Tuesday, August 31, 2010

August and Everything After

Sorry Adam to rip off the Counting Crows....

August was as good as I could make it--much less than desired run wise but hey--that is the norm on planet RC!:

Swim: 31K yards over 9 hours

Bike: 1141 miles over 68.5 hours

Run: 109 miles over 16 hours

8 houts of PT

101.6 total hours of training

I had the most bike training hours of all the Slowtwitch dudes for the August Bike Training challenge--which is NOT insignificient!

Looking ahead:

Race 98 this weekend at Marlton--I have 3 challenges--Earl, Ira and Mick. Earl is the Cat 4 Huuricane heading our way--not sure if I have any way to deal with him. Ira and Mick are very good AG competitors of mine who on paper will beat me....should be fun though as I am rounding into shape!

Week following is race 99 then a bit more training and the taper for Kona.

I do think my hip is healed....

I'm excited about Hawaii!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

another week down

Wanted this week to be another big one but the stress of the last 3 caused my body to say: "no". Back has been sore all week.

I decided to back off of the bike and focus on the run and I had a pretty decent week considering the pain my back was laying down. The best news of the week was today's swim.. I made a pretty significant change in my swim stroke (essentially over-exaggerating a front-quadrant swim stroke)--I did this as my non-wetsuit swim is so much worse than my wetsuit swim. I needed something to counteract my sagging hips--and guess what--it really worked. I took 6 minutes off my 1.5 mile open water swim today and more importantly, I didn't have anywhere near the fatigue that I have been feeling in my swims without a wetsuit. This is a huge boost for my confidence with respect to Kona. I'm going to try to reenforce this stroke change this week and if it sticks I think I could have a pretty comfortable (and decent) swim at Kona--which would be great given my horrible history with non-wetsuit swims...

Anyways, this is what my "easy" week ended up at:

7700 yards swimming
196 miles on the bike
34 miles running
19.4 hours training

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Tuckahoe Sprint Triathlon Race Report

2010 Tuckahoe Sprint Triathlon
Race Report #11: 8/15/2010


My 11th triathlon of the 2010 season and 97th of my career was contested just 20 miles up the Parkway at the Tuckahoe Sprint Triathlon. The race on this day consisted of a 0.25-mile swim, a 12.7-mile bike, and a 2-mile run. The weather was a departure from the relentless heat and humidity of this, the summer of global warming—mid 70s, overcast and with a moderate breeze from the South.

My hip has responded well to all of the physical therapy and I felt coming into this race that I might be able to finally uncork a ride typical of my rides of prior years. My run was going to remain problematic but at 2 miles, its cost was not excessive. Wes Burns, a good bud and a very strong sprint triathlete was racing in my AG so I was clearly racing for 2nd in my AG. I hoped to be near him off the bike and try to hold on for a top 10 finish (256 starters) as I had finished 12th last year.

The cool thing about this triathlon is that my lovely bride, Judy, was racing in her 3rd triathlon, after having driven for 5+ hours from Washington DC—arriving late on Saturday night. We were also joined by our friends Jon and Jeanine Baum and their daughter Chelsea.

The Swim

At 7:30 am on this morning we were facing a low tide in Egg Harbor. The swim course was a counter-clockwise (my fav) triangle in which the water never got more than three feet deep. The water temp was 76 degrees. I was in the 2nd of 4 triathlon legs with all of the male masters.

Wes and I lined way to the right and at the gun we both surged to the front of our wave with 2-3 others. He was right there on my left hip crashing his casted (recent wrist break) right arm inches from my head. We swam side-by-side all the way to the first buoy were I moved ahead a bit and made the turn first. I ran into some traffic and as we headed to the second buoy, Wes was able to open up a body length or two on me.

Very quickly we turned for home as I crept up onto Wes’ feet. We both stood up a good 50 feet from the shore as the water became too shallow and Wes dropped his goggles and began looking for them. I yelled at him (as I passed him) and told him I’d buy him a new pair and to get moving (I was hoping Wes would place in the top 3 overall and out of the AG awards…).

