Thursday, August 6, 2015

Update so far from 2015.

So I've been a bit lax about updating my blog in terms of my racing accomplishments (or lack thereof) this year.

After Ironman 70.3 California (a couple weeks after, actually) - my family received some bad news that ended up with my wife in surgery.  I won't get into the gritty details of it, but it curtailed my training a bit, cancelled some of the races I intended to do, and really put things in perspective that - regardless of how it feels at times - endurance sports ARE NOT the #1 thing in my life.

Because of that process, and because there just hasn't been a whole lot to report - I haven't been updating here.

However, there are a few things - so I'll touch on them all in one post.  =)


This was a duathlon in April that was supposed to be one of three duathlons that I participated in.  One of the goals for 2015 was that I would do four to five duathlons and become an All American in that discipline and also qualify for Duathlon Nationals (and hopefully qualify to represent the US in Duathlon Worlds).  It ended up not being the case for me (races 2 and 3 in this series were cancelled and this race didn't go so well) and I kind of scrapped the idea altogether (or pushed it to 2016, who knows?).

Anyway, the race itself is a small but very competitive duathlon that is incredibly well run by Bill Escobar over at Elite Sports in Ventura, Ca.  It's a 5k run, followed by a 20 mile bike, with another 5k run.  There's no bells and whistles in this race (i.e. it's not an Ironman type of race) - just a simple, easy, local race that is fun for everyone involved (pro or beginner alike).

Transitioned up and ready for the duathlon.
My plan going into the race was to take the 1st run somewhat easy - but stay with the front of the pack.  In my mind, this would allow me to really push the bike and then go all out for the final run.  Everything was going good as I was the 4th runner in - about 20 seconds behind the first runner in.

On the bike, things were going very well, as I moved up to third place rather quickly with both the first and second place athletes in my sights.  I was gaining up ground, almost in line with the second place guy when - at about 15 - POP!  My front tire just exploded.

I immediately pulled over and tried to change it - but it was to no avail.  I couldn't get the tire off of the rim and I didn't bring tools to remove it (I did have a spare tubular).  With about 4 miles and some change to go - I elected to just walk/jog my bike in.  

Nearly everyone passed me during this time and this race became a "throwaway" race for my goal of qualifying for Duathlon Worlds.  Once back in to transition, I racked my bike and decided I would run the last run leg as fast as I possibly could (seeing as how my legs were completely fresh anyway).  I managed to place the fastest run split of the day - with just a 16:23 (although it was 16:08 by my watch).  Was pretty happy with that and I left the race telling myself the only reason I wasn't on the podium was because of a flat tire.


This is a pretty great event and was one of the first 10ks I did when I decided to get back into running and doing regular races. Back then, I wasn't a father, so I was running solo.  But now - I have a little munchkin that does all of my running races with me.  

For some weird reason, strollers aren't allowed in the 10k - so I ended up doing the 5k with my son.  

The race goes through neighborhoods in Long Beach with a small stretch on the Wrigley River Bike Path - which is pretty scenic for what it is.  There's plenty of twists and turns, but - for the most part - it's a fairly flat course which makes it a good stroller course (as you're not going to lose a ton of time).
Brucie ran his own race after the 5k.  And, by "ran" I mean he "got sleepy and grumpy and refused to move unless someone was holding him".  *shrugs*  Kids.

 I was able to line up at the front of the race and take off with ease.  They had a guy on a mountain bike pacing the race and I was right behind him the entire time.  For 5ks, it was pretty easy - I held about a 6:00/mile pace for the whole thing and felt pretty good throughout.  The weather was perfect for a race - slightly overcast, a nice, slow, cool breeze at all times.  Perfect running conditions.

Pushing my son throughout the neighborhood

Finding some time to goof off for the camera a bit.

As with any race - the final push to the finish line yields some rather unflattering facial expressions.

The race went pretty well and nothing to complain about.  The only slowdown was having to weave around the people from the 10k who were finishing up (the 10k took off before the 5k and there were people still running on sections of the course where the two races overlap when the 5k took off).  That's to be expected though and wasn't too big of a deal.  Overall, no complaints at all.
Pushing it down the finish line in the home stretch.
I finished with an 18:02 and crossed the finish line first.  The timing company had two people ahead of me after the fact (a few days later) - but I figured that was an error as no one was really close really when I crossed the line.

We ended up in first place overall - and got a cool trophy for our efforts.  On top of that, we got free pizza! (which, to me, is WAY better than the trophy)

Bruce and I on the podium with his trophy for a race well done and an overall win.

