Saturday, August 31, 2013

August: in the books

this past week I lost three training days--2 driving up to and back from Boston to help Alex move in and one helping nail down Anders' new place in L.A.  So this months total was dinged a bit down the stretch (and generally lower than plan as I've discussed before).  I'm making a bit of adjustment and doing my last heavy week from Thursday through to next Wednesday--I've completed my long run and swim and add the bike on Monday or Tuesday.  then I'll do a mini "taper" into the Diamonman Half-Ironman on sunday the 8th and then do a full 14 day taper into IM Lake Tahoe.

September's totals:

swim: 41,500 yards
bike: 995 miles
run: 119 miles
time: 88:50

Here is how my 3-month IM builds compare in aggregate volume over the last 4 years:

2013 (June-August):

Swim: 119,000
Bike: 3,068
Run: 336
Time: 268.4

2012 (July-Sept):

Swim: 117,000
Bike: 3,388
Run: 387
Time: 291.7

2011 (August-October):

Swim: 112,000
Bike: 3,122
Run: 433
Time: 285.6

2010 (June-Sept):

Swim: 91,000
Bike: 2,787
Run: 306
Time: 256.4

So in aggregate, the 2013 build doesn't look that bad.  I've actually worked harder in 2013 than back in 2010 when I was building for Kona (although I had some biomechanical issues in 2010 and was doing a lot of PT during the build).  My 2013 swim numbers are actually the most of any of the builds (although the last three years have been pretty similar) which reflects my increased committment to swimming after a slow start this year.

My bike numbers and aggregate training time are down quite a bit from 2012 and my run numbers continue to be an issue as my knee seems to be more of a limiting factor as time goes on.

That said, I certainly feel ready to race an IM and am cautiously optimistic about my potential performance.  I'll get a great read next Sunday at Diamondman....

Sunday, August 25, 2013

a month to go! grinding away...

Here are the volume totals for the last two weeks:

last week:

swim: 9,000 yards
bike: 273.1 miles
run: 36.2 miles
time: 24:47

this week:

swim: 11,500 yards
bike: 297.6 miles
run: 27.0 miles
time: 25:02

As I mentioned earlier, life seems to be limiting me to 25 hour weeks vs the 30+ hour weeks I've done in past builds at this point in the build sequence.  That said, I have nailed all of my long w/os (swim: 4000+, bike: 100+, run: 15+) these two weeks and feel reasonably well rested and fresh.  My fitness continues to build (I think) and I've leaned out, body-wise, quite a bit over the last two months.

four weeks to race time.  I've decided to do a H-IM two weeks in front of Tahoe, which I know many will disagree with but I think that it works for me....that will be the last race before IMLT....more on that later!

Onward and upward....

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Ironman Lake Tahoe: Where I am and the road ahead

It's been an extraordinarily eventful year and summer in the christofferson household.  Extraordinary in the sense of a lot of things going on....

For instance, as I pen this missive, I am sitting next to Anders in the US Air Club at LAX waiting for our red-eye home.  We've spent the lst three days out here in LA-LA land scouring the west side for a suitable home base for AC.  On one hand, not what you would normally want 5-weeks out from your "A" race IM but absolutely what I want to be doing in my life....

That's been pretty much the way its been this year--lots of fun/cool life-stuff taking priority.  That combined with my late start due to Aconcagua in January means I have substantially less training under the hood at this point....

That said, I've had a surprisingly good triathlon year so far.  I've raced nine times this year, 8 sprints and one Half.  I've been blessed to win 6 and finish second twice in my AG in these races--which is the best I've ever done from an AG competitive perspective for the first nine races of a season...hard to feel down about that for sure!

Also, while I definitely went through an over-trained stretch in July due to my dramatic ramp-up in June/early July, I now feel pretty good.  I've lost some weight and my workouts are generally encouraging all things considered.  My fitness is building nicely right now.

While I'm simply not going to be able to bang out multiple 30+ hour training weeks as I've done over the last few seasons, I still feel like I have a reasonable chance of being pretty competitive at Tahoe....

My swim is about 5-7% slow (in sprints and in training) relative to the last few years--this is about a 4-6 minutes at the IM distance, which I'm comfortable with.  I will say that my gap to prior years has been diminishing over the last few weeks as I've upped my swim volume (I hit 45,000 yards in July) and have encorporated more 3,000-4,000 yard swims.  I think I'll be fine for the swim in Tahoe.