I hit the beach with an elapsed time of 5:23 and an average HR of 156. As I “sprinted” up the beach to the timing mat Wes snaked past me and actually recorded the fastest swim split in my AG. Truth is I hit the beach first so I’m going to call it a tie between the two of us. I worked hard in the swim as my HR indicates and my guess, given the time, is that the course was a bit short of a quarter mile. In any event, comparing this year’s swim to 2009 shows me to be faster (not apples to apples) and higher placed relative to the field. At the time, my 2009 swim in this race was the “best” of my career so I feel pretty good about these numbers:

2010 2009

Time 5:23 6:12
OA place 17th 21st
OA %-tile 93.8 94.0
AG place 1st 2nd
AG %-tile 100.0 91.7

Transition One

Back to the race, I chased Wes up the sandy hill and into transition. He sped through transition much faster than I recording the 11th fastest T1 overall. I was 38 seconds slower than Wes in T1 (yikes!) and ended up with the 46th fastest T1 overall (82.4%-tile). My total T1 time was 1:59 (one second faster than last year) and my HR averaged 168bpm.

The Bike

I left T1 some 44 seconds behind Wes (all of this incurred after I hit the beach first). I settled in pretty quickly and felt strong and fast despite the quite noticeable headwind. About a mile into the bike, a guy passed me on a Cervelo and then seemed to slow up. I dropped back out of the draft zone (long-time force of habit) and then reaccelerated past him. I was seeing really good wattage numbers. About 2 miles later he passed me again and then seemed to slow up. I dropped back and re-passed. This pattern repeated 4-5 times and when I finally passed Wes, he told me the guy was glued to my rear wheel.

My ride was for the most part (saving the bit above) uneventful. My hip felt great and I was surging pass riders from wave one. At the turn I got a tail wind and began to think that I had another gear or two more. I flew back to transition and my impression is that my body had more to give than I got out of it today. I’ll need to recapture that “hair on fire” mindset in my next two sprints.

My shadow zipped passed me right before the no-pass zone at the end of the ride (very annoying as I had been ahead of him for the last 3-4 miles) and I hopped off my bike with a bike split of 31:38 and an average HR of 166bpm. Officially, I had the same split as last year but by my stopwatch, I had me 18 seconds faster last year (which seems hard to believe). In any event, the wind was much stronger this year and I feel that I actually had a stronger ride this year. I tied for the 2nd fastest bike split OA and entered T2, a few seconds in front of Wes. Here is how 2010 and 2009 compared (I was not able to get a good power reading this year):

2010 2009

Time 31:38 31:20
Average Speed (mph) 24.1 24.3
Average HR (bpm) 166 164
OA Place 2nd 9th
OA %-tile 99.6 97.6
AG Place 1st 1st
AG %-tile 100.0 100.0

Overall, I hopped off the bike in 4th place in a very tight race:

1. Bracconnier 37:54
2. Gerhardt 38:43 + 0:49
3. Mullaney 39:08 + 1:12
4. Christofferson 39:11 + 1:15
5. Burns 39:13 + 1:17

Relative to the race leader, most of my deficit was due to my poor T1.

Transition Two

I thought I did a reasonably good job in T2 but my 60th OA place seems to indicate otherwise. For some reason my T2s seem to be relatively slower than my T1s even though I always think I’m doing a better job in T2. My T2 time was 1:00 and my HR averaged 166. I was 2 seconds slower than Wes in T2 and we crossed the timing mat for the start of the run side-by-side.

The Run

The run is a simple out and back and it is a bit shorter than last year. My time was faster this year but I think I probably ran at a slightly faster pace last year. Wes, of course, crushed me on the run and I ended up 2nd in the AG and I dropped to 9th OA. My run split was 15:25 (7:43/mile) and my average HR was 168bpm—I was clearly dogging it a bit.

Wes had the 3rd fastest run and ended up 4th overall by just 4 seconds—hats off to him, he is out of my league! Overall, my run was OK, still way off where I thought it would be as I try to rebuild my hip, but not horrible:

2010 2009

Time 15:25 15:31
Average HR 168 171
OA place 44th 61st
OA %-tile 83.2 82.1
AG place 2nd 4th
AG %-tile 92.9 75.0

Post Race

The best news on the day is that Judy dominated her AG and won in just her 3rd triathlon. Of the 10 women in her AG she was 2nd in the swim, dominated the bike and had the 3rd fastest run split (swim strong, kill on the bike and hang on for the run—sound familiar?)

