Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Race Report : Wente Classic Cycling Road Race : Men 45+ Cat 4/5: April 30, 2017

Subtitle : "Runner survives first bike race!"

For years my favorite recovery activity besides walking the family dog has been cycling.  Immediately after a trail race or road marathon you just want to pass the finish line, high five friends and family then lay down with a beer in your hands.  Your legs are normally toast and you just want to not move for awhile.  Then there is the day after stiffness.

I found that if I walk the dog then go for a bike ride the day after and get all that blood pumping thought my body that I immediately feel much better and can start training again sooner.  This foot race / bike recovery pattern has repeated itself over and over again till I started doing weekend hill work outs on the bike just for fun.  Locally, my favorite ride in East Bay Area is the ~30 mile/~2200 ft Palomaras Loop (Strava Link).

Last year I did my first Duathlon (5k run, 20 mile bike ride, 5k run) and loved it. See Wolf Pack Events if interested. Started doing bike/run 'Brick' work outs to fine tune transition times and work on my cycling skills. One note is that per USAT rules you cannot draft other cyclists and have to leave a safe distance (7 meters x 2 meters).  And, if you pass you have to pass within several seconds or give up. Otherwise you could earn a '5.1 Position Foul' and be penalized time or DQ'ed.

Last month I participated in my first Triathlon. Loved the bike and run, barely survived the open water swim in 55 deg F water (27 deg F ambient).  I spent a far amount of time in the transition area checking out peoples tri bikes. Man I could have spent hours just looking at bike setups and asking questions.  Follow this link to learn more about HITS Napa.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Race Report : HITS Napa Sprint Triathlon - April 9th, 2017

50th birthday goals

To celebrate my 50th birthday, I decided on two birthday month events.  First was held just yesterday (Sunday April 9th) and was my first ever triathlon which happened to be hosted by HITS at Lake Berryessa in Napa County. The second will be my first bike Century rescheduled for later this year due to Primevera being canceled due to course closures and will report on that later in the year.

Road to first ever Triathlon

I first started running regularly in 2012 and have slowly added distance and/or speed every year since then.  Then to cross train I added road cycling which I found I also greatly enjoyed and have participated in several Duathlons and fun rides since 2015.  December last year was particularly wet which dramatically reduced my interest in outdoor cycling and trail running so I took the plunge and starting swimming at the locally (heated) outdoor public swimming pool.  First swim was exhausting and lasted maybe four 25m laps.  Three months later I’m still a slow plodder but can swim nonstop 800 m in ~25 min.  Finally mustered enough courage to try swimming same distance in local lake with tri-suite and cap and survived.  I had trouble navigating a straight line face down in water that had nearly zero visibility and would frequently pop my head up to take bearings.  The suite worked very well and I never felt cold. My face on the other hand had a hard time getting used to 55 deg F cool water.

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Race Report : Sonoma County Back Country Challenge (60 mile), May 22, 2016

What's cycling 60 miles of cool morning air plus BBQ and beer?  A good time!

This was my first time cycling the non-competitive Back Country Challenge in PennGrove, CA (near Petaluma) and it was a blast!

My cousin Sam gave me a list of local rides to ease my way back into cycling and he knew that if the finish featured a beer garden that he'd have my attention.  And he did.

There are three distances to choose from : 35 miles ($70), metric 100 (62 miles - $80) and 100 mile ride ($90).  I originally signed up for the 100 but knowing that my wife and kids would probably be waiting for me downgraded to the 60.  Registration fees benefit The Petaluma Sunrise Rotary Club and the many groups they in turn support.  The ride is extremely well organized with very clear turn markers, Aid Stations every 10 miles or so, and the best chicken BBQ and beer I've had in while.  Additional perks include three twins ice cream cones.