 10-15 participants. If you are wondering, yes, there was 1 man in the race. He was wearing overalls along with his 5K finisher medal. Impressive to see everyone in these 3-4” heels sprinting. As they make the turn for home, who is in the lead? You guessed it, the guy is leading the pack. He is giving it all he has and gets beaten right at the finish line. So much fun to watch. The final event was the 1.5 mile doggie dash. There were so many dogs and their owners in the race. Again lots of fun to watch. The rest of the day involved some shopping and then a good dinner in prep for the half marathon.

Set the alarm to wake up at 4:45 am on Sunday.  I wanted to make sure my system was awake.  I got dressed, had some caffeine and then it was time to head to the start at Coastal Grand Mall.  My wife dropped me off right at the starting line an hour before the start.  She and the girls then headed to get some breakfast and then to get a spot around the halfway point to see me pass by.  I headed straight to the port-a-potty before any lines formed and I am glad I did.  It was not long before the lines were 30-40 deep.  To warm-up, I walked around in the mall parking lot, sipped on a G2 and stretched a lot.  At 15 minutes prior to the start, I had a Gatorade Perform.  Next thing I hear is runners take your mark….GO!  We are off!  I crossed the starting line about a minute after the super-human speedsters left.  At first, both of my feet were sore.  I could not figure out why, but once I warmed up that soreness went away.  I guess my feet were cold.  The first mile was a loop around the mall and then we made our way down some side streets.  At about the 2 mile mark, the course was taking a right to do a small 1 mile loop.  As I got to that corner, the lead runner was coming by and he was moving.  I also noticed there were some bathrooms on the other side of the course.  I had to go and made a decision to stop then as opposed to when I came by them a mile later.  I am so glad I stopped as there was no line and then when I came by them again, people were waiting.

Approaching Leigh and the girls at mile 7.

My nutrition plan for the race was to take 3 vanilla flavored Powerbar Gels at miles 4, 8 and 11.  Then at the first 3 aid stations I would drink water and then switch to Gatorade for the remaining aid stations.  I was able to get into a great rhythm from the start of the race.  Around mile 3, I noticed a lady in front of me had the M-Dot tattoo on her calf.  So I asked her what Ironman she finished.  She completed Ironman Lake Placid and Ironman Canada a couple years ago.  Impressive.  She asked me if I had done an Ironman and I let her know that Louisville in 2013 will be my first.  We are both competing in the 70.3 Ironman Raleigh next June.  I wished her well and continued on my journey down the Grissom Parkway.  Approaching Broadway at the Beach at the halfway point the crowds began to pickup.  Always great to get that encouragement and motivation from the spectators.  There were also some creative signs that help take your mind off of the running.  I hit the 10K mark in 1:02:27 and I was feeling great.  Average pace was right around 9:45/mile.  As I left Broadway at the Beach I began looking for my wife and daughters as I knew they were somewhere just ahead.  I spotted my wife and began to wave so the girls would be able to see me coming.  I rounded the corner and stuck my hand out to give the girls high-5’s.  Brought a big smile to my face to see them and I was feeling really good at this point 7 miles into the race. 

Mile 12
Beginning at mile 7.5 is a ½ mile stretch of the course where you run side-by-side by the runners that are 1.5 miles ahead of you.  Always tough to run in a section of a course like that.  You can’t help but think about what point in the race they are compared to you.  No worries though, there was nothing I could do about it other than focus on my race.  One of the things I have always struggled with in races is drinking at the aid stations.  I have always had to walk the aid stations to avoid spilling everything I needed to drink.  I finally figured out how to squeeze the cups, drink the fluid through the corner of my mouth and keep running at the same time.  It took many races and practice to get it, but it paid off.  I was able to keep my pace through the aid stations by doing this.  Just after mile 10, we cross over Highway 17.  I took a look down both directions to see how many cars were waiting.  Those folks picked the wrong time to be out with 20-30 cars waiting in both directions.  After crossing Highway 17, we made a right onto Ocean Boulevard inching closer and closer to the finish line.  Many people were out along the streets give us support.  As I approached mile 12, I could see my wife and daughters and that gave me another lift.  The final aid station was next and I could hear them calling out Gatorade and then water.  That was odd as all of the other aid stations were water first then Gatorade.  Guess they realized at that point in the race everyone wanted Gatorade.  I took some Gatorade and looked to my left and I see the finish line.  I still had a mile to go. 