Writing this post - I realize that I have just given away one of my biggest secrets - the tablet!  When I race with my son - I usually load up a tablet with some of his favorite cartoons (Monsters Inc, Bubble Guppies, etc) and turn it on for him at the beginning of the race (Pro Tip:  Make sure to "lock" the screen so he can't change it).  This usually keeps him busy throughout, which avoids any unnecessary stops.


This was the second time doing this race for me and I had a blast - just like last year.  Everyone had a great time at the race - with a lot of people saying it was the funnest race they've ever done.  Really good event put on by A Runner's Circle.  

Before I get into the race, I want to issue a HUGE THANK YOU to Josh Sprague over at Orange Mud who put this thing together and got the guys from the Orange Mud team together to race this.  He put up the entry fee, really organized everything, and pushed us all along.  Super awesome act by a super class act guy.  Speaking of which, without turning this thing into an entire sales pitch, if you have any needs that are hydration pack related - I highly suggest checking them out.  They are, without a doubt, the best hydration equipment I've ever used and I can't recommend them enough.

So as we were preparing for the race, we were in a Facebook chat and talking about the various things involved with a relay when some dumbass (me) decided to make a joke that got WAY out of hand.  Basically, the aforementioned dumbass (me), posted this picture:

And that snowballed into "Sure!  Why not?  Sounds like fun!".  I'm 99.9% certain that everyone except for Jake "The Perfect Body" Jackson was kidding and being sarcastic when they agreed to it - but a few weeks and several "in store modeling pictures" from Tim Christioni and Alex Suchey later - we were all in speedos and ready on race day.

Great picture during the National Anthem.  

The race is a relay style race - with each person doing the same 5.5 mile course.  There are 5 people on a team (Tim, myself, Josh, Jake, and Alex) and they combine the totals and call it a marathon (even though it's slightly longer).  The course is no joke.  It's all uphill for the first 2 miles or so, then undulates for the next 1.5 or so, then it's a steep downhill stretch with various undulations the rest of the way.  To top all of that off, it was ridiculously hot outside.  By the time Tim went out on the first leg, the sun was out and beating down on everyone.  

Then there was also a guy who was attacked by a swarm of bees - which is insane (and I head he ended up okay afterwards).  

In any case, Tim went first and I would stand there, patiently waiting...

It's embarassing to post these pictures, but I do look like Captain Cool Guy here.

It's hard to tell if Tim just did a Jimmy Walker "DY-NO-MITE" right before this was snapped, or if he's just about to pass out and drop like a rock.

Me taking off with the baton to start the second leg.
Well, the run went okay.  I didn't really push too hard (mainly because I COULDN'T - I just didn't have the legs for it) and my energy drained really fast going up that initial hill.  I managed to finish my leg in 40 minutes or so (which is more or less where everyone but super fast Jake finished), which I'm ok with.

Coming in and dropping the baton off to Josh for him to start the 3rd leg.

Winding up to give him a bit of extra motivation as he starts his leg.

Never in the history of asses has there been two less appealing asses side by side.

As a team, we finished in 3rd place in the Open Division - which is pretty damn good.  If we, as a team, were to focus on this race - I'm pretty confident we could break 3 hours and make a strong push for the top spot.  Maybe next year???

Alex and Tim.

Alex and Josh - If you're thinking that Alex didn't move and the background was just changed - you'd be right.  

Alex with Jake.

The team after Alex finished and we confirmed our 3rd place finish!  If you're wondering why I'm not wearing speedos - it's because, by that time, they were completely soaked and considered hazmat.  Also - the Park Ranger came by and told me I had to put a shirt and pants on because I was scaring the children.

So that's basically where I've been race-wise up until today.  The main race left on my schedule is Ironman Lake Tahoe in September and the Long Beach Marathon in October.  Due to how my training has been leading up IMLT - it's turned from a race with specific goals to "just finish with a time you'll be happy with" type race for me.  For Long Beach, I'm intending on breaking 3 hours while pushing Bruce in a stroller - which will take some creative planning.  I'm more worried about keeping him still and avoiding a pit stop than I am with my ability to reach the time.  Outside of those two races, I'm going to be doing the Renegade Racing Holiday Series - which will be a 10 mile, 5k, and 10k race - all while pushing Bruce in a stroller.

Goal for those is simple:  Podium or win outright all 3.  We'll see if it happens, but that's the thought.  Also - if you're interested in any of the Renegade events - be sure to use code BRYANDISCOUNT to save a bit of money off of the end price.  It won't work on the deal for the Holiday Series - but if you want to race any other event, or just a single race from the series - feel free to use my code.

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