As for me, it seems that I am almost all of the way back on the bike. My swim might be slipping a bit and I should probably up the volume in the days ahead. My run is getting better but will most likely remain a problem for all the rest of 2010 including Kona. Oh well—today was fun and I’m happy with my results!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

LAF 100 and the week that was

Back in DE to help Jen move into her new place down in Baltimore tomorrow.

Got up at 5am and drove up to Montgomery County in PA for the Lance Armstrong Foundation Challenge 100 mile bike ride. Made my donation to the LAF in honor of my father and joined 3500+ other folks for the ride. Lance kicked things off with a nice speech after accepting a check for the foundation--we raised over $3MM.

Lance, and a few buds left first, and then they let the rest of us go a minute latter. I was at the front and joined a speedy chase group. There were about 25 in our group with 2 or 3 tough guys doing all the leading--I was hiding from the wind in the back.
The course is very difficult--lots of climbing--almost always up or down and I soon found it hard to hang with the group on the climbs. It started to rain pretty hard and the roads became quite sketchy. I began to debate the merits of hanging with the group as I was throwing 400 watts on the climbs and becoming increasingly concerned about the skating rink we were riding on. At around 11 miles a guy went down hard 10-15 feet in front of me. I managed to avoid this but I was a bit spooked. Just 2 miles later 3 more guys went down right in front of me with one guy flipping over a guard rail. They were OK but I'm pretty sure that a couple of them were done for at least the day.

I decided then to stop chasing Lance and just settle in and be ultra conservative. And so I did. It was a very demanding ride. I rode mostly by myself although I would join in with small groups from time to time. I saw a couple of dozen crashes as the rain poured down and it was quite treacherous in places. At 35 miles there was an option to turn off the course (and do a 70 mile ride) and just then it was really raining hard--I wavered for a bit but I decided I had come here to ride all 100--so i did. And I'm quite glad i did as i felt very strong after 70 miles--in fact, I believe I rode hardest from 70-100 miles as the rain slackened.

All in all a good effort for a good cause.

As to the week:

My back is still a bit tweaked but I should be ok. I am bummed I missed one swim and my long run which would have made this a very strong training week (by my standards) but here is how it ended up:

29.1 hours of training
8200 yds swimming
329 miles biking
19 miles running
3 hours of PT

ever onward!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Big Block Syndrome

My prior two weeks were 25 and 21 hours respectively with last week including a race. This week was to be a very big week--targeting 29 hours. I was on track through yestertday (21 hours through the first 5 days) but my back got very tweaked--sore and very stiff.

Not a surprise really, when I push these big blocks my body has a tendency to force me to back off a bit. Unfortunately, this mornings workout was to be my long run. It's probably the most important workout of the week but I'll need to skip it. Lots of rest today--maybe a light spin later. I have the LAF 100 tomorrow which i still hope to do.

If my back holds together, I'll make next week a run focused week and try to get two longer runs--say a 10 miler and a 16 miler in....

I'm very happy with where my fitness is at (with the enduring exception of my run). Even though I'm fatigued and have little nigs and nags, i can feel the underlying fitness. I know I'm already good to go for Kona and I have another 49 days to put the finishing touches on it....

Still, would have been nice to hit that long run this morning....

Monday, August 16, 2010

more encouraging signs

raced Tuckahoe yesterday. Best news was that my bride raced her 3rd tri and dominated her AG--awesome Judy!

We also were joined by our good friends the Baums and their daughter Chelsey, who also did great!

I had the race I expected. More than competitive on the swim (17th out of 259). Almost all the way back on the bike (2nd overall) and the run--well it still needs work.....

anyways, I finished 9th OA. AG-wise, my good bud, Wes Burns was there and (as true in the last 10 or so times I've raced him) he is just too strong in these sprints for me to have a chance. At 54, he finished 4th OA, narrowly missing a podium. At least I was leading off the bike--I wish I could run!!!!