The final mile is where I had to battle with myself.  My brain was telling me to take a walk break.  Then I kind of snapped out of and thought, now you have run all 12 miles without walking, don’t start walking now when you have less than a mile to go.  Dig deep and push on….you can do this!  I make the final two left hand turns to run back towards the finish line.  The final ½ mile is down a winding concrete sidewalk.  You are going left, then right, then left, then right, etc.  Drives you a little crazy, but you can’t beat the view.  You look to the right and there is the beach and the ocean.  I can hear the guy on the PA getting louder and louder and the concrete turns into the wood of the boardwalk and there is the finish line just ahead.  I see the clock and see it shows 2:08:37.  Why do I remember that time exactly, because I did a double-take and realized that I was going to run a sub-2:10 half.  I pushed the final 100 yards and crossed the line with an official time of 2:08:26.  This was almost 9 minutes faster than my previous PR.  Such an amazing feeling and a great weekend!

Next up is the Color Me Rad 5K in Raleigh on October 27, then a Thanksgiving Day 5K and then the Disney Marathon!

New PR!

Friday, October 19, 2012

Myrtle Beach Mini Marathon Weekend

This weekend is the 3rd annual Myrtle Beach Mini Marathon.  If you are wondering what a mini marathon is, that is another way to describe a half marathon (13.1 miles).  On Sunday morning, 4,000 runners will take to the streets of Myrtle Beach reaching for new PR's and a surf board themed finisher medal.  Prior to the mini marathon on Sunday, the weekend also includes the Coastal 5K, High Heel Run and Doggie Dash on Saturday.  

I participated in the inaugural race in 2010 and had a fantastic time.  Starting with Saturday are some great events that are so much fun to watch.  The day begins with the Coastal 5K taking place at the marina at Grande Dunes.  This race will bring in many participants and I am sure several of them are first time 5K participants.  Shortly after the 5K is the High Heel Run.  The race is an 80 meter sprint.  No other way to describe this than to say it is just a blast to watch.  I remember watching that race and seeing all of these women wearing 3-4" heels sprinting.  I could not believe how fast the ladies could run in heels like that.  Now, it wasn't just all women racing, there was one guy who entered the race on a dare and yes, he finished.  He came in last, but he finished  The events on Saturday end with the 1.5 mile Doggie Dash.  It is a lot of fun to see all of the pets and their owners out running.  I am looking forward to cheering on my wife, along with my daughters, as she runs in the 5K.  Excited to see her run!

2012 Coastal 5K and Mini Marathon finisher medals!
Sunday will begin early with a race start of 7:00 am.  Planning on getting up early in order to have some nutrition to be fueled for the race.  At the starting line prior to the race beginning, trumpeters will be sounding the arrival of all the runners into the corrals.  The king and his knights from Medieval Times will be there and some battles may occur.  We will have to see what is in store for us.

The mini marathon will begin at Coastal Grand mall.  Our journey will take us to Broadway at the Beach near the halfway point and then we work our way to Ocean Boulevard.  One of the cool aspects of this race is the finish line area.  The finish line is on the boardwalk.  The crowd support at the finish line is amazing and how can you not enjoy finishing with the beach and ocean on your right.

My training leading up to the race has progressed well.  This week I have been focusing on hydrating and resting as I hope to possibly set a new PR (personal record).  My current PR for the half marathon distance is 2:17:08 that I set at the Tobacco Road Half in 2011.  This will also be my 10th half marathon I have raced in.