While I haven't hit as many 100+ rides in this build, I do have 6-7 under my belt now including a 106-miler this week at a pretty good effort (my PM is down on my S5 right now so I can't report the power).  My bike rides have been pretty solid over the last 5-6 races so once again, my bike fitness looks pretty good.

On the run, I'm very vulnerable.  I finally was able to get my first run longer than 13 miles this week with a 16-miler.  I'll get a couple more of those in the next two weeks and that will have to be that.  My knee and my body's general level of fatigue have really held me back this year....I seem to plateau at 110-120 miles/month this year vs the 140-160 that I was able to put down over the last few years....It is what it is, and what it is, is not that good!

Still, I do feel like I'm building fitness nicely and I've just had a look at my competition at IMLT and while I must say it's wide-open and I'm certainly not the favorite, I wouldn't write my chances off by any means---more on that shortly.

In the meantime, I'm going to do the best I can getting the volume in.  I'm at 22 hours this week through Saturday so if I can get home and log some time training tomorrow I'll have a reasonable IM build week, despite the travel and hours spent looking at houses.  I'm hopeful I can put in 25+ a week over the next two weeks as well.  I also plan to race 1-2 times more before Tahoe--more on that later...

Anyways, I plan on focusing more blog time on my final run-up to Tahoe so please tune back as I get ready to try to get back to Kona one more time!

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Tuckahoe Race Report

2013 Tuckahoe Sprint Triathlon Race Report
August 11th, 2013


Location: Beesley’s Point, New Jersey
Distance: 0.39-mile swim/12.2-mile bike/2.1-mile run
2012 Triathlon Race Number: 9
Career Triathlon Race Number: 135
Conditions: Beautiful morning.  75 degrees and sunny.  Wind at 5-10 mph out of the north.  74-degree water temperature.  Slight tidal current.

My fifth straight year at this funky little NJ triathlon, which was one of the first to offer an unusually short run—which might be why I’m back here for my fifth straight year (I’m neither confirming nor denying).  The race is known for its somewhat chaotic race organization and for changing layouts from year-to-year.  In the first four years, the course was different each time.  However, the bike, run and transitions this year were identical to 2012, so I will be able to make that comparison.

The race continues to decline in popularity, probably due to cheap awards and poor organization (and a bit of a glut of summer triathlons in these parts).  Overall entrants have declined for each of the past five years: 335/258/222/205 and just 152 this year—it’s unclear how long this race will survive but that was of no concern this morning.  In my first three attempts here I finished 2nd and finally last year won my AG.  This year there were just 4 guys in my AG (although I did not know that at the start).  I did see one fellow from my AG (#182) and to my eye he looked like he would outrun me but that I would likely outswim and out-bike him.

I entered the race having won five of my previous eight races this year (with two 2nds) and with a chance to post my best career “start” to a triathlon season.  If I were to win then I would have a 6-3 record versus my prior best of 5-4 in 2009.  This would also mark only the 2nd time that I was able to reach 6 wins in a season (the other being 2009).  The other piece of exciting news was that both Judy and Anders made the 20-mile trip and were on hand to lend me encouragement on this morning.

I had settled back into my IM build after our recent trip to Minnesota and had completed a 106-mile bike ride a few days before the race.  I was reasonably rested for the race but clearly my legs were feeling the effects of all of the training volume.

The Swim

Just two waves for the triathlon with the men going off second.  The course was a point-to-point with a beach start.  The course went straight out for about 100 yards and then after a 90 degree left, there was a long section with the tide and finally a sharp left back into the tide and to the swim exit which was about 75 yards up the beach towards the power plant.  The course looked longer than last year and to my eye was longer than a quarter-mile.  I estimated it was around 0.3-miles but my Garmin in-fact measured it at 0.39 miles.

I started most of the way to the right side, away from the buoys.  At the start we ran 20-30 yards into the shallow water and then dived in.  The pace was pretty quick at the beginning and I found myself surrounded by other swimmers.  As we reached the first turn, I found myself moving up through the pack and I estimated there were about 15-20 guys in front of me—we were already swimming through slower women swimmers despite their three-minute head start.

I rounded the first buoy with no problems and looked over and saw #182 next to be, which I was surprised by—maybe I had underestimated him.  It did spur me into a higher effort level and I soon found myself steadily pulling away from him.  From this point forward I was swimming pass quite a number of slower women and an occasional man who had gone out too fast.