I would have won most of the younger AGs so I'm pretty psyched about the whole affair.

Back in DE today to help Alex get going in pre-season soccer. I am DEAD-tired (we had a Sunday-funday last night) but I need to rest up for 6 bike hours in the heat, hunidity and hills of DE tomorrow---this week is going to be a major grind but it will be the week that I need now....

keeping on

Saturday, August 14, 2010


So took my rest day yesterday. For some reason whenever i do, I get all sorts of aches and pains. My left lower back "went out" a bit. Very sore, tender and stiff all day yesterday. Better this morning but I have to be "ginger" about it--definitely feels like it's tweaked.

Last night went and saw (with Jenny) Kansas, Foreigner, and Styx--classic rock baby!

Racing tomorrow at tuckahoe and I'm hoping that my back will be OK. I think it will be with another 20+ hours to heal up. I don't know who is in the race but my objectives are pretty straight forward (if my back allows)--blitz the swim and bike (race it like an aquathon) and hold on for the short run. I'd really like to see some stong power numbers coming out of my bike split.

My bigger concern about my back is related to the three week block of training I have coming up. I'm not racing after Tuckahoe until Marlton, which is on the 4th of September. Consequently, I'm looking for this next block to be a very big training load. I especially need to execute some longer runs. Next week is (on paper anyways) in the books as a 29 hour week with two big rides--one being the LAF Challenge 100 miler next Sunday.

The weather is considerably more pleasant today with the temp at 74 degrees as we speak. I'm heading out the door for my standard day before a race workout: 15 min swim/30 min bike/15 min run....

Wednesday, August 11, 2010


ok--423 miles on the bike over the last 7 days--and today was easy!

my swims are non-wetsuit now...pretty cold today...

doing a fair bit of stand up paddleboard as cross-training


The Grind

101 miles yesterday in yet another brutally hot/humid day--it hit 98 towards the end of my ride. Almost 6 hours followed by about 3 hours of trying to rehydrate. An evening swim as a nightcap. Lots of wotk this Ironman thing...59 days to Kona.

Monday, August 9, 2010

tonight was COOL!!!!!!!

so tonight, trying to just recover from a big last week, an intense PT session today , and an easy as I could make 3 hour deal today.....

I was grabbing an easy chino take out and driving home tonight....

I got to the Garden State Parkway and I looked over and saw a runner and a support cyclist. I was stuck in the red light so i (I've seen the RAAM guys here before) said what are you doing? HUh? Repeated and then the young guy said Maine to Florida. I said right on, told them I was an IM and drove through the intersection. As I cruised towards our comfy beach place, with my abundant supply of gatoraide i decided I was selling out....I needed to go back an find them and help them....so i did!

This turned out to be a lot harder than I thought it would but I did get it done some 20 minutes later. They are a father and son team riding for cancer and they are very close to Anders and my ages. I gave them my support and here is a link to their website--donate if that's an option...at least you can see me...http://wickedlongrun.blogspot.com/

wow--blows my mind....I love this! I helped them in support of my dad....I love my dad

Sunday, August 8, 2010

The corner has been turned!

OK--good news here. I definitely feel like I have finally turned the corner on my hip injury. For the last 3+ months since my bike accident I have just not been able to pursue my passion for triathlon the way that I wish I could. This has substantially affected both my training and my races. I've been involved with an intensive 3X/week PT program to address my hip/core imbalances for the last 5 weeks and I do think that the data now says that it is beginning to work! Also, 5 weeks past IM Germany I do think I'm recovered and ready to go again!

This week was a good solid week of IM training:

25.5 hours of training
10K+ of swimming
273 miles of biking
29 miles of running.

I'm just rolling back into an IM swim mode--with my strong results in the race last weekend and the clear path in front of me, I'm super confident in my swim right now--I'll be ready 62 days from now for Kona.