Looking forward to the Myrtle Beach Mini Marathon weekend.  Good luck to everyone who is racing!


Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Ironman in Training

When you think of the ultimate challenge when it comes to endurance, Ironman is what comes to mind. Anytime there is an Ironman race, I try to follow the event online or via Twitter. It does not matter whether if it is through the hills of Kentucky or the lava fields of Hawaii. I love watching Ironman.

Just a couple of weeks ago my friend Butch competed in Ironman Louisville. I was checking his status online as he crossed the time check points throughout the day. Another friend, Ken, was there in Louisville serving as a volunteer. I was providing updates via text to Ken letting him know where Butch was and his predicted finishing time. I felt like I was right there in Louisville with them. At 11:38 pm, it was amazing to watch the live finish line camera online and see Butch become an Ironman. Amazing and inspiring!

It is so inspiring that I will attempt my first Ironman next August in Louisville! Both Ken and I will be competing in this ultimate challenge and I look forward to sharing this experience with you.

I plan on sharing my experiences in the training leading up to this event and other events I have planned in 2013. In January I will be running in the 20th edition of the Disney Marathon and then in June competing in the innagural Ironman Raleigh 70.3.

As you can see, 2013 will be a big endurance year and I look forward to the challenge. Through it all, the glory all goes to God as He is the one who will guide me and provide the strength needed to complete the challenges of the Ironman.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Raleigh's Finest 5K Recap

For the past 12-weeks, I have been training a group (alongside my friends Jon, Ken, Bryan and Matt) for a 5K. Those participating in the training range from first time runners/walkers to the experienced runner. It has been a blessing to train alongside each and every one of them.

The race we have been training for was the Raleigh's Finest 5K, which is a race to honor fallen firefighters. So inspiring to see all if the first responders who came out to support this event.

Temps in NC were extremely warm leading up to the race and race day was no different. Highs were projected to be above 100, but at race time it was in the mid-80's. Still not ideal running conditions.

Everyone from The Second Wind arrived early and we met in front of Raleigh Fire Station 6. We gathered for a group photo in from if the ladder truck. All of us then made our way tithe starting area as before the 5K there was a 1-mile kids fun run. My 3-year old daughter ran as well as my friend Jon's son Ryan. The kids were so excited for the run. In all, probably 15 kids ran. It was so much fun running with my 3-year old. She wanted to hold my hand for most of the race. As we were coming to the finish line I told my daughter to go ahead and run to the timing mats on the ground. She took off....but as everyone started cheering louder and louder for her she got scared and stopped. I had to run with her to finish. So proud of her for running a mile.

Next up was the 5K. In total, we had 24 people running for The Second Wind. Several of them were running their first 5K. The course was an out and back route on Oberlin Road. The race started at Raleigh Fire Station 6 and went to Raleigh Fire Station 5 where the turnaround was located at the halfway point. I ran the first 1.6 miles with Jon trying to help pace him for a PR in the 5K. On our way back, I saw my wife walking by herself. I asked Jon if he was alright if I turned to walk with her so she would not be alone. He said yes, so I turned to be with her. Then as we came by my 8-year old who was ahead, my wife told me to go with her. So I turned and finished the race with my 8-year old. Because of all the turning back and forth, I ended up covering just shy of 4 miles, instead of the 3.1 miles. When I look at the results I laugh as I finished last in my age group. That does not matter as I got to experience the time with family throughout the race.

Overall this was a great event. Congratulations to all finishers and especially to The Second Wind team members. You worked hard preparing for the race and God was truly glorified this day.

Monday, June 4, 2012

2012 Gary Kirby Triathlon Race Report

The 7th annual Gary Kirby Triathlon was held on Saturday. I competed in this event last year and was looking forward to this year's event. We had great weather conditions with the temp in the low 60's and cloudy.