I rounded the far buoy and headed back towards the swim exit feeling like I was having a solid swim.  I noticed everyone was veering to my left—I was probably 10-15 yards right of everyone else.  My goggles were fogged and I had a bit of trouble figuring out what was going on.  I kept sighting the exit point and as far as I could tell I was where I wanted to be.  In fact, I was correct and most folks were trying to go left of a final marker buoy when the course was actually to the right.

I exited the water and hopped up on terra-firma with a swim split of 9:33, which I was initially disappointed with given I had swam a 6:22 here last year.  However, last year the course was 0.28-miles and as I mentioned above, it was 0.39-miles this year.  This translates into a 24:33/mile swim pace, which given my swim training this year is more than acceptable.  Last year I swam a 23:05/mile pace, which indicates I’m about 6% less swim-fit this year, which seems to jive with everything I’m seeing in training and in recent races this year.

I took 351 strokes, which averages out to 36.8 strokes/minute.  My average stroke length was 1.96 yards.  This compares to 37.1 strokes/min and 2.09 yards last year.  My cadence is within a percentage point of last year but my glide is still off by about 5 inches per stroke.

Competitively I had the 20th fastest swim OA.  Here is how my swim percentile has been over the last five years:

2009: 94.0
2010: 95.3
2011: 96.4
2012: 89.3
2013: 87.5

I was able to put quite a bit of time on #182 (Delaney) in the back half of the swim and recorded the fastest swim in my AG.  Here is how the top three stood in my AG after the swim (as it turns out Delaney raced here in 2012 as well and I was 2:57 faster than him last year):

1.  Christofferson                           --------
2.  Miner                                + 2:21
3.  Delaney                                    + 3:44

Transition One

The first transition is needlessly long at 0.28-miles and I executed it in 3:10.  I had the 27th fastest (82.9 %-tile) OA.  In 2012, I recorded a 3:27, which was at the 84.9 %-tile.  I was a bit faster than my AG brethren:

1.  Christofferson                           --------
2.  Miner                                + 2:39
3.  Delaney                                    + 4:01

The Bike

I didn’t know where I was competitively (although I would have been very confident had I known about my lead) as I weaved my way through the tortured path out to the main road.  I saw Anders and Judy but couldn’t wave, as I was busy avoiding slower traffic.  Once on the road, I began passing women and better swimming men in fairly large numbers.

With the wind directly at our backs on the way out to the turn-around of this out-and-back course, I was moving pretty quickly but I could tell my legs were heavy and that all of my IM training volume had sapped them of their top-end kick.  This is a familiar place for me this time of year as it always seems as I get closer to my “A” Ironman race, in late summer, my sprint “speed” leaves me in my bike and run legs.

I continued to pass folks throughout the ride and as far as I could tell I had reeled in most of the men who outswam me.  At one point a fire truck blocked most of the road, which led to a dicey two-way choke point but I was fortunate to blast through with no on-coming traffic and only a modest reduction in speed.  I finished my bike in an elapsed time of 31:06.  Here is what the data for each of the bike miles looks like:

Mile 1:  22.3 mph/163 bpm/84 rpm/259 avg. watts/262 watts NP
Mile 2: 25.0/162/85/233/234
Mile 3: 24.9/156/90/226/226
Mile 4: 24.8/156/89/212/216
Mile 5: 25.5/150/89/235/235
Mile 6: 24.6/145/89/228/230
Mile 7: 22.4/163/87/252/253
Mile 8: 22.7/163/91/247/249
Mile 9: 23.3/162/92/239/239
Mile 10: 22.3/162/88/240/246
Mile 11: 22.5/162/88/229/229
Mile 12: 24.5/162/92/248/253

It seems like I might have a couple of bad HR numbers in the middle so my actual average may be higher than what my Garmin measured.  That said, here is how my key bike parameters compare to 2012:

Split time: 31:06 vs. 31:00 in 2012
Speed: 23.6mph vs. 23.7mph
Average HR: 159 bpm vs. 164 bpm
Average Cadence: 89 rpm vs. 89rpm
Average Power: 238 watts vs. 246 watts
Normalized Power: 241 watts vs. 250 watts

Obviously, this is a bit of a disappointment in terms of absolute power output but it’s interesting that my HR was 5 beats lower (probably should have been 4 with good data) this year and that my speed was pretty similar to last year.  Last year had less wind and I think what we’re seeing here is the faster nature of my new TM01 as compared to my older TT01. It would seem that my new set-up is in the 5-10 watt faster range—I’m going to do a more detailed analysis of this in the coming days.