Big breakthrough on the bike. Last week's race was a nice return to (almost) normalcy. I rode a 5+ hour ride this week and my hip felt fine--not 100% normal, but pretty good. I did my first real speed session in a long time on Thursday and rocked out a 47.5 mile/ 5X 1.3 mile repeat ride. I was averaging 350 watts on the repeats and spending a lot of time in the 400 neighborhood. It's been a long time since I've been able to just JUMP it like I like to do and push big watts. My hip was fine for both of these rides and I'm optimistic that it will continue to get better in the weeks ahead.

My run is bad. Probably will stay that way. It's so hot here that I'm finding it very hard to run far enough to really build my endurance. I was supposed to do 2 hours today but only managed 72 minutes--I was crushed and extremely dehydrated. The heat and humidity were so intense that you could not see more than 500 yards up the beach. further, my knee is going AWOL again. I'm setting up a new cycle of injections to start next week.

I'd like to run a lot more than I seem to be able to achieve but I'm trying to stay positive and take solace in the (pretty significant) training I am putting down. I have the personality that always focuses on what still needs to be accomplished as oppossed to what has been--and I know this--but it's tough to be so limited running wise...

Still--I'm on it now!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Walker Sprint Race Report

Walker Sprint Triathlon
Race Report # 10: July 31st, 2010


I was born in Minnesota and return each summer to visit my parents at our lake cottage on Ten Mile Lake. We have a log cabin that my grandparents purchased in 1934. It’s been in the family ever since. A couple of days before Alex and I left to visit my parents, my brother sent me an e-mail and told me that there was going to be a triathlon in Walker—a town of 1064 souls about 8 miles from our cabin. This was the first time for a triathlon anywhere near our lake cottage. I decided that it was fated that I sign up and so I packed my TT bike up and dragged it along the day before the race.

We arrived late Friday and I reassembled my bike and did my normal pre-race stuff. I was familiar with the race venue, as I have literally been coming here for 53 years. I knew nothing about my competition but was excited to just show up and let it rip.

I was 27 days post IM Germany and hoping that I was sufficiently recovered from that effort to race well. I raced two weeks prior at Stone Harbor and my performance was pathetic. I was hopeful that the extra two weeks would have allowed my body to return to a state of “normalcy”.

The other problem I was dealing with was my on-going hip issues that seem to have been caused by a bike accident back in April. I’ve been doing very intense physical therapy for several weeks now and was hoping to be able to see some progress from that work. I went for a short ride and run after arriving on Friday and I could still feel the fatigue from my Wednesday session. My legs were stiff and sluggish.

I awoke on Saturday morning to a truly glorious day. The locals would complain about the heat and humidity but coming from the east coast this was the most pleasant conditions that I have seen for well over a month.

I did my usual stuff and kept to myself as I didn’t know anybody and my brother and parents were arriving right before the start. Shortly before the start of the race I found myself next to a young man whom I nodded to and initiated a conversation with. There were over 200 people in the race and I’m not quite sure how I ended up next to him and decided to chat with him. He was doing his 7th triathlon and was very into it. We had a nice conversation and I wished him well. Later, I would realize how incredible it was that I happened to talk to him out of everyone else at the race—more on that later! Let’s get to the race itself!

The Swim

The swim for this triathlon was contested in Leech Lake’s Walker Bay. Leech Lake is an enormous lake in north central Minnesota. As with most of the lakes in this part of the world, the water is pristine with clear visibility to depths of 15+ feet. The water on this morning was also a very pleasant 75 degrees.

The quarter mile swim was a counter-clockwise triangle with two turn buoys. The first wave was comprised of all police and EMS personnel (the race was actually named the “Chase the Police Triathlon”). I was in the 3rd wave, which left 4 minutes later—there were 53 in my wave.

I started to the far right—away from the buoy line. I pulled hard for the first 20 strokes and quickly separated from the main group. There were three of us that quickly gapped the field. The other two guys were on the buoy line and were slightly ahead of me. I kept my eyes on them and moved closer to the two leaders in case it was advantageous for me to draft off of them. One fellow began to pull away and I could see that I was going to catch the other fellow pretty easily. I had to make a call to either surge ahead and try to bridge up to the leader or mark the second fellow. Interestingly enough, the lead swimmer went on to post the best swim time of the overall race—44 seconds faster than me. I wonder if I could have stayed with him but my guess is probably not. The fellow I did draft off of turned out to be Taggart Downare, who was on his way to winning the overall race.