Arrived at the race site early and proceeded to setup my transition. My friend Dan arrived at about the same time to setup his transition area, so it was good to have someone to talk to. Once transition was setup, headed over to get my timing chip and then body marking. I was competitor number 38. That was unique for me as that is also my age. In triathlons, your competitor number is written in black permanent marker on your upper arms and quads. Then on your right calf they write your age. So I was a walking billboard for 38!

Headed to the pool area at 7:40 am for the opening announcement from Scott Kirby. This race is a great event for your first triathlon as evident with approximately 30% of the participants being first-timers. Scott closed the announcements with a prayer and it was time to line up for the start.

With the temps in the 60's it was a little chilly. All of us were commenting about how we wanted to get started just so we could get the blood flowing and warm up.  I hopped into the pool to get used to the water temp. Dan was starting 3 minutes before me so gave him some encouragement as he started.  At 8:09:15 am, it was time to start as I hear 3..2...1...go! Throughout the swim I felt pretty good, quickly getting into a decent rhythm.  In a pool swim for a triathlon, everyone starts 15 seconds apart.  You never know with this around you if you will have that gap of 15 seconds.  Fortunately the gap between the guy in front of me and behind me stayed the same. This made for a good swim by not feeling any added pressure. Overall swim time time was 5:54 (this includes a 20-25 second run from the pool until crossing the timing mat).  Improved my time by 8 seconds compared to the 6:02 in the 2011 race.

On my way to T1, I heard Dan's wife and daughter cheering for me as well as my friends from the local Chick-fil-a (Katherine, Lindsey and Brandon). Thanks for the support guys. A routine T1 in getting my socks, cycling shoes and helmet on with a 1:00 time and off onto the bike course I went.

The bike course is, in one word, fun! It is 4-laps with each lap being 3 miles. The first part of the lap includes a steady climb and then you hit the downhill section where you can put the hammer down. There are some traffic circles to navigate on the course, which adds to the fun. My goal coming into the race was to improve my bike split from 2011 which was 41:29. I successfully accomplished that goal with a 39:48 split for the 12 miles.  There is also great crowd support on the loop with many residents coming out to cheer you on.  Great to see the support from the community.

T2 was also routine with a 1:03. Changed into my Second Wind shirt, running shoes, grabbed my visor and race bib and I was off.

As with the bike, my goal coming into the race was to improve my run split over 2011 which was 29:58. On the run I felt pretty good. I was keeping a consistent pace throughout and improved my time this year with a 27:31 for the 5K. That is a new PR for my 5K time.

Coming to the finish line area I saw Dan and gave him a high-5 as I passed. He had already finished about 10 minutes ahead of me.

Crossed the finish line with a total time of 1:15:14. That was a 3 minute 57 seconds improvement over my 2011 time of 1:19:11. For my age group, I finished 15 out of 22 and for the over males I was 57 out of 100.

Overall the Gary Kirby Triathlon is a great event. I would recommend this race to anyone and look forward to the 8th annual race in 2013.


Friday, June 1, 2012

Ready for the Gary Kirby Triathlon

I am looking forward to the 2012 Gary Kirby Triathlon on Saturday. This was a great event last year and I knew I wanted to race it again this year. This race benefits cancer research in honor of Gary Kirby who passed away in 2006.

The race format is a 300 yard outdoor pool swim followed by a 4-lap bike course (12 miles) and then a 3.1 run through the Bedford Falls neighborhood.

I love how on the competitor shirt they have 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 listed which says "Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances. For this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus". Prior to the start of the race, the Kirby family gathers all of the competitors at poolside and tells about Gary and then opens the race with a word of prayer. A time to reflect on what Gary means to the event and to also allow God into your heart. What an amazing way to start the race.

This year I am looking to improve on last Year's time of 1:19:11. Regardless, I am going to enjoy the day and give all the glory to God.