Competitively, I had the 2nd fastest bike split OA (99.3 %-tile), which continues my streak of top 10 bike splits at sprint races.  Over the last five sprints I’ve finished 2nd, 7th, 3rd, 3rd, and 2nd on the bike.  Here is how my bike %-tile has varied here over the last five years at Tuckahoe:

2009: 97.6 %-tile
2010: 99.6
2011: 96.3
2012: 97.6
2013: 99.3

I was much faster than my AG competition:

1.  Christofferson                           --------
2.  Delaney                                    +10:18
3.  Miner                                +10:54

Transition Two

I entered T2 having on the bike passed everyone ahead of me except the eventual winner (and fastest cyclist), a 27 YO mohawked speedster.  I didn’t know this of course, but was able to execute a solid T2 in 0:47.  I clocked 51 seconds in 2012 and improved from 75.6 %-tile in 2012 to 85.5 %-tile (20th OA) in 2013.  I continued to pad my AG lead:

1.  Christofferson                           --------
2.  Delaney                                    +10:47
3.  Miner                                +11:01

The Run

I ran out of T2 feeling reasonably decent.  My bike apparently had not overly-taxed my legs.  Anders and Judy cheered for me and Judy urged me to try to run Midge down.  This was good encouragement because I figured I was well ahead of my competition and by locking on Midge (who had started three minutes in front of me and was racing for the OA women’s championship) I had something to focus on to keep my effort honest.

When I was running out the chute at the beginning of the run I did see a guy in red who looked like he might be in my AG coming in on the bike.  I estimated he was about two-minutes behind me and I made a mental note to keep track of him.  The run was pleasant enough although in the sunshine and with the wind at our backs it felt pretty warm during the first mile.

I hit the first mile in 8:28/167bpm (slow, but I wasn’t dogging it).  At the turn-around I saw the red guy and estimated he was just one minute back—oh-oh!  I began to push a bit harder, especially the last 400-600 yards leading into the final turn off of the main road.  At that turn, I looked over my shoulder and there he was—right on my back!  Yikes!  My second mile was 8:01/169bpm, which given my run fitness was putting some stress on my body.

We had about 200 yards to go and I slowed to let him pass me so I could see his calf and determine if he was in my age group.  However, he slowed with me and refused to pass.  It seemed to me that he was sitting on me and I guessed he planned to outkick me at the end.  This raised some alarms and I decided that I would race him assuming he was in my AG.

I accelerated back up to race speed and he followed directly behind me.  I could see and hear Judy and Anders on the left cheering me on.  I angled to the left as he was sitting on my left shoulder.  I could feel him getting boxed in and wondered if he would try to push by on the left or cut right as we neared the finish—but still no move.

At 30 yards to go I went all out and I could hear him let out a yelp of surprise.  I headed straight for the finish and had enough about me to make sure to drive my left ankle (the one with the timing chip) across the mat first.  He closed the gap but still finished a foot or two behind me.  I covered the last 0.12-miles in 51 seconds (a 7:09/mile pace) with my HR averaging 175bpm.  I stood bent over trying to avoid giving up my breakfast for 20-30 seconds and then walked over to shake his hand.  At that point I discovered he was 53 and racing in the duathlon!  Oh well—it sure was fun despite the pain.

I finished the run in 17:20, which averages out to 8:10/mile.  I was 16:59 last year, which is not good news, no two-ways about it.  I finished 43rd OA on the run (72.4 %-tile).  Here is how the last five years have compared on this run:

2009: 82.1 %-tile
2010: 83.3
2011: 79.6
2012: 69.3
2013: 72.4

I was 3rd in my AG on the run but my 61:49 was comfortably ahead of my competitors at the end:

1.  Christofferson                           --------
2.  Delaney                                    + 9:20
3.  Miner                                +10:19

On an encouraging note (I suppose), Delaney was 1:42 faster in 2012 and 1:27 faster this year.

OA, I finished 11th (93.4 %-tile).  The last five years in that regard:

2009: 96.7 %-tile
2010: 96.9
2011: 93.2
2012: 93.2
2013: 93.4

In the end, it was a fun day and we sat around chatting and waiting (endlessly) for the award ceremony.  I notched my 6th win of the year and 44th in my career.  Perhaps number 50 will be within reach in 2014—but there is much to do before that pops up on the radar screen!

Friday, August 9, 2013

Sunset Sprint Race Report

Sunset Sprint Triathlon Race Report
July 27th, 2013


Location: Pittsgrove, NJ
Distance: 0.27-mile swim/13.1-mile bike/3.1-mile-run
2013 Triathlon Race Number: 8
Career Triathlon Race Number: 134
Conditions: Pleasant, temps in the mid-70s.  Mild wind.  Water temp of 74 degrees.