After rounding the first buoy we were faced with a lot of traffic from the slower swimmers in the first two waves—two minutes between waves is not enough. I actually moved ahead of Downare in this portion of the swim. I felt very comfortable and thought I had at least a couple of higher gears available—I decided to just stay on this pace as I was clearly opening up a gap on most (or all) of my AG competitors.

At the second buoy I got tangled up in a lot of traffic and Downare moved ahead of me. I threw a surge in and jumped right up on his feet where I stayed to the end of the swim. As we hit the shallows, Downare ran away from me as I was occupied with getting my wetsuit top unzipped. He ran across the timing mat a couple of seconds ahead of me. I ended up with a swim split of 6:46 and an average HR of 155 bpm—the latter being right in the sweet spot effort wise. The course may have been slightly long since no one swam under 6 minutes. I posted the 14th fastest OA swim time out of 219 athletes (94.1 %-tile) and I was almost a minute faster than any of the other 10 athletes in my AG:

1. Christofferson --------
2. Palmer + 0:56
3. Dutton + 0:58
4. Hatten + 1:25
5. Heine + 2:01

Transition One

I, of course, had no idea whom I was racing against (or how many for that matter as I knew no one in the race—save the young man I chatted with shortly before the gun). That said I was confident that I had completed a solid swim and was probably in a good competitive position. With my parents and brother cheering, I executed my first transition in 1:45 and my HR averaged 169. This was the fastest transition in my AG and I left T1 with a comfortable margin in my AG race:

1. Christofferson --------
2. Palmer + 1:12
3. Dutton + 1:56
4. Hatten + 3:03
5. Otto + 3:15

The Bike

As I left the transition area I saw Downare, who was a few seconds faster in T1 than I, struggling to mount his bike. The first part of the bike was up a hill away from the lake and he had clipped his shoes on in transition and was not able to slip his feet in and negotiate the immediate climb. I took the more conservative route—having put my shoes on in transition—and rode past him chuckling a bit.

The bike leg turned out to be 17.45 miles in length. The first (and last) two miles were in town and were surprisingly technical—there were 15 turns, many of more than 90 degrees, in just this 2-mile section. The next 6+ miles were on highway 34, which entailed several long, modest (4-6%) climbs and descents. The 6+ mile section back to town was on the Heartland Trail, which is a converted railroad track and so was mostly flat and straight.

As I was negotiating the early twisty section, Downare came flying by on his P3. I could tell by the way he rode that he was an excellent cyclist and I decided to track him from 20-30 meters back. He was riding aggressively and I thought if I stayed with him for a while, I’d likely have a strong bike split. When we hit highway 34, the first mile was up a pretty steep climb and my power quickly climbed into the mid to high 300s as I struggled to stay with him. After about 10 seconds of this I decided that he either was a much stronger cyclist, riding very foolishly, or perhaps both. In any event I backed off and tried to concentrate on keeping my power between 250-300 watts on the climb.

I could tell that I had some zip in my legs and that I was a very different cyclist today than two weeks prior at Stone Harbor. The descents were fun as I was able to consistently ride 33-37 mph—for some fairly lengthy stretches. At the turn off of the highway I checked my power and saw that I was averaging 235 watts. I decided that I was being too conservative (I was nervous to really hammer as I did not know if I was sufficiently recovered to really go for it) and I decided to push it over the last 8+ miles. I soon found that I was able to comfortably hold 260-270 watts.

I passed a number of cyclists but not as many as I would have expected. There seemed to be a strong group of cyclists in this race. After negotiating the 15 turns in the closing section I dismounted my bike with an elapsed time of 45:37. This turned out to be an average of 23.0 mph, which I’m pleased with given the challenge of the course. My averaged watts climbed all the way back up to 246 watts with my back-half push. This is not a 100% level for me but vastly better than the 195 watts I struggled to produce at Stone Harbor. I averaged 81 rpm, which I think is quite good given the hills and my HR averaged 161bpm—respectable, but below my target of 165—I still had more speed that I didn’t access.