With the focus on Anders’ summit of Denali over the last few weeks, I belatedly returned to triathlon racing after an unexpected 5-week hiatus.  I had made good use of the intervening period with a very heavy training program in July as I continued to prepare for September’s IM Lake Tahoe.  On this race morning, my legs were quite heavy from the IM-build training load but I was anxious to dust off the rust and give it a go.

The Sunset triathlon was being held for it’s 20th time but just the 2nd time at this locale in Parvin State Park.  The triathlon first came here in 2011, after the water quality at its former Bridgetown site continued to deteriorate.  In 2012, the race was cancelled due significant tree damage from a storm race week.  I’ve raced at both venues and my 2011 effort would give me a good chance to gauge my performance today versus 2011.

Competitively, there were just 152 competitors with just four in my AG (although, as we shall see, this number would ultimately be reduced to three).

The Swim

Sunset’s RD has always been aggressively “anti-wet suit” through the years.  This year was no different as the RD announced about a week before the race that the water was 85 degrees and therefore we should all leave our wetsuits at home.  However, a cold snap for a few days before the race made this announcement most premature and we unexpectedly had a wetsuit swim.  I, of-course, was pleased with this development…in 2011, this was a no wetsuit swim.

As I mentioned, I had three other guys in my AG—one of whom turned out to be Wes Burns.  Regular readers of my missives will know that Wes has raced me close to 20 times historically, and always has beat me.  Wes is a very good swim/bike guy who excels at the run.  While I can usually beat Wes to T2, it’s never very long before he comes streaming by on the run.  I’ll steal a little of my thunder here and tell you that this is what happened today, but Wes had such a strong race that he was 4th OA and was the top Masters competitor and therefore placed out of the AG competition.

The swim is principally a counter-clockwise rectangle.  To my eye, it looked noticeably larger than back in 2011.  I was in the first wave with all of the male competitors.  I positioned myself on the far right and at the gun quickly found relatively calm water (I wasn’t in the mood to fight the masses for some modest drafting advantage).  I was initially disappointed but not particularly surprised to see quite a few folks swimming away from me.  I haven’t been able to get my swim fitness up to prior year levels this year, although I did invest considerable time in July so I hoped to do somewhat better this morning than in prior 2013 races.

About mid-way through the race I found myself feeling very good and noticing that swimmers were coming back to me so I picked it up a bit and was able to pass folks throughout the last 200 meters.  I hit the dry-ground with a disappointing 8:10, which I knew was way off my 7:03 in 2011.  I thought at first the course must be long but my Garmin had it at 0.27 miles.  However, competitively I was actually stronger this year and this and other data leads me to believe that the 2011 course was shorter (pre-Garmin days, so just guessing here).  Here is how I stacked up against 2011 OA:

2011: 46/150 (70.0 %-tile)
2013: 23/152 (85.5 %-tile)

The best time recorded in 2011 was 4:57 and this year it was 6:44, an increase of 36 % versus the 16% slower result this year for me.

Competitively, I was more than eight (!!!!) minutes faster than the AG gentlemen who would join me on the podium—effectively sealing my AG victory during this first leg.  However, by past standards, my swim was below what I have grown accustomed to (my improvement in OA %-tile this year vs. 2011 was no doubt benefited by the switch to a wetsuit legal swim). 

I was 26 seconds slower than Wes and in past races, I would have expected to have been equal or slightly ahead.  This would indicate I’m about 5-6% slower than I was the last two years—which makes intuitive sense to me.

During the swim I took 298 strokes at an average stroke rate of 36 spm.  My average stroke distance was just 1.6 yards—which is a very poor number indeed—I would have expected my number to be around 1.9 yards/stroke, even with my current fitness, and this indicates that the swim this morning was probably considerably longer than the 0.27 miles that my Garmin registered.

Transition One

In my view, the transition area layout and location for this race are very poorly designed—especially if compared to the set-up with the Parvin Sprint Triathlon held annually at the same venue.  As a result, T1 involves an unnecessarily long run over very poor terrain.  I did this in 3:38 vs. 2:27 in 2011.  I’m not sure why it was so much slower this year as it felt to me like I had a solid T1.  The transition run for me was definitely longer this year than in 2011 but not so much so as to account for this large a difference.  My Garmin was messed up when I removed my wetsuit and the race timing company did not provide transition splits so I have no real databased insight on my transitions.

The Bike

I jumped on my bike with no real sense of urgency and I spent the first few hundred yards trying to get my Garmin back on line.  I finally zeroed it out and decided to just rely on my bike-based Edge 800.

I felt reasonably good despite my training fatigue and was more and more confident about the fit of my new TT bike at this point in the season.  I was coming off a 2nd, 7th, and 3rd OA in my last three sprint bike legs so I was confident in my ability to hammer the bike this morning.

The course here is generally flat and I didn’t feel much wind during the ride.  I was surprised to hear after the race that other’s felt it was pretty windy.  In my view the course is fast and I steadily passed the majority of riders in front of me.  I went past Wes around 6 miles in and saw just a couple of other riders up the road, which I soon passed.

I rolled into T2 in third overall, having passed 20 of the 22 folks who had outswam me.  Here is my per mile split data for the ride:

Mile 1: 21.9mph/82rpm/158bpm/256 average watts
2: 25.1/87/160/245
3: 24.4/88/159/235
4: 25.7/89/160/248
5: 25.1/86/161/260
6: 23.8/84/162/249
7: 24.0/88/163/261
8: 24.2/87/164/257
9: 23.1/87/161/246
10: 24.1/84/160/235
11: 25.5/86/160/249
12: 24.8/86/162/242

I ended up averaging 24.2 mph for the 12.1-mile course.  My HR averaged 161 bpm and my average cadence was 86 bpm.  My average power was 249 watts with a normalized power of 254 watts.  This implies a Variability Index of 1.02, which is not surprising given that I only faced 164 feet of total climbing on this bike leg.  My bike split was 29:48.

My power numbers are a bit disappointing but understandable given my fatigue—note the low average HR.  Also, I probably wasn’t as focused as I needed to be given the competitive situation and clearly I had several portions of the bike leg where I let my power dip too much.

Still, by comparative measures, I had a very good bike split this morning:

Speed: 24.2 mph vs. 23.2 mph (2011)
Time: 29:48 vs. 31:21
OA Place: 3rd (98.7 %-tile) vs. 13th (92.0 %-tile)

The two athletes faster than me Jones/Barbee ended up finishing 1/2 OA this year and they were 2/1 in 2011.  On a percentage basis here is how the top three OA on the bike compared to their respective 2011 efforts:

Jones: 2.0 % faster
Barbee: 1.7 % slower
Christofferson: 4.9 % faster

This was my 4th straight sprint top 10 bike leg since I (mostly) dialed in my bike fit on my new TT bike—I’ll take it!  Also, as an aside, my AG margin had now grown to over 16 minutes.

Transition Two

I knew I was 3rd OA as there were just two bikes racked ahead of me as I ran through T2.  I executed what I felt was an excellent transition (although I have little data to support that assertion.)  My total T2 was 0:53, which is comparable to the 0:55 I did in 2011.

The Run

Dead. Dead. Dead.  My run is suffering this year, even by my lame standards, but with the added stress of a big July, my legs where, how best to say it?  Dead.  Further, I had little motivation to push it.  I knew Wes would pass me, which he did around the one-mile point and when he did I figured he had a good chance at getting 3rd or top masters.  I also knew that I was likely to be way ahead in my AG.

The above factors led to a plodding jog through the woods.  I don’t have a lot of confidence in my Garmin data (which I started up again in T2) given all the tree-cover but here is what my three splits looked like:

Mile 1: 8:50/162bpm
Mile 2: 8:56/160bpm
Mile 3: 8:43/162bpm

This led to a run split of 26:08, which averages out to 8:26/mile (according to my Garmin I covered the last 0.1 miles in 19 seconds, which is about a 3-minute mile….I can report that it did not seem that fast!).  In any event, my HR shows I was dogging it a bit and I was quite a bit slower than the 23:55 I recorded in 2011.  However, so was everyone else in the field, which leads me to believe the trail runs through the woods were different 2011 vs. 2013.  Here is how my 2013 time compared to 2011 vs. the same comparison for the top two finishers in both years:

Jones: 10.0% slower
Barbee: 4.6% slower
Christofferson: 11.9% slower

OA, I finished 61st on the run (60.5%-tile) vs. 62nd in 2011 (59.3 %-tile).

For the race as a whole I was 16th this year (90.1 %-tile) vs. 25th in 2011 (84.0 %-tile).

I recorded my 5th AG win (with two 2nds in 8 races) of the year and my 43rd win of my career.

Nothing special for sure, but it does indicate that there are some good things going on….

Onward and upward!