Competitively, I only posted the 12th fastest bike split OA (95.0 %-tile) although I was within a minute of most of those who out rode me. I was more than 4 minutes faster than anyone in my AG and effectively put the AG race away with my ride:

1. Christofferson --------
2. Palmer + 7:28
3. Dutton + 8:15
4. Otto + 8:27
5. Hatten + 8:30

Transition Two

I had what I considered to be a fast and efficient T2, which I completed in 53 seconds while averaging 163 bpm for my HR. I actually had the 3rd fastest T2 in my AG losing 8 seconds to the fastest fellow but this did not appreciably affect the standings above.

The Run

The run was a simple out and back that was mostly uphill on the way out and nicely downhill on the way back. The run distance measured 2.5 miles. My parents told me I was in 17th place leaving T2, but that included folks who went in earlier waves. In fact, I had moved up from 14th after the swim to 8th OA leaving T2. A few folks passed me on the run and I passed one fellow who had left T2 ahead of me.

I felt “ok” on this run—better than Stone Harbor but still noticeably slow and sluggish—I just haven’t been the same runner since my bike injury. In any event, the run was beautiful as we ran along the side of Leech Lake. It was noticeably warmer now but still much more pleasant than back on the east coast. I completed my run in 19:33, which is an average of 7:49/mile (sigh….). My HR averaged 165 so I probably could have gone a bit harder.

I ended up with the 43rd fastest run OA (80.8 %-tile) and the 5th fastest in my AG. I dropped back to 12th OA (95.0 %-tile) and comfortably won my AG:
1. Christofferson --------
2. Palmer + 5:36
3. Dutton + 6:37
4. Otto + 8:01
5. Hatten + 9:44

Post Race

After the race as I was chatting with my mom and packing up my stuff, when the young man (Justin Domogalla) I had talked to, came up to me and started a conversation:

Justin: Your name is Christofferson, right?
RC: Yes (I had my ITU tri-suit on and my name is printed on the front).
Justin: Do you live on Ten Mile Lake, next door to the Hasses?
RC: Yes—how do you know that?
Justin: You’re not going to believe this, but about 4-5 years ago I sitting on your beach around a fire you had made—I’m friends with Dax (one of the Hasses) and you and your son were talking about triathlons and all of your adventures. It inspired me to take up triathlon and now it’s a way of life for me. I’ve lost about 40 pounds and I just did my first half-Ironman. I’m planning to do an IMWI next year.

I, of course, was a bit dumfounded. We talked some more and it became clear that Justin, now a youth minister, had undergone a lifestyle transformation from his embrace of triathlon. He told me that you never know whom you’re going to inspire. I replied that he was absolutely right, as his story definitely inspired me!

I was struck once again by the human element and connectedness that comes from triathlon. Sometimes, and I’m very guilty of forgetting this, it’s not so much about just going fast. It’s about people and experience. This was one first rate experience for me, meeting Justin (again) and racing with my parents and brother in attendance.
Plus, I did go a bit faster. My PT seems to be working and while my run remains problematic, I think I can recover much of what was lost on the bike in time for Kona. In any event, my 96th career triathlon and 10th of the season was successfully in the books!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Closer to normal than not!

I had a nice solid race yesterday in Walker, Minnesota. I'll post a race report shortly. The best part was a nice strong bounce back on my bike leg. I averaged 51 (!!!) more watts than Stone Harbor over a challenging 17.5 mile course. The 246 watts i averaged is much closer to a normal power output for me. I'm not quite 100% yet, but close enough to be competitive in a sprint race like this. After the race I rode around the lake on my TT bike and averaged just over 200 watts so i was able to get a reasonably hard 40 mile ride in yesterday on my TT bike and my hip held up pretty well. I can still feel it--it remains very tight but I did not have any of the pain I had in Germany so it looks like the PT is working.

In any event, I finished 12th overall out of 218 and was able to put 5+ minutes on my nearest AG competitor. It was a great course and a truly enjoyable triathlon that my parents and brother came out to see....